Storage Area Industry Network

By Mannu Mathew | Sub Editor | ELE Times

SANs utilizes the Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) for open systems and proprietary variants for mainframes. In addition, the use of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) makes it possible to move FC traffic across existing high speed Ethernet infrastructures and converge storage and IP protocols onto a single cable. Other technologies like Internet Small Computing System Interface (iSCSI), commonly used in small and medium sized organizations as a less expensive alternative to FC, and InfiniBand, commonly used in high performance computing environments, can also be used. In addition, it is possible to use gateways to move data between different SAN technologies.

A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a specialized, high-speed network that provides block-level network access to storage. SANs are typically composed of hosts, switches, storage elements, and storage devices that are interconnected using a variety of technologies, topologies, and protocols. SANs may also span multiple sites. A SAN presents storage devices to a host such that the storage appears to be locally attached. This simplified presentation of storage to a host is accomplished through the use of different types of virtualization.

A storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated high-speed network or subnetwork that interconnects and presents shared pools of storage devices to multiple servers. A SAN moves storage resources off the common user network and reorganizes them into an independent, high-performance network. This enables each server to access shared storage as if it were a drive directly attached to the server. When a host wants to access a storage device on the SAN, it sends out a block-based access request for the storage device.

SAN Topology and Protocols

SAN switches connect servers and pools of shared storage devices. A SAN switch’s only job is to move storage traffic. SAN switches are often fibre Channel switches that are compatible with the FC protocol on which many SANs are based. The switch checks the data packet and identifies its origin and destination. Then, the switch directs the packet to the right storage system. FC switches are meant to be used with high-performance networks.

Organizations use SANs for distributed applications that need fast local network performance. SANs improve the availability of applications through multiple data paths. They can also improve application performance because they enable IT administrators to offload storage functions and segregate networks. Additionally, SANs help increase the effectiveness and use of storage because they enable administrators to consolidate resources and deliver tiered storage. SANs also improve data protection and security. Finally, SANs can span multiple sites, which helps companies with their business continuity strategies.

Storage area network (SAN) topology refers to the arrangement or configuration used by SANs. SANs typically use a fiber channel fabric topology, which is an infrastructure specifically engineered to manage storage communications. It offers more rapid and reliable access than the higher-level protocols used in network-attached storage (NAS). In concept, a fabric is identical to a network segment in a local area network (LAN). A standard fiber channel SAN fabric consists of several fiber channel switches.

A storage area network (SAN) is based on Fibre Channel technology. Therefore, the three SAN topologies—point-to-point, Fibre Channel-Arbitrated Loop (FC-AL), and switched Fabric—are the same as Fibre Channel topologies. Of these three, FC-AL and switched Fabric are implemented more commonly because they are cost-effective, high-performing, and scalable. Although the point-to-point topology offers the best performance of the three, it incurs high costs and, therefore, is used only in specialized cases. An effective mix of these three topologies can be implemented to meet the specific requirements.

Storage area networks (SAN) are a common storage architecture for businesses that need performance and storage space. A SAN connects servers to a range of block level storage called logical disk units (LUNs). There are several SAN protocols you can use.

Storage area networks (SAN) are a common storage architecture for businesses that need performance and storage space. A SAN connects servers to a range of block level storage called logical disk units (LUNs). There are several SAN protocols you can use.

The next generation IT platform is built on social networking, mobile computing, cloud services, and big data analytics technologies. Applications that support these technologies require significantly higher performance, scalability, and availability compared to the traditional applications. Storage technology solutions that can meet the requirements are:

  • Advanced Storage Area Network (SAN)
  • Different types of SAN implementations such as Fibre Channel (FC) SAN, Internet Protocol (IP) SAN, Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) SAN
  • Virtualization in SAN
  • Software-defined networking

Let us also look at the new products in the storage and memory area:

Toshiba MG08 Enterprise Capacity HDDs            

Toshiba MG08 Enterprise Capacity Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) use 9-disk design and offer 16TB of Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) capacity and 7200 rpm performance. These HDDs are available with either a Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) 6.0Gbit/s or 12.0Gbit/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface.

Mikroe SRAM 2 Click             

Mikroe SRAM 2 Click features Anvo-Systems Dresden ANV32A62A SRAM memory, a 64Kb serial SRAM with a non-volatile SONOS storage element. It’s organized as 8k words of 8 bits each. Communication is via I2C with up to 4 cascadable devices that can share the common bus. The serial nvSRAM provides access and cycle times with unlimited read and write endurance of an SRAM.

ABLIC S-34C04A 2-Wire Serial EEPROM

ABLIC S-34C04A 2-Wire Serial EEPROM is designed for Dual In-line Memory Module (DIMM) serial presence detect and operates in 1.7V to 3.6V voltage range. This EEPROM features 4Kb memory capacity and the organization of 2 pages × 256-word × 8-bit. The S-34C04A EEPROM comes with page write and sequential read.

Renesas Electronics SRAM Memory and Data Storage Products

Renesas Electronics SRAM Memory and Data Storage Products offer high density and high-performance RAMs using advanced low-power SRAM technologies. These SRAM products operate from -40°C to 85°C wide temperature range and 2.7V to 3.6V (3V part) or 4.5V to 5.5V (5V part) voltage range.

Greenliant ArmourDrive PX Industrial Memory Cards

Greenliant ArmourDrive PX Industrial Memory Cards are built with advanced 3-bit-per-cell (TLC) 3D NAND and operate between -40°C and 85°C. The ArmourDrive’s advanced NAND management technology improves endurance, enhances data security, and helps prevent data loss during unexpected power loss events.

Swissbit Secure Boot Solution for Raspberry Pi

Swissbit Secure Boot Solution for Raspberry Pi consists of PS-45u DP microSDHC memory cards and PU-50n DP USB flash drive. These memory devices feature Raspberry Pi boot loader protection, user data encryption and boot code, authentication, and many configurable security policies.

Panasonic GA Series 2D MLC NAND microSDHC Memory Card          

Panasonic GA Series 2D MLC NAND microSDHC Memory Card features an automatic data refresh function for high data retention, making it ideal for applications that require unpowered memory cards for extended periods. The consumer plus-grade 8GB card utilizes a highly reliable 64Gb NAND die in 2D MLC form, which offers a low risk of end of life or bill of materials (BOM) changes.

Toshiba MG08 Enterprise Capacity HDDs

Toshiba MG08 Enterprise Capacity Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) use 9-disk design and offer 16TB of Conventional Magnetic Recording (CMR) capacity and 7200 rpm performance. These HDDs are available with either a Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) 6.0Gbit/s or 12.0Gbit/s Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interface.

Swissbit U-58 Industrial Embedded USB Flash Drives        

Swissbit U-58 Industrial Embedded USB Flash Drives offer page based flash management for increased endurance and random performance. These drives have optimized FW algorithms especially for high read access and long data retention applications. The U-58 USB flash drives come in 8GB and 16GB capacities with 26.65mm x 36.8mm form factor.

Connectivity is undergoing at-scale transformation all over the world, and making genuine leaps in specific areas. Software vendors are rethinking their professional-services capabilities in order to satiate the evolving customer demand and maintain their margin growth. Industrials are facing the implication to incorporate high-performance backup and recovery capabilities with data availability and device sharing to accelerate progress and foster innovation. Storage area networks (SAN) improve overall server performance with server-less backup. As per a new FMI study, the global deployment of storage area networks will surpass US$ 20 Bn by 2022.

By Mannu Mathew | Sub Editor | ELE Times

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