Network Area Storage (NAS) Applications

There’s been an incredible growth in storage requirements in recent years by new data applications, e-mail, the Internet, and new government regulations. In the past, corporations would use direct attached storage, islands of storage for each server. In recent years, corporations are consolidating their data center storage to create a Storage Area Network (SAN). SANs enable multiple servers to gain access to the same storage. SAN’s are typically based on fiber channel. Fiber channel is a protocol designed for high-performance block data transfer with very low latencies. Today, more companies want to extend the benefits of SANs over Internet Protocol (IP) networks to enable more users to access data.

Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices allow companies to attach scalable storage directly to existing LAN network infrastructure providing lower cost and easier maintenance. Two methods are Fiber Channel over IP (FCIP) and Internet SCSI (iSCSI). Both standards are targeted at moving block-level data over IP networks, while also leveraging the large installed base of IP networking infrastructures for remote data access.

iSCSI defines the encapsulation of SCSI packets in TCP, which are routed using IP. This technology allows block-level storage data to be transported over widely used IP networks, enabling end users to access the storage network from anywhere in the enterprise.

FCIP is designed to allow the transport of Fibre Channel data over IP networks, which would allow remote data centers to be connected across a wide area network (WAN). FCIP encapsulates fiber channel within TCP packets that are then transported over the IP network. This technology extends the benefits of a Fiber Channel SAN across the WAN over IP networks.

The IP infrastructure and especially the WAN, introduces a number of impairments such as delay, jitter, packet loss, and bit errors compared to fiber channel SANs. PacketStorm emulators provide the capability to stress your applications and hardware in the lab before deployment into the production network. PacketStorm emulators are ideally suited for storage applications due to their range of interfaces (Ethernet, Fiber Channel, Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet), storage filters (iSCSI, FCIP), and a wide array of impairments including delay, jitter, packet loss, and bit errors.

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