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INCITS’ New Fibre Channel Standard Earns Quick ANSI Approval

Contact: Maryann Karinch
Karinch Communications

INCITS’ New Fibre Channel Standard Earns Quick ANSI Approval

Washington, DC – July 29, 2003 – One week after the Executive Board of the InterNational Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) approved a new Fibre Channel Backbone standard (FC-BB-2), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accepted the document, INCITS 372.  The new American National Standard, produced by INCITS Technical Committee T11, defines the functions and mappings necessary to bridge (tunnel) between physically separate instances of the same network definition.

INCITS 372 consists of three distinct Fibre Channel mappings resulting in the following three specifications:

  1. Fibre Channel over ATM backbone network (FC-BB-2_ATM),
  2. Fibre Channel over SONET backbone network (FC-BB-2_SONET), and
  3. Fibre Channel over TCP/IP backbone network (FC-BB-2_IP).

The three specifications are completely independent and allow individual Fibre Channel links to be created between fabrics in an interoperable manner. Although SONET, ATM, and TCP/IP links cannot be directly interconnected, all three types of links may be present in the same Fibre Channel fabric. 

“The FC-BB-2 standard provides additional options for creating long-distance Fibre Channel connections in a Fibre Channel SAN (Storage Area Network),” said Robert Snively, Chair of INCITS TC T11.  “The original back-bone capabilities specified by previous standards have already been widely used in the SAN industry to guarantee business continuity in the face of man-made and natural disasters.  Now FC-BB-2 adds the capability of using the FCIP encapsulation of Fibre Channel frames, defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), to extend SANS over TCP/IP networks.”

Task Group T11.3 of INCITS Technical Committee T11 developed the standard during 2000-2002.  The standard approval process began in 2002.

INCITS ( is the primary U.S. focus of standardization in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) encompassing storage, processing, transfer, display, management, organization, and retrieval of information. As such, INCITS also serves as the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI) Technical Advisory Group for ISO/IEC Joint Technical Committee 1. JTC 1 is responsible for International standardization in the field of information technology. INCITS is accredited by ANSI and operates under its rules, designed to ensure that voluntary standards are developed by the consensus of directly and materially affected interests. 

INCITS Executive Board of supplier and customer members includes Apple Computer, EIA, Farance Inc., Food Marketing Institute (FMI), Hewlett-Packard, IBM, ICCP, IEEE, Intel, Microsoft, Network Appliance, NIST, Office of the Secretary Defense /Science & Technology, Oracle, Panasonic Technologies, Purdue University, Sony Electronics, Sun Microsystems, the Uniform Code Council, and Unisys.