FCoE adapters explained

FCoE adapters encapsulate Fibre Channel frames over an Ethernet network. This way, the same physical Ethernet link can be used to carry both the FC and standard Ethernet traffic and ESXi hosts don’t need special Fibre Channel links to connect to FC storage. Using FCoE in your environment can reduce the number of cables and switches, the number of network ports, and the power and cooling costs.

To use FCoE, you need to install FCoE adapters. There are two types of FCoE adapters:

  • hardware FCoE adapters – also called converged network adapters, these adapters contain network and FC funcionality on the same physical card.
  • software FCoE adapters – introduced in vSphere 5.x, a sofware FCoE adapter is simply a software code that performs FCoE processing. A software FCoE adapter is used with NICs that offer Data Center Bridging (DCB) and I/O offload capabilities.
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