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Analyst Evaluator Group recently completed testing of storage networking connectivity between blade servers and solid-state storage, evaluating Fibre Channel (FC) versus Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and published a report.   The report was funded by Brocade, a long time FC vendor. All testing occurred at Evaluator Group labs using a combination of Evaluator Group and Brocade equipment to perform the testing.


The testing focused primarily on network performance and its impact with solid-state storage environments.  The goal was to understand the impact of storage connectivity on high-performance, enterprise applications as customers adopt solid-state storage, particularly in virtual server environments.


The tested configuration showed the following interesting results which I’m sure surprised a lot of people:

  • FC provided lower response times as workloads surpassed 80% SAN utilization
    • FC response times were one-half to one-tenth of FCoE response times
  • FC provided higher performance with fewer connections than FCoE
    • Measured FC response times were lower, using 50% fewer connections than FCoE
    • Lower variation in FC results provided more predictable response times
  • FC used 20% to 30% less CPU than FCoE
    • CPU utilization was lower using FC than FCoE
  • A single 16Gbps FC connection outperformed two 10Gbps FCoE connections as measured by application latency.


The full Evaluator Group report is located here.


Anyone surprised by the results?


Mike McNamara


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