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Benefits & Application of 16 Gbps Fibre Channel

16 Gbps Fibre Channel BenefitsThe latest speed developed by the T11 technical committee that defines Fibre Channel interfaces is 16 Gbps Fibre Channel. The Fibre Channel industry is doubling the data throughput of 8 Gbps links from 800 Megabytes per second (MBps) to 1,600 MBps with 16 Gbps FC. 16 Gbps FC is the latest evolutionary step in Storage Area Networks (SANs) where large amounts of data are exchanged or high performance is a necessity. From Host Bus Adapters (HBA) to switches, 16 Gbps FC will enable higher performance with lower power consumption per bit—the performance required by today's leading applications.

The benefits of a faster technology are easy to see. Data transfers are faster, fewer links are needed to accomplish the same task, fewer devices need to be managed, and less power is consumed when 16 Gbps FC is used instead of 8 Gbps or 4 Gbps. Several technology advances are pushing up SAN bandwidth demands, including application growth, server virtualization, multi-core processors, PCI Express 3.0, increased memory, and solid state disks. 16 Gbps FC is keeping pace with other technology advances in the data center.

When high bandwidth is needed, 16 Gbps FC should be deployed. Applications in which bandwidth demands are high include storage array migration, disaster recovery, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) and Inter-Switch Links (ISLs). The first place that new speeds are usually needed in SANs is in ISLs in the core of the network and between data centers. When large blocks of data need to be transferred between arrays or sites, a faster link can accomplish the same job in less time. 16 Gbps FC is designed to assist users in transferring large amounts of data and decreasing the number of links in the data center.

Speed
Gigabit/second
OM1 Link Distance
62.5um core 
200 MHZ*km
OM2 Link Distance
50um core
500 MHz*km
OM3 Link Distance
50um core
2000 MHz*km
OM4 Link Distance
50um core
4700 MHz*km
OS1 Link Distance
9um core
~infinite MHz*km
1 Gigabit 300 500 860 -- 10,000
2 Gigabit 150 300 500 -- 10,000
4 Gigabit 50 150 380 400 10,000
8 Gigabit 21 50 150 190 10,000
10 Gigabit 33 82 300 -- 10,000
16 Gigabit 15 35 100 125 10,000
 
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