what is a fiber channel HD?

Kaliman

Distinguished
Aug 1, 2001
273
0
18,780
0
1gb / sec transfer rates?? seen a few of these on ebay and people keep talking about them at dslreports.com, but what the hell are they?
 

Kelledin

Distinguished
Mar 1, 2001
2,183
0
19,780
0
Fiber channel is a high-bandwidth enterprise-class hard drive interface. It supports higher bandwidth than SCSI, more devices per channel than SCSI, and hot-swap capabilities on par with SCSI.

Fiber channel is also expensive, though, and SCSI already exceeds most server requirements at a much lower cost. So fiber channel drives get relegated to a niche enterprise market.

If you really want to fork up the money for fiber channel hardware, note that fiber channel drives need fiber channel controllers (and in many cases, fiber channel cabinets/racks as well).

<i>I can love my fellow man...but I'm damned if I'll love yours.</i>
 

Kaliman

Distinguished
Aug 1, 2001
273
0
18,780
0
i don't understand, if fiber channel is so damn fast then why hasn't it caught on, there must be some disadvante to it. I did a search on ebay for fiber channel and it came up with tons of results, and they're all so damn cheap. Do a search and see what you come up with....i found IBM Ultrastar 36LZX 18gb Fiber Channel Drive! for $1.25 after 3 bids it's still this low, something can't be right. And i found this sick bastard: 288GB FIBER/FIBRE CHANNEL DISK ARRAY SET for $355 compromised of 8 36 gb fiber channel hds. This is really making me want one of these, someone please tell me some reason that people are not getting these for high end systems....before i waste a bit of money.
 

Kelledin

Distinguished
Mar 1, 2001
2,183
0
19,780
0
i don't understand, if fiber channel is so damn fast then why hasn't it caught on, there must be some disadvante to it.
The disadvantage is cost. You have to keep in mind that fiber channel is often (as its name implies) run over fiber optics. Getting even 1Gbit of transfer rate over two copper signaling wires takes some clever hacks, and the end result is never quite as reliable or as flexible as fiber, so fiber-optic cable is usually what's used. Transceivers, termination, and cable for fiber optics has always been expensive.

Do a search and see what you come up with....i found IBM Ultrastar 36LZX 18gb Fiber Channel Drive! for $1.25 after 3 bids it's still this low, something can't be right.
When I last tried to sell my Ultra2 RAID cabinet on eBay, I couldn't even get $100 for it (I set a reserve of $400). I originally paid about $3000 for it new, and buying a brand-new equivalent of it would cost about the same today. So eBay isn't really a good measure of how cheap something should be, unless you <i>only</i> shop on eBay. :wink:

And i found this sick bastard: 288GB FIBER/FIBRE CHANNEL DISK ARRAY SET for $355 compromised of 8 36 gb fiber channel hds.
Nice! Does it include the necessary controller, cabling, et al? How old are the disks? What transfer rate does the interface support? How many disks, and what rotational speed? What RAID levels does it support?

(I'm not being sarcastic here. That thing might be nice to go for...)

<i>I can love my fellow man...but I'm damned if I'll love yours.</i>
 

Hoolio

Distinguished
Jun 26, 2002
291
0
18,780
0
Yeah, currently there are 3 or 4 drive standards:

ATA
Serial ATA
SCSI
Fibre

ATA and Serial ATA run quite fast and alway lag slightly behind SCSI Speeds,
Fibre is way ahead of the other 3 standards, fibre is really useful when using gigabit ethernet cards, as the gigabit ethernet cards have a tranfer rate than that of hdd drive around today.

Buy buy buy, god if you can get these parts cheap ffs buy buy buy.
 

Crashman

Polypheme
Editor
Generally speaking, people who run servers don't use used parts, and people who use used parts don't want to pay the expense for the controller, so used Fiber Channel drives end up being orphan parts. I once saw an Ultra 80 SCSI controller to Fiber channel adapter kit for around $350, I think.

<font color=blue>At least half of all problems are caused by an insufficient power supply!</font color=blue>
 

old_fart

Distinguished
May 29, 2002
5
0
18,510
0
Fibre Channel (more than you ever wanted to know about it and a day or two late):
Spelled Fibre instead of Fiber to show that it is not limited to fiber, but can use copper wire.

Speed - 1 Gb/s is not very fast. If you include a parity bit, it is only about 100 MB/s (OK, 200 MB/s duplex). SCSI is currently mostly at 160 and some at 320 MB/s

There is also Fibre Channel 2 Gb/s

Real advantages to Fibre Channel are:
Cable length - up to 30 Meters copper (Equalized)
Up to 10 km if fiber.
Number of devices - up to 126 per channel(even more if "switched fabric")

See also
<A HREF="http:// http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/product/markeditorial.html?sess=no&cat=/Technology/Fibre+Channel&prodkey=fibrechannel_faqs&type=Technology " target="_new">http:// http://www.adaptec.com/worldwide/product/markeditorial.html?sess=no&cat=/Technology/Fibre+Channel&prodkey=fibrechannel_faqs&type=Technology </A>

Reasons drives are cheap pretty well described by others


Opinions expressed are mine and do not in any way represent the opinions or positions of my employer
 

Ncogneto

Distinguished
Dec 31, 2007
2,253
3
19,785
0
The disadvantage is cost. You have to keep in mind that fiber channel is often (as its name implies) run over fiber optics. Getting even 1Gbit of transfer rate over two copper signaling wires takes some clever hacks, and the end result is never quite as reliable or as flexible as fiber, so fiber-optic cable is usually what's used. Transceivers, termination, and cable for fiber optics has always been expensive.
Rubish. First of all there are no clever Hacks to get those transfer speeds over copper. The only limitations that copper has over optic cabling is the distance it can be run. Generally speaking the maximum distance a copper FC setup can span is 30 meters. This is still light years farther than your best SCSI or heaven forbid IDE enclosure can be.

Termination is handled by the controller.

Something that is overlooked is you can make a dam nice externall portable Hard drive that blows away any usb or firewire drive with fibre channel.

It's not what they tell you, its what they don't tell you!
 

gaviota

Distinguished
Jun 27, 2002
211
0
18,680
0
I used to work at a bank that bought a Unisys mainframe with fibre channel disks...the price was $500,000. I haven't seen any bechmarks comparing IDE vrs. SCSII vrs. Fibre Channel, but I think Fibre Channel is in a different ballpark than IDE and SCSII drives.
 
Sep 1, 2013
2
0
10,510
0
I too have been looking into adding these to my servers they are very fast and have a longer life the SATA drives. pricewatch has them list very cheap for 300GB and at that price paying 250 for a controller is very reasonable....
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS