Fibre Channel over Token Ring Presentation @ WI VMUG

I made a presentation to the Wisconsin VMware Users’ Group on Tuesday, January 18, 2011 on the Fibre Channel over Token Ring Alliance and its role in the future of the technology. It was short and it turned out pretty well, and I have to thank all the attendees, as well as Rod Gabriel, for laughing at the right spots and having a good sense of humor. We need more humor between vendor presentations, for sure.

The notes for the slides are below each. I am not aware that a video was made, but if you know of one leave me a comment. Thanks!

Put simply, FCoTR is the best features from two proven technologies, married into the storage protocol of tomorrow. From fibre channel we take it’s low price and renowned standardization and interoperability as a storage protocol…

and we add the exceptional performance, the simple cabling, and the rock-solid reliability and open token rings, er, I mean openness of token ring. Mature technologies put to use, defying the “solution looking for a problem” nature of most new storage networking technologies. We’ve had the right answers for years!

Our mission is really simple, and boils down to: using the random CS paper generator, SCIgen, to create new standards documents, making every storage sales guy on the planet either laugh or scramble to figure out what the heck FCoTR is and if their engineering group is working on it, and to make buttons and shirts to wear while we drink together at conferences.

We need your support and involvement, with all of these activities!

The standards body has identified two areas that need work: competition with parallel NFS, or pNFS, and development of methods for dealing with the aging token ring engineering world. Rather than taking the approach IBM did when faced with the fact that nobody under 30 knew what a mainframe was, we have chosen to develop methods of talking with the dead. It’s cheaper and lends itself to Lord of the Rings (LoTR) references. All of us “oTRs” have to stick together, after all.

We have very active user groups, with meetings that seem to closely follow either the presence of those involved in Tech Field Day or the VMware community. This group, here [the WI VMUG gathering] can be considered an FCoTR User Group meeting! We also have a blog and have inadvertently, um, repurposed the FCoTR hash tag from some “church on the rock” that is probably really confused right now (watch the hash tag on Sundays!). We also ask that, at every opportunity, you ask your storage and networking vendors for their roadmaps for FCoTR support. Companies respond to demand from their customers, after all. And it could be you that gets a major vendor to publicly announce support!

Thanks goes out to all the people who keep FCoTR moving forward, or at least sideways, and a thank you to Rod Gabriel for inviting me to present this brief overview to the Wisconsin VMUG.

This whole mess wouldn’t be possible without the caffeine-addled, sleep-deprived, off-hand remarks of Ethan Banks at Tech Field Day 3. Stephen Foskett has been tireless in keeping the flame alive with buttons and continual promotion. The dynamic duo of Julia Weatherby and Jay Weinshenker had t-shirts and buttons with “FCoTR: Because Ethernet is Just a Fad” for VMworld US 2010 and we’ve sort of been using that as our slogan, because it’s really catchy. Daniel Bowers is the guy behind the FCoTR User Group and a great guy to have a beer with in a foreign country while listening to live ABBA covers. I definitely suggest giving each and every one of these people grief if you see them, they’re all great people.

7 thoughts on “Fibre Channel over Token Ring Presentation @ WI VMUG”

  1. Bob,
    Nice post and even better presentation. Thanks for pulling this together on short notice. I think it was a good change of pace and better received than I thought it would be leading up to it.

    No video that I know of but I think I may have some pictures. I will check when I get home tonight.

  2. I’m excited to see how the OEM’s build in a strategy around FCoTR. As a charter member of the FCoTR alliance, I see a lot of potential to change the game and give FCoE a run for its money!

  3. Codename “ROFLMAU” Definitely not a silly joke. So!! Will it be included in the next round of Certification exam update? Its about time I looked at those RFCs.

  4. So I had a cold sales call from NetApp this past week, trying to convince us to try NetApp instead of EMC. I asked them what their roadmap for 2011 was with regards to FCoTR. He had no idea.

    Sorry NetApp, you’ve got to do your homework if you want to earn my business.



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