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FiberChannel A network system designed primarily to support the connection of peripheral units to mainframes, or enterprise servers, within a single computer room or small building. The system was brought about largely by IBM but other suppliers have adopted the product. FiberChannel originally used low-cost optical multimode fibers, but versions for monomode fiber and coaxial cable are also specified. It uses a packet structure with the minimum of overheads, allowing a high proportion of the available data rate to be devoted to users' data. It was originally specified for operation at 100 Mbps but is intended to scale to speeds that increase in powers of two up to a rate of 1.6 Gbps. FiberChannel has inevitably been brought into service to provide private backbone services within a LAN, but its deliberately restricted packet format means it may not be suitable for WAN applications.

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