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VMware vSphere Now Includes Integrated Open Fibre Channel over Ethernet

Intel Open Fibre Channel over Ethernet (Open FCoE), announced in January 2011, is now available on the VMware vSphere 5 enterprise virtualization platform for cloud infrastructures.

Open FCoE delivers FCoE over standard 10 Gb Ethernet adapters and is available as a free upgrade on Intel 10 Gb products, such as the Intel Ethernet Server Adapter X520 and Intel 82599 10 Gb Ethernet Controller product family. Open FCoE enables IT administrators to simplify their datacenters by using a single adapter for all LAN and SAN connectivity.

VMware vSphere 5, which was announced on July 12, integrates Open FCoE to provide native FCoE support. Organizations running VMware vSphere can use any compatible 10-Gigabit Ethernet adapter for 10 GbE LAN and storage traffic, including NAS, iSCSI, and FCoE, resulting in simplified infrastructure and reduced equipment costs.

“Virtualization is a major driver of 10 Gigabit adoption, and network convergence on 10 GbE is very important for our customers who look to increase bandwidth and simplify their infrastructures,” said Vijay Ramachandran, group manager of infrastructure product management and storage virtualization, VMware. “With Open FCoE, we have a native solution with performance that will scale with advancements in vSphere and server platforms.”

Key benefits of native support for FCoE include:

  • Support for storage over Ethernet on a standard 10 Gb Ethernet adapter, replacing the need for converged network adapters (CNAs);
  • Ability to scale performance with server platform advancements, rather than CNA performance, which is listed by the capabilities of its offload processor; and
  • Ability to use FCoE on any compatible 10 GbE adapter, eliminating vendor lock-in.

A white paper about enabling Intel Open FCoE in VMware vSphere 5 is available at

About the Author

Leila Meyer is a technology writer based in British Columbia. She can be reached at [email protected].

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