Would you go with iSCSI or Fibre Channel for mass storage in this case?

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Tags:
Fibre channel
iSCSI
Oracle
Storage Channel
Storage management
Transactions Per Second
Is there any TPS benchmarking available in deciding whether to go for Fibre channel or iSCSI? We are using Oracle database which requires a Terabyte of storage and will be operating at the 1000TPS at peak level. In this case - should we go for iSCSI or Fibre Channel as the mass storage device? Thank you. Moderator Note: This is a submitted question

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When deciding your storage solution the TPS isn’t what’s important. The IO load, and the cache hit ratio are what matters. If you are running 10000 TPS and 100% of your data will be in cache, then it doesn’t matter. If you are running 2 TPS and 1% of data will be in cache then you need the fastest storage solution possible.

iSCSI runs over standard Ethernet which is probably running at 1 Gig per second. Fibre runs over either 4 Gig or 8 Gig links. You can get 10 Gig NICs for your iSCSI, but you’ll need 10 Gig switches and your storage will need 10 Gig iSCSI ports. You’ll also need to enable Jumbo Frames on all the equipment.

Without more information a proper recommendation can’t be made.

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  • RonaldBazuin
    In my opinion the protocol doesn't make the difference. Both can handle this kind of load, if bandwidth is sufficient. Even the cost will probably not differ too much. Though managing iSCSI is more difficult than managing FCP, not only on installation but also on maintaining. Firmware is changing rapidly on iSCSI where on FCP all kind of possibilities are very mature and sustainable. The most important part of this kind of infrastructure though is the storage array. It should be capable of handling this kind of load and the requested amount of I/O’s. This is releated to the amount of read and write cache and the complete throughput of the array controllers. So agreeing on the statement that a complete infrastructure for your environment will require some more investigation. But overall I would suggest to run on FCP because of management and robustness.
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  • Djeepp
    We just installed an iSCSI array. Don't worry too much about the numbers. Like MrDenny said, it's all about disk speed and how much data is going to be cached. Best thing to do is a "Proof Of Concept". Any SAN vendor worth anything will be happy to bring in multiple arrays and let you do any number of POCs on the hardware. The hardest part is coming up with a test plan to accurately test the equipment.
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