Gen 6 Fibre Channel standard officially unveiled

Gen 6 Fibre Channel provides an upgrade path from 16GFC to 128GFC; FCIA expects the technology to be “broadly available” in 2016.

The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) has officially unveiled Gen 6 Fibre Channel, its latest standards initiative. Among other advances, Gen 6 Fibre Channel provides an upgrade path from 16GFC to 128GFC.

"Businesses continue to invest in Fibre Channel to power their most mission- and business-critical environments," asserts Ashish Nadkarni, research director, storage systems and software, at market research firm IDC. "The continued evolution of the Fibre Channel standard is important for supporting the huge global installed base, which continues to grow at a steady pace."

The new Gen 6 specifications call for a 32GFC option for full-duplex transmission. Other highlights include:

-- Support of forward error correction which the FCIA says will improve link reliability via the automatic detection and recovery from bit errors.

-- Improved energy efficiency through the ability to operate in a standby mode (or "nap") multiple times each second.

-- Backward compatibility with networks based on 16GFC and 8GFC technology.

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IDC's Nadkarni adds, "With the development of Gen 6 Fibre Channel, enterprises should feel confident that their Fibre Channel investments are secure and that continued innovation from the vendor community will further optimize performance, security, reliability, and operational simplicity to better optimize both flash and traditional storage infrastructures."

FCIA expects products based on Gen 6 to be “broadly available” in 2016.

“Continued innovation for the Fibre Channel standard is designed to extend its position as industry's most reliable and robust storage networking solution, which is used for today's most mission-critical enterprise applications," concludes FCIA Chairman Skip Jones. "Enterprises and service providers can look forward to new innovations from the community of compute, network, and storage vendors that will develop next-generation solutions in 2016 based on the Gen 6 standard in order to leverage its advanced feature set."


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