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Items Tagged: FC


Emulex FibreSpy: Powering Next Generation Storage Architectures - Product Profile

Through the acquisition of Vixel last year, Emulex got access to InSpeed Switch-on-a-Chip (SOC) technology, which is now practically omnipresent in storage systems from just about all storage suppliers. In a one-two punch Emulex has now brought FibreSpy technology to the market.


Publish date: 01/01/05

Cisco MDS

We’ve seen a rapid evolution in SAN fabric switching technologies in the past 18 months. The entire switching category is exploding with more intelligent, flexible, and scalable fabric architectures. Enterprises are very keen to get their hands on real-time fabric management tools, virtual abstraction capabilities, and multi-protocol support, to name just a few advances. Why? Because these technologies are central to establishing significant SAN ROI.

Publish date: 07/01/06

Cisco MDS 9124

Since its entry into the Fibre Channel switching market in 2002, Cisco has rapidly taken share from its rivals to become the market share leader at the high end of the market. To date, Cisco has competed primarily in the director-class category while competitors Brocade and McData have offered end to end product lines from directors down to 8-port fabric switches. With the release of Cisco’s MDS 9124, an 8-port switch expandable to 24 ports, Cisco has extended its MDS line to fully compete on both ends of the switch spectrum.

Publish date: 12/01/06

NetApp SAN Efficiency

Storage efficiency is often bandied about in realms of archive and deduplication, but storage efficiency should be front and center when it comes to the golden tier of enterprise storage – primary storage. That is after all the most expensive storage resource in the data center. The problem is, few vendors have been able to do very much about storage efficiency without messing with the IOPs, raw throughput, low latency, and controller processing power that are the most precious components of enterprise storage. NetApp claims they think different here, and because they think different, they claim the storage architecture they’ve built - that delivers unified multiprotocol single system storage across the entire family of NetApp FAS systems - can deliver efficiency beyond the competition. In this Technology Validation, we took a FAS3270 infrastructure through a series of hands-on tests that made it clear that efficiency runs deep in the NetApp storage portfolio.

Publish date: 04/25/11

QLogic Introduces Innovative Adapter Portfolio for Next-Generation Storage and Data Networks

Versatile Design Powers Both Native 16Gb Fibre Channel and 10Gb Ethernet Converged Networks With Features Optimized for Virtualized and Cloud Computing Environments

  • Premiered: 09/28/11
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: GlobeNewswire.com
Topic(s): TBA Qlogic TBA FC TBA Fibre Channel TBA Cloud

Midrange Reinvented - the IBM Storwize V7000

In this Product in Depth, we take a look at the IBM Storwize V7000 and how it has harnessed a unique range of sophisticated heterogeneous storage virtualization technology from the IBM portfolio of intellectual property, and turned these technologies into building blocks for a next generation mid-range storage array.  The result is a unique foundation to unify the consolidating and virtualizing infrastructure.

Publish date: 11/19/10

VI - Top Six Physical Layer Best Practices: Maintaining Fiber Optics for the High Speed Data Center

Whether it’s handling more data, accelerating mission-critical applications, or ultimately delivering superior customer satisfaction, businesses are requiring IT to go faster, farther, and at ever-larger scales. In response vendors keep evolving newer generations of higher-performance technology. It’s an IT arms race full of uncertainty, but one thing is inevitable – the interconnections that tie it all together, the core data center networks, will be driven faster and faster.

Unfortunately, many data center owners are under the impression that their current “certified” fiber cabling plant is inherently future-proofed and will readily handle tomorrow’s networking speeds. This is especially true for the high-speed critical SAN’s at the heart of the data center. For example, most of today’s fiber plants supporting protocols like 2Gb or 4Gb Fibre Channel (FC) simply do not meet the required physical layer specifications to support upgrades to 8Gb or 16Gb FC. And faster speeds like 20Gb FC are on the horizon.

