Ethernet storage is advancing towards a converged storage network, supporting the traditional NFS, CIFS, and iSCSI storage protocols and adding Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), all running over a single connection between the host server and the target storage.
In August 2009 NetApp introduced general availability of native Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and Data Center Bridging (DCB) connectivity with its FAS and V-Series storage systems. Via the same 10GbE unified target adapter (UTA), NetApp also began publicly demonstrating support of FCoE, iSCSI, NFS and CIFS over a single port, with general availability planned in 2010. Demartek evaluated this storage solution for its flexibility and performance in satisfying all these storage protocols.
This report primarily focuses on the FCoE implementation of the NetApp storage solution, with some look at iSCSI and other Ethernet storage protocols in a 10-Gigabit (10Gbps) Enhanced Ethernet environment.
“We are pleased that Demartek performed this independent evaluation of our Unified Storage Solution,” said Mike McNamara, senior manager for product marketing for NetApp. “Demartek’s lab infrastructure and hands-on expertise with FCoE, iSCSI, and other storage protocols was a valuable asset in helping us validate the flexibility and performance of our Unified Storage Solution.”
“We are delighted to test the first end-to-end FCoE storage solution that also supports iSCSI and other storage protocols in our lab and at the NetApp lab,” said Dennis Martin, Demartek president. “The NetApp storage system is an excellent system for handling combined Fibre Channel, FCoE, iSCSI, NFS, and CIFS protocols in a single storage solution.”
Action Item: Data center managers and storage administrators should examine the technology used in this storage system, which handles multiple block and file storage protocols simultaneously. This storage system also demonstrates the increased network capacity available with FCoE running on a 10GbE connection.
Footnotes: Additional FCoE resources at the Demartek FCoE Zone.