As a part of its ongoing efforts to redesign and simplify the data centre, Intel has announced its new Open FCoE (Fibre Channel over Ethernet) initiative.
The idea is to enable numerous fibre channel signals to be consolidated into a single cable using Intel's existing 10Gb Ethernet X520 Server Adapters. This unified approach to networking will introduce a new level of simplicity to data centre management without the need for expensive, proprietary storage controllers or switches and without compromising performance.
According to Intel, Open FCoE could reduce the amount of data centre cabling around the world by 400 million feet (122 million metres), or enough to travel around the equator three times. It could also reduce global IT spending by $3 billion (£1.9 billion) every year.
According to Kirk Skaugen, VP of Intel's Data Centre Group, "what's frustrating for IT managers is that most of the data centre dollars are spent on infrastructure costs, not on innovation. Expanding Intel Ethernet to include Open FCoE will help simplify the network and drive more of the IT budget toward innovation.
"We think IT departments can lower infrastructure costs by 29 percent, reduce power by almost 50 percent and cut cable costs by 80 percent by moving to a unified network."
Apparently the chip giant has been working with Cisco, Dell, EMC, NetApp, Orcale and Red Hat on developing the new software stack, which is available now as a free upgrade for existing X520 products. It's also made the software open source, which should let developers make the most of the code and speed up its eventual adoption. Open FCoE is also a part of the chip-giant's larger Cloud 2015 and Open Data Centre initiatives.