It is not just the plant design that’s a looming problem. Fiber cabling has always deserved special handling but is often robust enough that it can withstand a certain amount of dirt and mistreatment at today’s speeds. While lack of good cable hygiene and maintenance can and does cause significant problems today, at higher networking speeds the tolerance for dust, bends, and other optical distractions is much smaller. Careless practices need to evolve to whole new level of best practice now or future network upgrades are doomed.

In this paper we’ll consider the tighter requirements of higher speed protocols and examine the critical reasons why standard fiber cabling designs may not be “up to speed”. We’ll introduce some redesign considerations and also look at how an improperly maintained plant can easily degrade or defeat higher-speed network protocols, including some real world experiences that we’ve drawn from experienced field experts in SAN troubleshooting at Virtual Instruments. Along the way we will come to recommend the top six physical layer best practices we see necessary to designing and maintaining fiber to handle whatever comes roaring down the technology highway.

Publish date: 07/31/12

Protocol Choices for Storage in the Virtual Infrastructure

Over the past few years, server virtualization has rapidly emerged as the defacto standard for today’s data center. But the path has not been an easy one, as server virtualization has brought with it near upheaval in traditional infrastructure integrations.

From network utilization, to data backup, almost no domain of the infrastructure has been untouched, but by far, some of the deepest challenges have revolved around storage. It may well be the case that no single infrastructure layer has ever imposed as great of a challenge to any single IT initiative as the challenges that storage has cast before virtualization.

After experiencing wide-reaching initial rewards, IT managers have aggressively expanded their virtualization initiatives, and in turn the virtual infrastructure has grown faster than any other infrastructure technology ever before deployed. But with rapid growth, demands against storage rapidly exceed the level any business could have anticipated, requiring performance, capacity, control, adaptability, and resiliency like never before. In an effort to address these new demands, it quickly becomes obvious that storage cannot be delivered in the same old way. For organizations facing scale-driven, virtualization storage challenges, it quickly becomes clear that storage must be delivered in a more utility-like fashion than ever before. 

What do we mean by utility-like? Storage must be highly efficient, more easily presented, scaled and managed, and more consistently delivered with acceptable performance and reliability than ever before.
In the face of challenges, storage has advanced by leaps and bounds, but differences still remain between products and vendors. This is not a matter of performance or even purely interoperability, but rather one of suitability over time in the face of growing and constantly changing virtual infrastructures – changes that don’t solely revolve around the number and types of workloads, but also includes a constantly evolving virtualization layer. A choice today is still routinely made – typically at the time of storage system acquisition – between iSCSI, Fibre Channel (FC), and NFS. While often a choice between block and file for the customer, there are substantial differences between these block and file architectures, and even iSCSI and FC that will define the process of presenting and using storage, and determine the customer’s efficiency and scale as they move forward with virtualization. Even minor differences will have long ranging effects and ultimately determine whether an infrastructure can ever be operated with utility-like efficiency. 

Recently, in this Technology in Depth report, Taneja Group set out to evaluate these protocol choices and determine what fits the requirements of the virtual infrastructure. We built our criteria with the expectation that storage was about much more than just performance or interoperability, or up-front ease of use – factors that are too often bandied about by vendors who conduct their own assessments while using their own alternative offerings as proxies for the competition. Instead, we defined a set of criteria that we believe are determinative in how customer infrastructure can deliver, adapt, and last over the long term. 

We summarize these characteristics as five key criteria. They are:

• Efficiency – in capacity and performance
• Presentation and Consumption
• Storage Control and Visibility
• Scalable and autonomic adaptation
• Resiliency

These are not inconsequent criteria, as a key challenge before the business is effectively realizing intended virtualization gains as the infrastructure scales. Moreover, our evaluation is not a matter of performance or interoperability – as the protocols themselves have comparable marks here. Rather our assessment is a broader consideration of storage architecture suitability over time in the face of a growing and constantly changing virtual infrastructure. As we’ll discuss, mismatched storage can create a number of inefficiencies that defeat virtualization gains and create significant problems for the virtual infrastructure at scale, and these criteria highlight the alignment of storage protocol choices with the intended goals of virtualization.

