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Introduction to iSCSI

Nov 10, 2009, 13:33 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jeffrey B. Layton)

"SANs (Storage Area Networks) are popular as a storage system for many reasons. Most commonly they are popular because the storage is centralized allowing easier management, easier maintenance, very good performance, and it has a good price/performance ratio. Typical SANs are constructed using Fibre Channel (FC) networks and FC hard drives, although SATA, SAS, and SSD drives are used in SANs today.

"FC storage has very good performance from the storage hardware to the client using FC networks networks at 2Gb/s, 4Gb/s, and now 8 Gb/s speeds. But FC based SANs require an FC card in each client as well as an FC network (switches) in addition to the normal TCP networks that clients have, adding cost and complexity to servers.

"FC based SANs are popular because of very good performance and all of the benefits of centralized storage. But at the same time, they can be rather expensive and complex. But, there is the option of using iSCSI for SANs keeping the benefits of SANs and reducing the complexity because only a TCP network is needed."

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