iSCSI vs Fibre Channel.. Battle Continues..

December 28, 2011

There was a time that some claimed that iSCSI is not mature and is not suitable to serve the storage needs of high demanding data centers.

Those days have passed, and even those companies who promoted Fibre Channel, are starting to offer iSCSI products. There is no argument anymore that iSCSI has taken hold as the interface of the choice for new storage installations. All recent market studies have shown that Fibre Channel storage market has been either steady or has had a slight year to year improvement, while iSCSI storage market has been on the double digit rise year after year.

All features that have been once only available on high end fibre channel SANs are now available in iSCSI storage products. All the arguments about performance advantages of Fibre Channel are disappearing since 10G iSCSI has started shipping in numbers. And most important of all, there is no argument anymore that iSCSI storage costs are a lot less thanaFibre Channel SAN with equivalent performance and features.Only those companies who do not have iSCSI storage are still trying to promote Fibre Channel. But users are smart and do not see any compelling argument anymore to buy Fibre Channel SAN.

Having said all that, we do not think Fibre Channel is going to die anytime soon. As like any other technology, it takes a long time for an established technology to wind down and get replaced by another one. SCSI storage is still available when some predicted it will die 10 years ago. But from all market indications it is obvious that storage trends are moving toward IP Storage rather than Fibre Channel.

In summary, iSCSI, when properly implemented, provides high performance, hence making it a suitable to deploy in core applications. iSCSI is easy to understand and lower cost makes it a strong choice for medium to large enterprises. Having an end-to-end Ethernet IP environment is an added benefit to iSCSI. A properly designed iSCSI infrastructure and storage platform is good enough to handle any storage application currently handled by a Fibre Channel SAN.


What is snapshot, why do I need it?

December 19, 2011

Currently, most storage providers use this technology called Snapshot. This technology uses a method called “Copy On Write” which means that, if a location is changed, old data from the time snapshot for that location is stored in a repository called SnapSpace. The consequential snapshot will look like an actual volume, containing data at the time of snapshot taken.

Snapshot is also called Shadow Copy in windows Terminology. But the difference between windows based shadow copy and storage based snapshots are that windows based shadow copy will take the CPU cycles of the server, but storage snapshot does not.

Why do I need it?

Below listed are some usages of Snapshot.

–       Backup: Take a snapshot, backup the snapshot.

–      File Recovery: In case a file is deleted accidentally, it can be retrieved by going back to the snapshot.

–       Take a snapshot, give that to one or more other groups to work on it, while live volume is changing.

For more details on StoneFly’s Snapshot, Visit StoneFly’s  iscsi.com

Also refer the link given below:

http://www.iscsi.com/news/pressrelease_detail.asp?id=265

 


What is this FCoE buzzword that I keep hearing? Do I need it?

December 16, 2011

FCOE- Fiber Channel over Ethernet is a mapping of Fiber Channel frames over Ethernet networks. Several datacenters use Ethernet for TCP/IP networks, and FC for SANs. FCoE uses the fiber channel as a network protocol, running on Ethernet beside IP traffic. FCoE is not routable at the IP layer, since it functions directly above Ethernet, in contrast to iSCSI, running on top of TCP/IP.

Users connect to FCoE using Converged Network Adapters (CNAs). FCoE is used in data center SANs as it can reduce cabling, it can also be used in server virtualization applications.

Do I need it? – when buying a new SAN,  iSCSI SAN offers a SAN over Ethernet along with all the features that FC SAN provided, making FCoE less compelling to buy. The only reason to choose FCoE over iSCSI SAN is when you already have installed a fiber channel SAN and you want to use this SAN, but along with same Ethernet infrastructure for both SAN and networking. Although this would be a good reason to get FCoE, the costs involved in new switches and infrastructure would keep you from choosing FCoE over iSCSI SAN.

For more information on FCoE versus iSCSI, visit StoneFly’s videos on FCoE vs iSCSI,

link provided below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQ49rtnroE8

 


MDA switches to StoneFly’s IP SAN to expand and revamp data backup procedures

December 13, 2011

Medical Doctor Associates (MDA), involved in providing quality medical staffing to the healthcare community recently faced issues as their entire data center was dependent on a FC- SAN.  Large amounts of data being processed on a daily basis demanded much superior data backup as well as storage procedures.

The problem: Apparently, MDA’s IT department deliberated a switch of their data from their fiber channel network to a backup tape. This process was inadequate and could not meet time constraints. Another issue that cropped up was the insufficient options offered by fiber channel storage, making data storage less scalable. All this led them to switch to a three phase plan to achieve their expansion in data storage.

Approach used to get the desired solution used the three phase plan to transfer data, explained in simple terms below:

Phase 1.  Migrate pre-existing files by creating a disk to disk (D2D) backup. – uses StoneFly’s ISC 2402 S-    Class IP SAN.

Phase 2.  Achieve scalability by using StoneFly’s ISC- 2402E S- Class Expansion unit, using RAID 6, for storing data involved in applications.

Phase 3. Performance enhancement, using StoneFly’s ISC -2402 E S- Class Expansion Unit with SAS 6g RAID architecture.

StoneFly’s IP SAN storage is a good choice in providing a solution to MDA’s problem due to the following key factors:

  1. Versatility of appliances.
  2. Ease of data management
  3. Advanced features that could not previously be achieved with Fiber channel storage.
  4. Reasonable pricing.

For more details about the products used for this type of storage, Please go to StoneFly’s IP SAN products.

Link: http://stonefly.com/products/ipsan/isc-6gs/

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Unleashing the SAN in Your IP Network

November 3, 2011

 Computer storage holds the lifeblood of today’s economy. From movies, music, books, and classroom materials to corporate, personal, and financial data of all sorts, everything is being stored digitally.For this reason, the information and the knowledge derived from today’s Internet-reliant world have become the core elements by which our society increases its productivity. This deluge of digital data is driving the need for reliable, high-performance storage that is easier to implement and manage.

The complete line of StoneFly Storage Concentrators™ provides IP Storage Area Network (SAN) infrastructures that are highly scalable, intelligent, reliable, manageable, and cost effective.  Storage Concentrators are IP-based storage provisioning appliances that enable mid-sized to large enterprises to manage and optimize their storage assets in real-time.  As a result, they provide a rapid return on investment by delivering more efficient storage usage, improved administrative productivity, and reduced network complexities.

To find more about StoneFLy scalable IP SAN Appliances watch this short YouTube video!


Calculate your storage needs in seconds

October 28, 2011

Follow below two steps to configure your IP SAN with the correct product –

Step 1- Calculate total number of drives using our Stonefly RAID Calculator 

Step 2- Use number of drives (calculated in Step 1) in  Storage Calculator to configure your IP SAN with the correct product.

Yes, its that easy!


StoneFly partners with Tarmin to create the USS Archiver

October 20, 2011

Today StoneFly announces a technology partnership with Tarmin, storage management software provider, to create the StoneFly USS Archiver. The USS Archiver is an all-in-one physical appliance approach to archiving that powerfully addresses the numerous challenges of effectively managing the retention of critical business information.

Unique features of the USS Archiver include an object based storage framework, customizable policy driven information management automation, advanced access controls, encryption and audit functionality, rich metadata management and a single global namespace making the Archiver an ideal choice across a wide range of requirements.

For more information about the USS Archiver or our technology partnership, read our latest press release.