Rapid growth in data intensive appilications continues to fuel the demand
for raw data storage capacity .Applications such as data warehousing, data mining,
online trasaction processing and multimedia internet internet browsing have led
to a near doubling of the total storage capacity being shipped globally on an
annual basis. And analysts predict that the numbers of network connections for
server-storage subsystems will exceed the number of client connections are further
fuelling the demand for network storage.
loom over surge of data.
With the rise of client networking, data centric
computing applications, virtually all Networked-stored data has become mission
critical in nature. This increasing reliance on the access to enterprise data
is challenging the limitations of traditional server storage solutions. As a result,
the on going need to add more storage, service more users and backup more data
has become a monumental task. Having endured for nearly two decades , parallel
Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) Bus that has facilitated server-storage
connectivity for Local Area Network (LAN) servers , is imposing server limitations
on network storage. Compounding these limitations is the traditional use of LAN
connections for server storage backup , which detracts from usable client bandwidth
. To contend with these limitations , network managers are often force to compromise
on critical aspects of system availability , reliability and efficiency . To address
the debilitating and potentially costly effects of these constraints , an infrastructure
for server-storage connectivity , which can support current and future demands
is badly needed..
The Storage Area Network
(SAN) is an emerging data communication platform , which interconnects servers
and storage at giga baud speeds. By combining LAN networking with core building
blocks of server performance and mass storage capacity, SAN eliminates the bandwidth
bottlenecks and scalability limitations imposed by previous SCSI bus-based architectures.
In addition to the fundamental connectivity benefits of SAN , the new capabilities
, facilitated by its networking approach , enhance its value as a long term infrastructure.
These capabilities, which include compute clustering, topological flexibility,
fault tolerance, high availability, and remote management, further elevate SAN's
ability to address the growing challenges of data intensive, mission-critical
applications. From a client network perspective, the SAN environment complements
the ongoing advancements in LAN and WAN technologies by extending the benefits
of improved performance and capabilities all the way from the client and backbone
through to servers and storage.
Channel : The Open SAN Solution.
the past year, Fiber Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FCAL) has emerged as the high-speed,
serial technology of choice for server-storage connectivity. Most organizations
prefer this solution because of the widely endorsed open standards. This broad
acceptance is attributed not only to FC-AL's high bandwidth and high scalability
but also to its unique ability to support multiple protocols, such as SCSI and
IP, over a single physical connection. This enables the SAN infrastructure to
serve as both a server-interconnect and as a direct interface to storage devices
and storage arrays.
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