Posted by: Eric Slack
Eric Slack, server virtualization, Storage Channel, storage networking protocols
Originally, VMware supported only Fibre Channel as a shared storage protocol. With VMware 3.x, iSCSI and NFS were added. Now users have (even) more decisions to consider when choosing a storage technology for their virtual environments.
That’s your cue. As the options increase, so does your customer’s need for your services.
For some performance-driven customers, it could be Fibre Channel. For those without budget (know any?), iSCSI will be the only option — although there are a lot of vendors in this space to choose from. For many, a NAS or hybrid, multiprotocol solution is best. The point is, you’re in your element researching specs for multiple available technologies, designing systems that provide a range of options, and presenting the best solution to your customer.
Traditionally, storage manufacturers have a “favorite” storage networking technology, (or at least one they push). NAS vendors typically favor NFS, although many have a multiprotocol option with Fibre Channel and/or iSCSI. The traditional block storage vendors (the “big iron”) would like you to recommend Fibre Channel, but most have a NAS head and/or an IP block (iSCSI) option as well. Finally, the IP SAN vendors push iSCSI almost exclusively. But you, as the trusted storage advisor, can take the vendor-neutral high road, present the best solution and win a customer.