What is the difference between Fibre Channel switch VS Ethernet switch ?

Fibre Channel (FC) is a serial I/O interconnect network technology that supports multiple protocols. It is primarily used for storage area networks (SANs). Ethernet and TCP/IP are the most common device communication technologies available today. But for storage devices, the dominant technology in the data center is usually Fibre Channel. So what is the difference between the Fibre Channel and Ethernet switches? The following analysis is based on reliability, transmission speed, flexibility, and cost.

Fibre Channel switches VS Ethernet switches: Reliability

Industry players may have noticed that Fibre Channel switches are lossless, while Ethernet switches have dropped frames. risk. Fibre Channel is often compared to a lossless protocol for Ethernet. For Fibre Channel switches, it works smoothly without losing a frame, and the data frames must be transmitted in order. Fibre Channel switches to send signals when they are connected to other devices, so these devices stop sending frames to avoid dropping frames. This is in contrast to Ethernet, where Ethernet begins to drop frames when the network is congested, relying on upper layer protocols (such as TCP) to make sure everything works.

Fibre Channel Switch VS Ethernet Switch: Transmission Speed

Fibre Channel switches initially have a maximum data rate of 1 Gbps. Now it has grown to 128Gbps and still available in 8Gbps, 16Gbps, 32Gbps versions.

Ethernet switch transmission speeds range from Fast Ethernet (10/100Mbps), Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000Mbps), 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000/10000Mbps) to even about 40/100Gbps. In terms of transmission speed, Ethernet switches seem to exceed Fibre Channel switches. Both of them are in rapid evolution.

Fibre Channel Switch VS Ethernet Switch: Cost

Cost is also a factor to consider. In most cases, Ethernet switches are much cheaper than Fibre Channel switches. More importantly, maintenance is also a factor that should be considered. In large IT systems, most administrators can handle an Ethernet switch if it fails. However, when there is a problem with a Fibre Channel switch, companies need to ask the manufacturer. Fibre Channel switches have a more complex design than Ethernet switches and should guarantee high availability and management of data storage.


From the above, there are significant differences between Fibre Channel switches and Ethernet switches. Fibre Channel is a network standard that interconnects hosts (servers) with storage devices. It is completely different from Ethernet. A storage network switch is different from an Ethernet switch. Initially, the only transmission medium for Fibre Channel was fiber, but twisted-pair copper wire can now also be used. This is the opposite of Ethernet, which initially runs on copper and then runs on fiber.

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