Hi folks! So in the world of storage, many people use iSCSI based SANs these days. However, a lot of IT people don’t know how to make the best of them.
iSCSI can be a tricky beast when it comes to networking, because it has some interesting needs. I commonly see iSCSI SANs in virtual environments, and they are becoming much more common. What should you look out for? First off, make sure the SAN itself is quick. You can have the fastest network in the world, but if the SAN is not up to the task it won’t matter. Second, make sure your network switch gear can support jumbo frames and flow control. These are two items that are ideal in an iSCSI world.
Also make sure your switches can push traffic extremely fast. Don’t just assume all gigabit switches are created equal, because they’re not. Look under the hood, and even test them out if you can get a demo unit before you buy. Make sure it can forward the packets as fast as your environment needs them to. Depending on your environment’s needs – this will dictate the switches you will consider buying.
A nice pairing that exists out there right now is Nimble Storage SANs and Brocade networking. Both companies pride themselves on building performance based products and are worth a look when you are comparison shopping. You can read more here.