Industry's First FC-NVMe Plugfest Demonstrates Fibre Channel as the Trusted Fabric for Transporting NVMe™ Natively in Today's Datacenters

MINNEAPOLIS, MN--(Marketwired - May 31, 2017) - Building upon last year's successful Non Volatile Memory Express (NVMe™) over Fibre Channel (FC) Fabric (FC-NVMe) proof of concept, the Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) today announced the completion of the first Gen 6 32GFC plugfest solely focused on FC-NVMe. Validation of the proposed FC-NVMe standard's conformance and device interoperability ensures FC's status as the industry's most reliable and robust storage networking protocol.

FCIA's FC-NVMe plugfest was held during the NVM Express® organization's management interface (NVMe-MI) plugfest, the week of May 21st, 2017 at the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Lab (UNH-IOL). An independent provider of broad-based testing and standards conformance services for the networking industry, UNH-IOL has conducted more than 37 plugfests with FCIA over 18 years to test the continued development of FC technologies.

With 10 companies participating, the FCIA's FC-NVMe plugfest featured conformance, error injection, multi-hop, and interoperability testing of FC-NVMe concurrently with Gen 6 32GFC and previous FC generation fabric switches and directors, utilizing datacenter-proven test tools and test methods.

"The successful conclusion of this event provides assurance to the FC SAN community that the draft version of the FC-NVMe standard specification combined with the NVMe fabric specifications meets the demanding performance and availability requirements of flash and NVMe storage," said Mark Jones, president and chairman of the board, FCIA, and director, Technical Marketing and Performance, Broadcom Limited and FC-NVMe plugfest participant. "This event was also notable as providing the first multi-vendor interoperability demonstrating sustained low latency of Gen 6 32GFC port and fabric concurrency of FC-NVMe and FC, highlighting the adaptive architecture of FC that has more than 50 million installed ports in operation in the world's leading datacenters."

Key accomplishments from FCIA's FV-NVMe plugfest include:

  • First Industry-wide multi-vendor conformance and interoperability testing of FC-NVMe:
    • Multiple vendor FC-NVMe initiator and target conformance and interoperability
    • Gen 6 32GFC fabric connectivity to a variety of market available NVMe drives
    • I/O validation over multi-vendor direct-connect and switched fabric topologies
    • Error injection tests to validate correct FC-NVMe and FC recovery and data integrity
    • Concurrent NVMe and legacy SCSI traffic through the same fabric ports
    • Backwards compatibility with previous FC speeds
    • FC-NVMe and FC over 10km single mode fiber Gen 6 32GFC trunks
    • FC-NVMe packet inspection conformance analysis using advanced trace capture and analysis tools
    • Large multi-vendor high availability multi-speed concurrent FC-NVMe and FC fabric conformance and interoperability
  • Gen 6 32GFC: 
    • Gen 6 32GFC and previous generations concurrent interoperability with FC-NVMe 
    • Multi-topology and link speed use case conformance, including 10km 32GFC trunk ISLs 
    • Multi-vendor N_Port Virtualization (NPV) and N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) interoperability 
    • Gen 6 32GFC protocol based always on buffer to buffer credit recovery and port flap fabric protections 
    • Gen 6 32GFC use of the efficient peer zoning method 
    • Gen 6 32GFC data protection and security 
      • Gen 6 32GFC and 16G FC forward error correction (FEC) interoperability 
      • T10 Protection Information (PI) 
      • FC port-security, also referred to as port binding
    • Low-cost high-reliability 32/16/8G FC active-optical-cable (AOC) interoperability

The 10 companies participating in FCIA's FV-NVMe plugfest were:

  • Amphenol Corporation
  • Brocade
  • Broadcom Limited
  • Cisco Systems
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd
  • QLogic Corporation, a Cavium, Inc. company
  • SANBlaze Technology, Inc.
  • Teledyne Technologies; LeCroy Corporation
  • Viavi Solutions Inc.

"FCIA sponsored plugfests held at UNH-IOL, which is a neutral site, enables participants to collaborate openly while validating conformance and interoperability of FC products," said Barry Maskas, plugfest chair and Technical Staff consultant at Hewlett Packard Enterprise. "With continued innovation, such as FC-NVMe, and use case configurations tested at this plugfest, participants laid a validation and certification foundation built on the methodology for conformance, interoperability, and compatibility that has proven successful by the FC industry companies. This and future FCIA sponsored plugfests, will enable FC SAN and FC-NVMe technology adopters to grow their storage infrastructure, taking advantage of speed, low latency, and functional improvements, while leveraging current investments."

About FCIA
The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) is a non-profit international organization whose sole purpose is to act as the independent technology and marketing voice of the Fibre Channel industry. We are committed to helping member organizations promote and position Fibre Channel, and to providing a focal point for Fibre Channel information, standards advocacy, and education. FCIA members include manufacturers, system integrators, developers, vendors, industry professionals, and end users. Our member-led working groups and committees focus on creating and championing the Fibre Channel technology roadmaps, targeting applications that include data storage, video, networking, and storage area network (SAN) management. For more info, go to