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The Gen 5 Fibre Channel Train is Picking Up Momentum!

By Scott Shimomura posted 01-16-2014 06:00 AM


A passenger train moving at 80 miles per hour needs about a mile to stop. This is like the momentum of the storage industry in transitioning to Gen 5 Fibre Channel (16Gb). We got the train moving with our launch in May 2011. The adapter companies followed our lead with only the storage companies left to make the transition.


A little over a year ago I started blogging about the impact of SSD and the transition to 16 Gbps Fibre Channel storage arrays. Since then, Brocade has transitioned to Gen 5 Fibre Channel messaging, the SSD market consolidated (both GridIron and Texas Memory mentioned in my previous blog were acquired), and new products were launched (more companies launched Gen 5 Fibre Channel storage targets). 


It’s come full circle with the announcement from IBM for the IBM FlashSystem 840, an all SSD array that will support up to eight 16 Gb ports. This combination of flash technology from IBM and Gen 5 Fibre Channel technology from Brocade is the future of high performance storage for data centers. It’s IBM’s first storage solution to offer 16 Gb Fibre Channel connectivity and is an important industry milestone as storage continues to evolve. The latency, IOPS, and throughput numbers are impressive and will help unleash performance for virtualization platforms, applications, and databases.


All of a sudden the passenger train is now moving at nearly 300 miles per hour.



We have said that flash will be as disruptive to the data center as server virtualization. What does it mean for customers? Our IT customers are looking for technology that helps them keep up with application deployments and data growth. They want to return value back to their organizations with applications that serve more customers, process data faster, and improve customer experience. This requires infrastructure that enables more productivity and lowers costs without compromising on reliability and availability. All-flash arrays and Gen 5 Fibre Channel are the technology enablers that will begin the transformation of the data center.