Fibre Channel is a high-speed network technology which runs at 1/2/4/8/16G and, more recently, 32G deployed mainly to connect computer data storage to servers. It is commonly used in storage area networks in commercial data centers or large-scale enterprises, utility companies, and financial and government organizations.

The amount of data accumulated today by users and enterprises is vast, and growing. Consequently, reliable storage and data access has become more demanding, requiring higher data capacity and transport over longer distances for forming remote data backup and redundancy sites. In cases of server-to-storage connection, the distances are usually short, but SANs (storage area networks) also allow automatic backup of data from a local storage device to a storage device located in a remote location.

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32G Fibre Channel incorporates data storage reliability, high performance, and growth while adhering to data privacy and accessibility regulations

Fibre Channel in SANs

In a storage environment, the main considerations are reliability, high read/write performance, and growth factors. In addition, rules and regulations regarding data storage, privacy, and accessibility to data have been put into place, forcing carriers and enterprises to ensure secure and accessible data. This makes Fibre Channel (FC) the leading protocol of choice, as it was developed to answer the need for fast and reliable transmission of high capacity data, ensuring smooth and lossless data transfer. PacketLight solutions provide reliable high capacity links for networks that cannot afford any downtime, including 1+1 fiber line protection with less than 50ms switchover time.

Fibre Channel has been successfully deployed in SAN for some years, and has become today’s go to technology standard for connecting client computers and servers to storage devices, where high capacity and fast, frequent access to databases is required (see Figure below).

32G Fibre Channel Connectivity for Data Centers and SAN

Fibre Channel Connectivity for Data Centers and SAN

32G Fibre Channel in High Capacity Networks

PacketLight DWDM and OTN products enable the effective transport of multiple Fibre Channel rates, up to 32G, between remote data centers. The 100G and 200G product lines aggregate 6x32G FC into a single, spectrally efficient, 200G wavelength, cost–effectively transporting it over short haul and metro distances. In addition, PacketLight devices support optional Layer-1 optical encryption for security.

From its early stages, Fibre Channel was designed for efficient and cost-effective scalability. The protocol supports compatibility two rates backwards, facilitating network growth without replacing existing infrastructure. For example, a 16G FC switch can support 8G FC and 4G FC interfaces. PacketLight’s integrated 1U solutions support all Fibre Channel protocol rates of 8/10/16/32G and a variety of services including GbE/10/40/100Gb Ethernet, in the same device. The entire data center ecosystem of Layer-2/3 Ethernet and Fibre Channel storage elements can be connected between data centers over the same DWDM/OTN infrastructure. By utilizing PacketLight’s compact CWDM, DWDM and OTN solutions, data centers are able to transport data over 96 channels (wavelengths) over the same fiber pair or a single fiber, providing the bandwidth required by customers, while supporting low latency applications.

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