Fibre Channel is a gigabit-speed network technology primarily used for storage networking. Fibre Channel is standardized in the T11 Technical Committee of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS), an American National Standards Institute (ANSI)–accredited standards committee. It started use primarily in the supercomputer field, but has become the standard connection type for storage area networks (SAN) in enterprise storage. Despite common connotations of its name, Fibre Channel signaling can run on both twisted pair copper wire and fiber-optic cables; said another way, fiber (ending in "er") always denotes an optical connection, where as fibre (ending in "re") is always the spelling used in "fibre channel" and denotes a physical connection which may or may not be optical.
Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters
Fibre Channel HBAs are available for all major open systems, computer architectures, and buses, including PCI and SBus (obsolete today). Some are OS dependent. Each HBA has a unique World Wide Name (WWN), which is similar to an Ethernet MAC address in that it uses an Organizationally Unique Identifier (OUI) assigned by the IEEE. However, WWNs are longer (8 bytes). There are two types of WWNs on a HBA; a node WWN (WWNN), which is shared by all ports on a host bus adapter, and a port WWN (WWPN), which is unique to each port. Some Fibre Channel HBA manufacturers are Emulex, LSI, QLogic and ATTO Technology.
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