This is going to be a mercifully short entry. I’m saving the big one for another day 🙂
One of the features of NetApp storage is that by using Converged Network Adapters (CNAs) one can use a single wire and transport over that FC, iSCSI, NFS and CIFS, at the same time.
You see, since NetApp storage is truly unified, we don’t need cables coming out of 5 different boxes running 3 or more different OSes to do something (which is what, say, a certain competitor’s “unified” box is like – actually it’s even more boxes if one counts the external replication devices).
You might say “OK, that’s cool but how does it affect my bottom line?”
Just a few benefits that immediately come to mind:
- Far less cables to run in your datacenter for both storage and all the servers (each server needs 2 cables for redundancy vs 4 or more)
- No compromises since there’s no need to be forced to choose between iSCSI, NAS and FC – each server can happily use whatever’s best for the task at hand yet retain the exact same connectivity
- Less switches (no need for both FC and Ethernet switches)
- Less OpEx since it’s a simpler solution to manage
- Very high speeds (each link is 10Gbit) and low latency (FCoE is similar to FC – no need to do iSCSI if the same link can do both)
- Overall a far simpler and cleaner Datacenter
The other part is also important: Single OS. Inherently, something running a single OS has 3x less moving parts than something running 3 totally different OSes, regardless of packaging.
Here are some cool throughput results. Line speeds 🙂
One can dance around such concepts with marchitecture and fancy Powerpoint slides, but, in the end, just use your head. It’s pretty simple.
Food for thought…