I want to create a pure iSCSI SAN using only Ethernet switches to manage the iSCSI traffic. My question is about...
By submitting your personal information, you agree that TechTarget and its partners may contact you regarding relevant content, products and special offers.
the kind of Ethernet switches I need to use. Of course there are gigabit switches but what about cut-through or store and forward switches? It is mandatory to support jumbo frames to get the better performance?
No, it is not mandatory but it helps for larger transfers. I hope you are using native iSCSI storage in your Ethernet-based "SAN" since it would be required unless you use a bridge device. You can use traditional FC-based storage arrays but you will require bridging hardware for translation between iSCSI- and FC-based protocols. The SAN switch vendors now provide "multi-protocol" switches that enable iSCSI, IP and FC through the switch but these are not simple standard Ethernet switches. You will also need an iSCSI adapter for each server or use a standard network NIC, and a software-based iSCSI driver. For performance, I suggest a minimum of Gigabit Ethernet. As an example of how I have put these together in the past, I have used Alacritech iSCSI adapters in the servers, connected to normal Cisco Ethernet switches as the backbone of the SAN. The Ethernet backbone is in turn connected to a Nishan (now McData) iSCSI bridge at the edges which then connects over FC to a standard SAN storage array. Chris
Dig Deeper on SAN management
Related Q&A from Christopher Poelker
RAID can allow for better storage performance and higher availability, and there are many different RAID types. Read a comparison of RAID levels, as ...continue reading
SAN expert Chris Poelker discusses how to change the size of a LUN in a Microsoft cluster server environment.continue reading
SAN expert Chris Poelker compares connecting a SAN with wavelength cabling and dark fiber and discusses the pros and cons of each.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.