What did we find? Block storage solutions carry significant advantages today. Key capabilities such as VMware API integrations, and approaches to scaling, performance, and resiliency make a difference. While advantages may be had in initial deployment with NAS/NFS, architectural and scalability characteristics suggest this is a near term advantage that does not hold up in the long run. Meanwhile, between block-based solutions, we see the difference today surfacing mostly at scale. At mid-sized scale, iSCSI may have a serious cost advantage while “converged” form factors may let the mid-sized business/enterprise scale with ease into the far future. But for businesses facing serious IO pressure, or looking to build an infrastructure for long term use that can serve an unexpected multitude of needs, FC storage systems delivery utility-like storage with a level of resiliency that likely won’t be matched without the FC SAN.

Publish date: 10/15/12

FC technology use still leads despite Ethernet nipping at its heels

At least two technologies have tried to overtake Fibre Channel (FC) in the past decade: Ethernet and InfiniBand. Both have failed and FC use continues unabated. Why is that happening, and what's the future of FC?

  • Premiered: 04/08/14
  • Author: Arun Taneja
  • Published: Tech Target: Search Storage
Topic(s): TBA Arun Taneja TBA FC TBA Fibre Channel TBA SAN TBA Storage TBA SCSI TBA iSCSI TBA InfiniBand TBA scalability TBA QoS TBA Ethernet TBA NFS TBA CIFS TBA lossless TBA FCoE

Dell strikes OEM deal with Nutanix to sell hyper-converged storage

Dell today revealed plans to resell Nutanix hyper-converged storage software on Dell hardware, launched an entry-level Compellent SAN array and disclosed a multi-year plan to integrate its Compellent and EqualLogic platforms.

  • Premiered: 06/24/14
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: Tech Target: Search Storage
Topic(s): TBA Dell TBA Nutanix TBA hyper convergence TBA hyper-converged TBA Storage TBA Compellent TBA Dell Compellent TBA SAN TBA EqualLogic TBA PowerEdge TBA VDI TBA Virtual Desktop Infrastructure TBA Virtualization TBA Deduplication TBA scalability TBA Fibre Channel TBA FC TBA iSCSI TBA replication TBA Arun Taneja

Fibre Channel: The Proven and Reliable Workhorse for Enterprise Storage Networks

Mission-critical assets such as virtualized and database applications demand a proven enterprise storage protocol to meet their performance and reliability needs. Fibre Channel has long filled that need for most customers, and for good reason. Unlike competing protocols, Fibre Channel was specifically designed for storage networking, and engineered to deliver high levels of reliability and availability as well as consistent and predictable performance for enterprise applications. As a result, Fibre Channel has been the most widely used enterprise protocol for many years.

But with the widespread deployment of 10GbE technology, some customers have explored the use of other block protocols, such as iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), or file protocols such as NAS. Others have looked to Infiniband, which is now being touted as a storage networking solution. In marketing the strengths of these protocols, vendors often promote feeds and speeds, such as raw line rates, as a key advantage for storage networking. However, as we’ll see, there is much more to storage networking than raw speed.

It turns out that on an enterprise buyer’s scorecard, raw speed doesn’t even make the cut as an evaluation criteria. Instead, decision makers focus on factors such as a solution’s demonstrated reliability, latency, and track record in supporting Tier 1 applications. When it comes to these requirements, no other protocol can measure up to the inherent strengths of Fibre Channel in enterprise storage environments.

Despite its long, successful track record, Fibre Channel does not always get the attention and visibility that other protocols receive. While it may not be winning the media wars, Fibre Channel offers customers a clear and compelling value proposition as a storage networking solution. Looking ahead, Fibre Channel also presents an enticing technology roadmap, even as it continues to meet the storage needs of today’s most critical business applications.

