Unified storage that supports IP-based SAN (iSCSi) and Network-Attached Storage (NAS) protocols on 10G Ethernet fabric, has emerged as an attractive storage option for mid-sized companies seeking an efficient, reasonably-priced solution to handle the flood of data generated by twenty-first century businesses. Mid-sized companies can now take the same fundamental approach to storage as large enterprises, using a storage area network (SAN) to store data, but in a smaller scale than enterprises and without the expense and complexity of enterprise-scale fiber channel SANs.
Several factors are driving the trend towards NAS/SAN solutions for these companies:
- Data volume. More data is being generated than ever before for operating systems, applications, and user data.
- Regulatory requirements. Government regulations are compelling businesses to maintain and back up data that previously would have been deleted.
- Virtualization. With multiple virtual machines (VMs) running on the same server, centralized storage becomes a necessity. NAS devices or dedicated SAN storage devices are needed to meet the VM storage demands.
Enterprise-scale companies have met storage challenges with fiber channel SANs, which can manage huge quantities of data. However, they are not appropriate for mid-sized businesses, as they are complex, expensive to install and maintain, and must be managed by experts with specialized training and skills.
The iSCSi protocol offers an alternative to fiber channel SANs that is appropriate for mid-sized businesses. iSCSi is an extension of the ScSi protocol used for block transfers in most storage devices and in fiber channel architectures. The Internet extension (the “i” in iSCSi) defines protocols for extending block transfers over IP, allowing standard Ethernet infrastructure to be used as a SAN interconnect fabric. Basic iSCSi is supported in most operating systems today, and its capabilities allow 10G Ethernet to compare favorably to fiber channel as a SAN interconnection fabric.
- Layer 3 licenses have been installed on XSM7224S switches as they are native Layer 2+ switches. No additional license is needed for the M5300-52G3 switches, as they are native Layer 3 switches.
- An existing DHCP server is used to manage dynamic and static DHCP pools.
- Best practices are used to design and implement switch stacking and redundancy/failover.
- A Netgear ReadyData 5200 storage server is used with the recommended bonded gigabit interfaces using passive LACP mode, Layer 3 / Layer 4 hash type, and short LACP timer. By default, netgear Layer 3 switches have LACP enabled globally, LACP mode set to active, and lacP timer set to short. For LACP to operate, only one side of the link needs to be in the active mode. Refer to the storage vendor documentation for information on selecting optimal settings, and modify LACP-related commands in this application note as necessary.
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