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LAN-free data transfer

I'd like to know if it's possible to do LAN-free data transfer by giving an IP address to a Fibre Channel Adapter? In the company where I'm working, the project manager of SAN network implementation affirms that it is possible, but I found no information about it on the Internet!

If this is possible, does it decrease the speed of data transfer over the SAN, to the LAN speed?

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Fibre Channel can be used as a TCP/IP network and conduct LAN free backup over it. I've spoken to people involved in such a configuration and they tell me it works very well.

You need HBAs that have IP drivers for them. It's fairly common by now, I believe, but if you have older HBAs it might not be available for them.

As to the network impact, there is no way to know without having more details about your operations - when processes run, what other processes are running, what type of backup operations you perform each night, how much data is being backed up each night, etc. However, I'd be surprised if you saw significant network degradation in your Fibre Channel LAN/SAN when running LAN-free backup. I guess if you also use the SAN for storing backup data to tape devices that would certainly add a lot of traffic, but there is a lot of bandwidth available in most FC SANs today.


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This was first published in August 2002

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