What is Fibre Channel?

Fibre Channel is a high-speed data transfer protocol that provides in-order, lossless delivery of raw block data. It is designed to connect general purpose computers, mainframes and supercomputers to storage devices. The technology primarily supports point-to-point (two devices directly connected to each other) though most common found in switched fabric (devices connected by Fibre Channel switches) environments.

A storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated network used for storage connectivity between host servers and shared storage - typically shared arrays that deliver block-level data storage.

Fibre Channel SANs are typically deployed for low latency applications best suited to block-based storage, such as databases used for high-speed online transactional processing (OLTP), such as those found in banking, online ticketing, and virtual environments. Fibre Channel typically runs on optical fiber cables within and between data centers but can also run on copper cabling.  

Fibre Channel is a high-speed data transfer protocol that provides in-order, lossless delivery of raw block data to connect data storage to host servers. Fibre Channel fabrics can be extended over distance for Disaster Recovery and Business Continuance and most SANs are typically designed with redundant fabrics.

Begun in 1988, Fibre Channel is standardized in the T11 Technical Committee of the International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)-accredited standards committee.  The Fibre Channel Physical and Signaling Interface (FC-PH) was first published in 1994. 


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