Development work on Fibre channel started in 1988 and it was
approved by the ANSI standards committee in 1994, running at
100Mb/s. More recent innovations have seen the speed of Fibre
Channel SANs increase to 10Gb/s. Several topologies are
possible with Fibre Channel, the most popular being a number
of devices attached to one (or two, for redundancy) central
Fibre Channel switches, creating a reliable infrastructure
that allows servers to share storage arrays or tape libraries.
One common use of Fibre Channel SANs is for high availability
databaseq clusters where two servers are connected to one
highly reliable RAID array. Should one server fail, the
other server can mount the array itself and continue
operations with minimal downtime and loss of data.
Other advanced features include the ability to have servers
and hard drives seperated by hundreds of miles or to rapidly
mirror data between servers and hard drives, perhaps in
seperate geographic locations.
Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA).