Fiber Channel

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A network system designed primarily to support the connection of peripheral units to mainframes, or enterprise servers, within a single computer room or small building. The system was brought about largely by IBM but other suppliers have adopted the product. Fiber Channel originally used low-cost optical multimode fibers, but versions for monomode fiber and coaxial cable are also specified. It uses a packet structure with the minimum of overheads, allowing a high proportion of the available data rate to be devoted to users’ data. It was originally specified for operation at 1 Gbps, and the highest speed currently available (2008) is 17 Gbps. Fiber Channel has inevitably been brought into service to provide private backbone services within a LAN, but its deliberately restricted packet format means it may not be suitable for WAN applications.

Subjects: Computing.

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