Saitech – A Leading Custom Server & Storage Solution Provider
Saitech, a government California-based contractor is a leading custom server and storage solution provider. The company offers ready-made SAN storage solutions that pair our state-of-art hardware systems with proven SAN software from industry trailblazers. Let’s get to know the details:
Table of Contents
- What Is SAN Storage & How It Works?
- What Is the Difference Between NAS and SAN?
- How Does Enterprise Storage Work?
- List of Best Enterprise SAN Storage Solutions 2021
- How Saitech Helps You Choose the Best Enterprise Data Storage Vendors
What Is SAN Storage & How It Works?
As defined above, Storage area networks (SANs) are the most common storage networking architecture used by enterprises for business-critical applications that need to deliver high throughput and low latency.
A rapidly growing portion of SAN deployments leverages all-flash storage to gain its high performance, consistent low latency, and lower total cost when compared to spinning disk.
By storing data in centralized shared storage, SANs enable organizations to apply consistent methodologies and tools for security, data protection, and disaster recovery.
A SAN is a block-based storage, leveraging a high-speed architecture that connects servers to their logical disk units (LUNs). A LUN is a range of blocks provisioned from a pool of shared storage and presented to the server as a logical disk. The server partitions and formats those blocks with a file system to store data on the LUN just as it would on local disk storage.
SANs make up about two-thirds of the total networked storage market. They are designed to remove single points of failure, making SANs highly available and resilient. A well-designed SAN can easily withstand multiple component or device
Types Of Network Storage: SAN
The most common SAN protocols are:
Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP)
The most widely used SAN or block protocol, deployed in 70% to 80% of the total SAN market. FCP uses Fibre Channel transport protocols with embedded SCSI commands.
Internet Small Computer System Interface (ISCSI)
The next largest SAN or block protocol, with approximately 10% to 15% of the market. iSCSI encapsulates SCSI commands inside an Ethernet frame and then uses an IP Ethernet network for transport.
Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE).
FCoE is less than 5% of the SAN marketplace. It is similar to iSCSI since it encapsulates an FC frame inside an Ethernet datagram. Then like iSCSI, it uses an IP Ethernet network for transport.
Non-Volatile Memory Express Over Fibre Channel (FC-NVMe)
NVMe is an interface protocol for accessing flash storage via a PCI Express (PCIe) bus. Unlike traditional all-flash architectures, which are limited to a single, serial command queue, NVMe supports tens of thousands of parallel queues, each with the ability to support tens of thousands of concurrent commands.
What Is The Difference Between NAS And SAN?
Both SAN and network-attached storage (NAS) are methods of managing storage centrally and sharing that storage with multiple hosts (servers). However, NAS is Ethernet-based, while SAN can use Ethernet and Fibre Channel.
In addition, while SAN focuses on high performance and low latency, NAS focuses on ease of use, manageability, scalability, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Unlike SAN, NAS storage controllers partition the storage and then own the file system. Effectively this makes a NAS server look like a Windows or UNIX/Linux server to the server consuming the storage.
SAN Protocols –
- Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP)
- Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI)
- Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)
- Non-Volatile Memory Express over Fibre Channel (FC-NVMe)
NAS Protocols –
- Common Internet File Services / Server Message Block (CIFS/SMB). This is the protocol that Windows usually uses.
- Network File System (NFS). NFS was first developed for use with UNIX servers and is also a common Linux protocol.
How Does Enterprise Storage Work?
Preconfigured iSCSI initiators manage central storage using SAN pool storage. Software is used for this purpose like StoneFly StoneFusion, which installs directly on bare-metal, or applications such as StoneFly SCVM or VMware vSAN, which leverage virtualization.
In terms of architecture, storage area networks can be divided into the following three layers:
The host layer – The servers attached to the storage infrastructure make up the host layer. This layer facilitates structured workloads, such as databases and applications, that need access to block storage.
The fabric layer – This layer consists of the communication medium used for SANs, such as the network devices and cabling that interconnect the hosts with storage.
The storage layer – This layer, as the name suggests, is the representation of the storage resources that have been collected for various storage pools and tiers. Storage is available in different forms such as integrated HDDs, flash (SSDs), and /or NVMe along with RAID arrays, expansion units, and tape arrays.
Storage Sharing – SAN provides universal connectivity of storage devices based on the client/server architecture. To have a better understanding, we can take the example of multiple servers. An organization creates many unconnected islands of information. Each server island is connected with a dedicated computer, but cannot be accessed by others.
Under these circumstances, if computer B needs to communicate with the data of computer A, it needs a copy of the data from server A. In this situation, the transfer of data between the two computers depends on three popular techniques which are file transfer, inter-process communication, and backup.
Let us assume that the data transfer from computer A to B is established. But the computer B will face a situation, in which it has to work with the data that is out of date simply because the copied data was not in a timely fashion. The copying of data may also cause costly errors, due to the extra operational complexity, taking place in between the two servers.
At this point, a SAN architecture concept will be offering a perfect solution for this entire situation. In a Storage area framework, all the servers are physically connected to all storage devices. If server B needs some data from server A, instead of requesting a copy of data from server A, it can access the data directly from the devices, on which server A has stored the data. This is possible, when the data storage acts as a common access point to all servers, instead of a single server. Hence, as SAN operates on universal storage connectivity, it has powerful implications on Information technology.
SANs universal connectivity eliminates the need of scheduling data transfers in between the servers. It also eliminates the need for purchase and maintenance of temporary storage, meant only for a data transfer to take place to another server. If two servers are running different applications, one need not worry about the sync of the data copies as they are working on the same content.
Since SAN storage only offers block-level operations, it doesn’t provide file abstraction. But if the file systems are structured on top of a storage area network, then it can also provide file access and is known as a SAN file system or shared disk file system.
In large enterprises, a storage area network is considered as a better administration server machine connected with a storage pool for the servers, which are connected via a network.
This will also make the maintenance of the storage easy and the scheduled backups will also be simple and can be managed easily. To support data continuity, SANs are often deployed in remote locations and are maintained in conditions, which can offer instant disaster recovery.
Benefits Offered By SAN Storage
SAN storage helps in recovering the data in case of a failure by providing stand-by storage devices using the pool of devices connected.
Easily offers sufficient time for connected servers so that they can take backup and complete the maintenance tasks.
SAN provides a cost-saving and risk –eliminating setup to deal with downtime. By changing the physical design of the hardware, a reduction in drive failures can be observed.
When the drive shows initial signs of failure, one can reset or power cycle the drive in an automatic way, which doesn’t show any impact on the regular system operations. When the drive seems to be well enough to be restored, then it can be restored to normal operations.
In most cases, almost 70% of the drives deployed in SAN architecture can be repaired. SAN setup has proved to be a cost-effective server network that reduces data vulnerability and can make sure that mission-critical operations achieve high-performance levels.
About Saitech Inc
Saitech Inc is an innovative value-added supplier for information technology hardware, software, supply chain services to support cloud computing, data center management, data storage, rugged mobility devices, marine electronics, and office equipment. Saitech Inc provides a total solution to IT acquisitions by providing multi-vendor hardware and software along with significant pre-sale and post-sale services. We provide significant value-added services consisting of configuration consulting and design, systems integration, installation of multi-vendor computer equipment, customization of hardware, product technical support, maintenance, and end-user support.