Use of physically separate infrastructure like Fibre Channel (FC) for Enterprise application traffic and storage increases Capex and Opex, makes data center management more difficult, and decreases business flexibility.
A unified fabric can meet these challenges faced by consolidating I/O in the data center and allowing Fibre Channel and Ethernet networks to share a single, integrated infrastructure. Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is one of the major components of a Unified Fabric. iSCSI and FCoE are two important technologies that vendors support to provide Unified Fabric solutions.
FCoE supports standard Ethernet cards, cables and switches to handle Fibre Channel traffic at the data link layer, using Ethernet frames to encapsulate, route, and transport FC frames across an Ethernet network from one switch with Fibre Channel ports and attached devices to another, similarly equipped switch.
Small Computer System Interface over IP (iSCSI) is a mature technology created by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). It is based on the IP protocol stacks, it assumes an underlying unpredictable network and gives to TCP the recovery of lost packets.
Let’s further deep dive and understand the difference between both FCOE and iSCSI technologies –