In this paper, we’ll begin by looking at the key requirements customers should look for in a commercial storage protocol. We’ll then examine the technology capabilities and advantages of Fibre Channel relative to other protocols, and discuss how those translate to business benefits. Since not all vendor implementations are created equal, we’ll call out the solution set of one vendor – QLogic – as we discuss each of the requirements, highlighting it as an example of a Fibre Channel offering that goes well beyond the norm.

Publish date: 02/28/14

Redefining Storage Operations with VMware Virtual SAN

Virtual Machines much like physical ones require storage. Storage, on all its forms, is exponentially growing in recent years – almost doubling every other year. With the explosion of storage demands, IT managers are challenged to deliver the same service levels to virtual environments as they do with physical ones.

  • Premiered: 08/08/14
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: VMware Blogs
Topic(s): TBA VMWare TBA VM TBA Virtual Machine TBA Storage TBA SAN TBA VSAN TBA Virtual SAN Appliance TBA SPBM TBA Fibre Channel TBA FC TBA scaling

Software-defined Storage and VMware's Virtual SAN Redefining Storage Operations

The massive trend to virtualize servers has brought great benefits to IT data centers everywhere, but other domains of IT infrastructure have been challenged to likewise evolve. In particular, enterprise storage has remained expensively tied to a traditional hardware infrastructure based on antiquated logical constructs that are not well aligned with virtual workloads – ultimately impairing both IT efficiency and organizational agility.

Software-Defined Storage provides a new approach to making better use of storage resources in the virtual environment. Some software-defined solutions are even enabling storage provisioning and management on an object, database or per-VM level instead of struggling with block storage LUN’s or file volumes. In particular, VM-centricity, especially when combined with an automatic policy-based approach to management, enables virtual admins to deal with storage in the same mindset and in the same flow as other virtual admin tasks.

In this paper, we will look at VMware’s Virtual SAN product and its impact on operations. Virtual SAN brings both virtualized storage infrastructure and VM-centric storage together into one solution that significantly reduces cost compared to a traditional SAN. While this kind of software-defined storage alters the acquisition cost of storage in several big ways (avoiding proprietary storage hardware, dedicated storage adapters and fabrics, et.al.) here at Taneja Group what we find more significant is the opportunity for solutions like VMware’s Virtual SAN to fundamentally alter the on-going operational (or OPEX) costs of storage.

In this report, we will look at how Software-Defined Storage stands to transform the long term OPEX for storage by examining VMware’s Virtual SAN product. We’ll do this by examining a representative handful of key operational tasks associated with enterprise storage and the virtual infrastructure in our validation lab. We’ll examine the key data points recorded from our comparative hands-on examination, estimating the overall time and effort required for common OPEX tasks on both VMware Virtual SAN and traditional enterprise storage.

Publish date: 08/08/14

NetApp makes single-node FlashRay systems available

NetApp says select customers can buy its FlashRay all-flash array, which includes inline dedupe and compression but is still a one-node configuration.

  • Premiered: 09/17/14
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: Tech Target: Search Solid State Storage
Topic(s): TBA NetApp TBA FlashRay TBA All Flash TBA SSD TBA Data ONTAP TBA Data Deduplication TBA SAN TBA Fibre Channel TBA FC TBA NFS TBA Arun Taneja

Hadoop Storage Options: Time to Ditch DAS?

Hadoop is immensely popular today because it makes big data analysis cheap and simple: you get a cluster of commodity servers and use their processors as compute nodes to do the number crunching, while their internal direct attached storage (DAS) operate as very low cost storage nodes.

  • Premiered: 02/19/15
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: Infostor
Topic(s): TBA Hadoop TBA Storage TBA DAS TBA Direct attached storage TBA Compute TBA SATA TBA HDFS TBA Hadoop Distributed File System TBA data TBA MapReduce TBA YARN TBA Hadoop 2 TBA data lake TBA data refinery TBA Enterprise Storage TBA DR TBA Disaster Recovery TBA compliance TBA Security TBA Business Continuity TBA Performance TBA FC TBA Fibre Channel TBA SAN TBA NAS TBA Virtualization TBA Cloud TBA VM TBA Virtual Machine TBA MapR

Five key VMware VVOLs takeaways

The highly anticipated VMware Virtual Volumes feature is now available, and increasing vendor support is expected over the next 18 months.

