The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) has undertaken to provide a standard to allow IP and the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) to run over Fibre Channel.
The initiative, promped by the Fibre Channel Association (FCA) - which represents manufacturers of this high speed storage connection - wants a standard to solve problems caused by multiple implementations. With IP running in different ways on different Fibre Channel solutions, there can be interoperability within a single network. This has forced some IT managers to implement SCSI, despite its lower speed, because it does offer a standard for IP.
According to the FCA, an IP implementation over Fibre Channel is an important move for the industry and will aid the trend toward implementing storage area networks (SANs).
The FCA has now set up a working group to provide a specification intended to support the different Fibre Channel topologies including point-to-point, loop and fabric and other services.
The benefit of developing an IP based solution would include support for the SNMP network management standard within storage area networks, and their easy integration with local area networks, said the FCA.
The Association - which has 70 members - was unable to give any date for the ratification and implementation of the IP based solution.
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