Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs) are a key component of most large datacenter storage environments. Large IT organizations have made huge investments in Fibre Channel storage technology to meet their high availability storage and reliability needs.
According to the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA), 2012 is the year of “10-10-10” (see footnotes below), in which it is expected to see 10 million Fibre Channel ports shipped (adapter and switch ports), $10 billion invested in Fibre Channel technology, and 10 Exabytes (EB) of Fibre Channel storage shipped. The FCIA calculates that more than $100 billion has been invested in Fibre Channel technology over the last two decades. Fibre Channel continues to remain the dominant storage networking architecture for Next Generation enterprise workloads, server virtualization and cloud architectures and is known for its ultra-reliability and mission critical high performance capabilities in enterprise datacenters.
QLogic has released its PCIe 3.0 16Gb Fibre Channel (16GFC) host bus adapter (HBA), known as the QLogic 2600 series Fibre Channel HBA.
This report analyzed the storage performance of this 16Gb Fibre Channel HBA using a real-world database workload, showing where 8Gb performance was not enough to satisfy the workload, and a competitor's adapter.
Action Item: There are several drivers increasing the demand for the increased storage bandwidth that 16Gb Fibre Channel provides. These include increased capabilities of the latest hypervisors, SSD technology, PCI Express 3.0 and ever-increasing amounts of data that are flowing through today’s storage networks. Enterprises should plan now for 16Gb Fibre Channel infrastructure, and they can begin to deploy it because enterprises can upgrade adapters, switches and storage systems independently, without having to upgrade the entire FC SAN infrastructure at the same time. This report provides examples of real database workloads that are bottlenecked with an 8Gb Fibre Channel infrastructure.
Footnotes: Full report: http://www.demartek.com/Demartek_QLogic_2600_FC_HBA_2012-12.html
Demartek Storage Interface Comparison Reference Page: http://www.demartek.com/Demartek_Interface_Comparison.html
FCIA Fibre Channel Solution Guide 2012: http://fibrechannel.org/library/2012/10/fibre-channel-solution-guide---2012.html