  • Premiered: 03/20/15
  • Author: Arun Taneja
  • Published: TechTarget: Search Virtual Storage
Topic(s): TBA Arun Taneja TBA VMWare TBA VMware VVOLs TBA VVOL TBA VVOLs TBA VMware Virtual Volumes TBA Virtual Volumes TBA vSphere TBA vSphere 6 TBA LUN TBA Virtual Machine TBA Virtualization TBA VM TBA Storage TBA VSAN TBA VMware VSAN TBA Virtual SAN TBA VMFS TBA Virtual Machine File System TBA FC TBA Fibre Channel TBA iSCSI TBA NFS TBA IB TBA InfiniBand TBA SMB TBA CIFS TBA ESXi TBA EMC TBA DP

Prepare for VMware VVOLs and how they will change storage products

The benefits of VMware VVOLs are vast and unquestioned. But most IT shops are struggling to deal with how they are changing today's storage products.

  • Premiered: 04/03/15
  • Author: Arun Taneja
  • Published: TechTarget: Search Virtual Storage
Topic(s): TBA VMWare TBA VVOL TBA VVOLs TBA VMware VVOLs TBA Storage TBA Virtualization TBA Virtual Machine TBA VM TBA LUN TBA Performance TBA Capacity TBA Acopia TBA Caching TBA Thin Provisioning TBA Snapshots TBA cloning TBA replication TBA Deduplication TBA Encryption TBA Hypervisor TBA Volumes TBA SAN TBA NAS TBA storage container TBA vSphere TBA DAS TBA software-defined TBA software-defined storage TBA SDS TBA Virtual SAN

Infinidat comes out of stealth with PB-scale InfiniBox, funding grab

Moshe Yanai's newest venture launches its InfiniBox hyperscale storage array and says it already has close to 100 customers.

  • Premiered: 04/29/15
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: TechTarget: Search Storage
Topic(s): TBA Infinidat TBA InfiniBox TBA hyperscale TBA Storage TBA Block Storage TBA Fibre Channel TBA FC TBA iSCSI TBA NAS TBA OpenStack TBA Amazon TBA S3 TBA RAM TBA Dell TBA VMWare TBA vCenter TBA replication TBA remote replication TBA Snapshots TBA Thin Provisioning TBA analytics TBA application performance TBA Arun Taneja

What storage problems can vSphere Virtual Volumes solve?

VSphere VVOLs allow virtual administrators to self-provision a pool of storage as they see fit.

  • Premiered: 04/28/15
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: TechTarget: Search Virtual Storage
Topic(s): TBA Tom Fenton TBA vSphere TBA VMWare TBA VMware vSphere TBA VVOL TBA VVOLs TBA VMware VVOLs TBA Virtual Volumes TBA VMware Virtual Volumes TBA Storage TBA virtual administrator TBA Virtualization TBA Data Center TBA NFS TBA Fibre Channel TBA FC TBA iSCSI TBA Ethernet TBA LUN TBA SPBM TBA Storage Policy Based Management TBA Snapshots TBA cloning TBA replication TBA QoS TBA VM-centric

Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor aimed at rival VMware

Nutanix adds Acropolis, a native hypervisor that can work alongside of or replace VMware and Microsoft hypervisors in a hyper-converged box.

  • Premiered: 06/09/15
  • Author: Taneja Group
  • Published: TechTarget: Search Virtual Storage
Topic(s): TBA Nutanix TBA hyper-converged TBA hyperconvergence TBA Hypervisor TBA Microsoft TBA VMWare TBA Acropolis TBA Hyper-V TBA vSphere TBA Storage TBA Compute TBA VSAN TBA Virtual SAN TBA Arun Taneja TBA Dell TBA Dell XC TBA HP TBA FC TBA Fibre Channel TBA OpenStack