Performance and cheap storage

Greg A. Woods woods-cyrus at
Sat Jul 29 17:54:43 EDT 2006

At Wed, 26 Jul 2006 16:20:57 -0500,
Greg Harris wrote:
> On 7/26/06 3:33 PM, "Greg A. Woods" <woods-cyrus at> wrote:
> > Using a SCSI host interface isn't going to be nearly so flexible as
> > using a Fibre Channel one, especially in the longer run (e.g. if you
> > ever want to add more storage, more storage controllers, share them
> > amongst multiple hosts, add backup devices and also share them between
> > hosts, etc., etc., etc.).
> If your really looking for flexibility, check out Left Hand Networks
> solution.  Their claim is that they can beat FC stuff.  Not having the need
> for speed at this point, I can't testify personally for how fast, but the
> solution looks like an awesome concept with lots of real world app.

Left Hand Networks just sell an "open" iSCSI based SAN implementation.

While iSCSI might be a more flexible solution at some time in the
future, it's still relatively bleeding edge, especially in terms of
wide-spread adoption and wide-spread installed base and existing
industry experience.

I think Fibre Channel will still give one far more options for the
immediate future, including lots of options for low-end and used gear

Right now I think beating FC in the performance department depends on
buiding dedicated 10-GigE networks and using rather high-end processors
as iSCSI is typically still implemented deep in the OS, not yet in smart
controllers that simply make it look like a more traditional storage
device thus off-loading all the protocol handling to a dedicated control
processor.  In other words the very things that supposedly make iSCSI
more flexible are also the same things which can easily hobble its
performance if one doesn't design one's infrastructure very carefully.

						Greg A. Woods

H:+1 416 218-0098 W:+1 416 489-5852 x122 VE3TCP RoboHack <woods at>
Planix, Inc. <woods at>       Secrets of the Weird <woods at>

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