Fiber Channel over Internet Protocol

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What Does Fiber Channel over Internet Protocol Mean?

Fiber Channel over Internet Protocol (FCIP or Fiber Channel over IP) storage technology links network tunneling and storage for Fiber Channel (FC) data transfer and sharing between geographically distributed networks.


FCIP improves storage data transfer via Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) and FC frame encapsulation. FCIP data authentication and confidentiality features facilitate and support IP network security.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) defines FCIP as RFC 3821. FCIP is also known as FC tunneling or storage tunneling.

Techopedia Explains Fiber Channel over Internet Protocol

Before a TCP connection is established, FCIP verifies the following information:

IP address
TCP port
FC global entity
TCP parameters
Quality of Service (QoS).
FCIP model components are as follows:

FCIP Protocol Model: FC Physical Media Layer, FC Encode and Decode Layer, FC Framing and Flow Control Layer, TCP, IP, IP Link Layer and IP Physical Layer
FCIP Link: Basic FC fabric service unit
FC Entity: Two FC entities use FCIP fabric tunneling and merge as one FC fabric and IP network interface.
FCIP Link Endpoint (FCIP_LEP): One FCIP Data Engine for each FCIP-linked TCP
FCIP Entity: Receives TCP connect requests for FCIP_LEPs. Owns at least one TCP/IP address for TCP connection.
FCIP Data Engine (FCIP_DE): Four portals facilitate FCIP_DE data transfer but do not process data. Each portal is an external interface access point only. FCIP portal names are FC Frame Receiver, Encapsulated Frame Transmitter, Encapsulated Frame Receiver and FC Frame Transmitter.

Internet Fiber Channel Protocol (iFCP), a hybrid FCIP technology, uses Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) protocols to transfer FC data over IP networks.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert
Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.