A: No one really knows if Fibre Channel storage will become obsolete, although there's a fairly good argument swirling around our industry that suggests it might. The argument has to do with how big the jumps in performance are for each technology. For Fibre Channel storage, each new generation gains speed that roughly corresponds with powers of two: 2GB to 4GB to 8GB, and then variants of 16GB.

On the other hand, Ethernet-based storage—which comprises iSCSI as well as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)—has generally seen speed improvements across generations as powers of ten: 10MB becomes 100MB, which grows to 1GB, and then 10GB, 40GB, and eventually 100GB.

Graphing these maximum speeds over time shows Ethernet-based storage potentially far surpassing the maximum theoretical throughput for Fibre Channel.