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.