Fibre channel protocol is highly useful in the storage networking field and is according to the Inter National Committee for Information Technology standards. This protocol was formerly invented for transferring high speed data, in order to assist the super computers. But slowly and steadily it is now being used as a data transfer standard in the Fiber channel SAN field. The truth is that the FC protocol can be carried out on a twisted pair copper wire along with the Fibre optic cables.
Fibre Channel Protocol is almost three times fast and has now become the interface in between the collection of storage devices and their servers. Since it is flexible to transmit data within 10 kilometer radius, it is acting as a physical medium. But transferring data on an optical Fibre makes it too expensive. However, the Fibre technology is also useful with twisted pair of telephone lines and coaxial cables and thus makes the budget factor become a less hindering criterion.
Fibre Channel Topologies
Fibre channel topologies, describe the way the ports are connected together. In a Fibre channel technology, a port is an entity which participates in communication over the network and it does not be a hardware related port. Fibre channel ports are employed in disk storages, Host Bus Adapters (HBA) connecting to the switch and in the Fibre channel Switch. The FC protocol topologies are as follows:
Point to Point-In this FCT, two devices are connected directly to each other and have certain connectivity limitations.
Arbitrated Loop Topology-In this topology of the Fibre Channel, the devices are linked in a ring or a loop and the concept of token ring networking is employed. However a new addition or subtraction of the loop will get interruption and can cause a failure, due to a single device disruption. In this scenario, a FC hub will be useful to bypass the failed ports and the loop will be helpful in cabling each port to the next port in the ring. This allows, only one pair of ports communicating with each other and the speed which can be reached is only 8GB on the Fibre channel.
Switched Fabric-This topology of Fibre channel works similar to that of Ethernet architecture and lets out the duty of optimized inter-linkage to the switches and makes the data flow restricted to only two ports. In the event of a failure of a port, the effect is neutralized. In addition to this multiple ports communication is also possible on a fabric.
Why is Storage Technologyimportant.
Fibre Channel Layers
Fibre channel does not abide by the OSI model or the Open System Interconnection layering and follows its own five layers:
FC-0-taking into the account the factors such as distance, speed and the medium, FC-0 is a physical link, which is involved in the computing and also encompasses Fibre connectors with certain electrical and optical parameters.
FC-1-This Fibre channel layer, will allow a transmission protocol, which will encompass special characters, encodes and decodes the rules and sustains error control. The technology of Fibre makes the 8 bit encoding go up the 10 bit transmission at a time. This transmission code is balanced with a Direct current, in order to go along with the electrical basis, of the units which are at the receiving end of the data.
FC-2-This transmission protocol offers structuring of data transmission in between two ports and the different mechanisms for refining the classes for service and manages the data transfer sequence.
FC-3-This Fibre channel layer takes place in-between the ULP's and the FC-PH and includes multicast, stripping and hunt group in it.
FC-4-This layer acts as an interface of upper layer protocol and is having specific mapping protocols, which offer FC-PH (physical layers) and ULPs.
Fibre Channel Benefits
Fibre channel offers high performing data transmission for the data storage solutions and is apt for video storage networks. This technology offers apt solution for network based storage and data warehouses.
Price Vs performance-although this technology is expensive, when considering its performance levels, it will justify its price with an unrivalled reliability and availability.
Support-Fibre channel works on par with the SCSI, Internet Protocol, ESCON, VI and AV technologies and the performance levels will never get compromised.
Congestion free-The FC technology is specially formulated to reduce the data flow congestion and is said to be better suited for Block Level Storage.
Efficiency-Since, the performance levels are excellent, the efficiency factor is also excellent for the storage area networking.
Scalable-Since the scalability factor is satisfied to the peak by the FC, there is no swivel in the performance standards as well.
For further information visit ISCSI