IFCP, iSCSI in IP Storage
(continued from IP
The emerging FCIP protocol standard takes advantage of the
installed base of Fibre Channel SANs, as shown in Figure 3,
and the need to interconnect these SANs to support
mission-critical environments. SANs provide the high
performance and reliability required to support business
continuance and disaster tolerance environments, including
remote backup/archiving, high availability, remote mirroring,
and centralized management.
Figure 3: FCIP enables multiple local Fibre Channel SANs to
be interconnected, or remote SANs to be managed, over an IP
For most of these
applications, Fibre Channel SANs can be interconnected to meet
the needs for remote storage access. However, by combining IP
networking with SAN technology, you can extend the
interconnectivity of SANs across much longer distances. FCIP
provides the transport for traffic going between specific
Fibre Channel SANs over LANs, MANs, and WANs. Like iSCSI, the
FCIP protocol is also being developed within the Internet
Engineering Task Force (IETF) IP Storage Working Group and is
expected to be completed by mid-year.
How FCIP works FCIP
solutions encapsulate Fibre Channel packets and transport them
via TCP/IP, which enables applications that were developed to
run over Fibre Channel SANs to be supported under FCIP. It
also enables organizations to leverage their current IP
infrastructure and management resources to interconnect and
extend Fibre Channel SANs.
FCIP is a tunneling protocol
that uses TCP/IP as the transport while keeping Fibre Channel
services intact. FCIP relies on IP-based network services and
on TCP/IP for congestion control and management. It also
relies on both TCP/IP and Fibre Channel for data-error and
In FCIP, gateways are used to
interconnect Fibre Channel SANs to the IP network and to set
up connections between SANs, or between Fibre Channel devices
and SANs. Like iSCSI, there are a number of
"pre-standard" FCIP products on the market.
Considerations for FCIP
deployment FCIP enables multiple local or remote Fibre
Channel SANs to be interconnected over an IP network backbone.
Since FCIP keeps Fibre Channel services intact, it enables you
to maintain a high-performance SAN base, while transparently
increasing the interconnectivity and data sharing between SANs
on an IP network.
FCIP gateways enable you to
connect to a standard Gigabit Ethernet/IP infrastructure, so
you are able to cost-effectively set up and manage an IP-based
SAN-to-SAN network backbone. FCIP SANs can be deployed over
LANs, MANs, or WANs.
IFCP continued >>