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difference between SCSI ISCSI FCP FCoE FCIP NFS CIFS DAS NAS SAN iFCP

May 30th, 2012

Here goes some differences between SCSI ISCSI FCP FCoE FCIP NFS CIFS DAS NAS SAN(excerpt from Internet):

Most storage networks use the SCSI protocol for communication between servers and disk drive devices. A mapping layer to other protocols is used to form a network: Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP), the most prominent one, is a mapping of SCSI over Fibre Channel; Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE); iSCSI, mapping of SCSI over TCP/IP.

 

A storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated network that provides access to consolidated, block level data storage. SANs are primarily used to make storage devices, such as disk arrays, tape libraries, and optical jukeboxes, accessible to servers so that the devices appear like locally attached devices to the operating system. A storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated network that provides access to consolidated, block level data storage. SANs are primarily used to make storage devices, such as disk arrays, tape libraries, and optical jukeboxes, accessible to servers so that the devices appear like locally attached devices to the operating system. Historically, data centers first created "islands" of SCSI disk arrays as direct-attached storage (DAS), each dedicated to an application, and visible as a number of "virtual hard drives" (i.e. LUNs). Operating systems maintain their own file systems on their own dedicated, non-shared LUNs, as though they were local to themselves. If multiple systems were simply to attempt to share a LUN, these would interfere with each other and quickly corrupt the data. Any planned sharing of data on different computers within a LUN requires advanced solutions, such as SAN file systems or clustered computing. Despite such issues, SANs help to increase storage capacity utilization, since multiple servers consolidate their private storage space onto the disk arrays.Sharing storage usually simplifies storage administration and adds flexibility since cables and storage devices do not have to be physically moved to shift storage from one server to another. SANs also tend to enable more effective disaster recovery processes. A SAN could span a distant location containing a secondary storage array. This enables storage replication either implemented by disk array controllers, by server software, or by specialized SAN devices. Since IP WANs are often the least costly method of long-distance transport, the Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) and iSCSI protocols have been developed to allow SAN extension over IP networks. The traditional physical SCSI layer could only support a few meters of distance - not nearly enough to ensure business continuance in a disaster.

More about FCIP is here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fibre_Channel_over_IP (still use FC protocol)

A competing technology to FCIP is known as iFCP. It uses routing instead of tunneling to enable connectivity of Fibre Channel networks over IP.

IP SAN uses TCP as a transport mechanism for storage over Ethernet, and iSCSI encapsulates SCSI commands into TCP packets, thus enabling the transport of I/O block data over IP networks.

Network-attached storage (NAS), in contrast to SAN, uses file-based protocols such as NFS or SMB/CIFS where it is clear that the storage is remote, and computers request a portion of an abstract file rather than a disk block. The key difference between direct-attached storage (DAS) and NAS is that DAS is simply an extension to an existing server and is not necessarily networked. NAS is designed as an easy and self-contained solution for sharing files over the network.

 

FCoE works with standard Ethernet cards, cables and switches to handle Fibre Channel traffic at the data link layer, using Ethernet frames to encapsulate, route, and transport FC frames across an Ethernet network from one switch with Fibre Channel ports and attached devices to another, similarly equipped switch.

 

When an end user or application sends a request, the operating system generates the appropriate SCSI commands and data request, which then go through encapsulation and, if necessary, encryption procedures. A packet header is added before the resulting IP packets are transmitted over an Ethernet connection. When a packet is received, it is decrypted (if it was encrypted before transmission), and disassembled, separating the SCSI commands and request. The SCSI commands are sent on to the SCSI controller, and from there to the SCSI storage device. Because iSCSI is bi-directional, the protocol can also be used to return data in response to the original request.

 

Fibre channel is more flexible; devices can be as far as ten kilometers (about six miles) apart if optical fiber is used as the physical medium. Optical fiber is not required for shorter distances, however, because Fibre Channel also works using coaxial cable and ordinary telephone twisted pair.

 

Network File System (NFS) is a distributed file system protocol originally developed by Sun Microsystems in 1984,[1] allowing a user on a client computer to access files over a network in a manner similar to how local storage is accessed. On the contrary, CIFS is its Windows-based counterpart used in file sharing.

Good Luck!


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  1. Biplob Chakma
    June 9th, 2015 at 01:55 | #1

    An EXCELLENT document. Thank you guys!

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