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IPFC stands for Internet Protocol over Fibre Channel. It governs a set of standards created in January 2006 for address resolution (ARP) and transmitting IPv4 and IPv6 network packets over a Fibre Channel (FC) network.[1] IPFC makes up part of the FC-4 protocol-mapping layer of a Fibre Channel system.[2]

In IPFC, each IP datagram packet is wrapped into a FC frame, with its own header, and transmitted as a sequence of one or more frames. The receiver at the other end received the frames, strips the FC headers and reassembles the IP packet.[3] IP datagrams of up to 65,280 bytes in size may be accommodated.[4] ARP packet transmission works in the same fashion.[1] Each IP datagram exchange is unidirectional, although IP and TCP allow for bidirectional communication within their protocols.[4]

IPFC is an application protocol that is typically implemented as a device driver in an operating system.[5] IP over FC plays a less important role in storage area networking than SCSI over Fibre Channel or IP over Ethernet.[5][6] IPFC has been used, for example, to provide clock synchronization via the Network Time Protocol (NTP).[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "RFC 4338". datatracker.ietf.org. IETF. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  2. ^ Black, David L. "A Storage Menagerie: SANs, Fibre Channel, Replication and Networks" (PDF). www.nanog.org. NANOG 51 Conference. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  3. ^ (Corporation), NIIT. Special Edition Using Storage Area Networks. Que Publishing. p. 256. ISBN 9780789725745. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b DeCusatis, Casimer. Handbook of Fiber Optic Data Communication: A Practical Guide to Optical Networking. Academic Press. p. 199. ISBN 9780124016958. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  5. ^ a b Troppens, Ulf; Erkens, Rainer; Muller-Friedt, Wolfgang; Wolafka, Rainer; Haustein, Nils. Storage Networks Explained: Basics and Application of Fibre Channel SAN, NAS, iSCSI, InfiniBand and FCoE. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781119965435. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  6. ^ Long, James. Storage Networking Protocol Fundamentals. Cisco Press. p. 400. ISBN 0133490556. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Shamsee, Navaid; Klebanov, David; Fayed, Hesham; Afrose, Ahmed; Karakok, Ozden. CCNA Data Center DCICT 640-916 Official Cert Guide. Cisco Press. p. 309. ISBN 9780133860450. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 

External links[edit]

  • RFC 4338 - Transmission of IPv6, IPv4, and Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) Packets over Fibre Channel
  • RFC 5494 - An update of RFC 4338 specifying IANA guidelines for ARP
  • RFC 2625, RFC 3831 were older versions of IPFC obsoleted by RFC 4338