Access "HBAs finally getting some respect"
This article is part of the Vol. 7 No. 5 July 2008 issue of Exploring the solid-state storage advantage
The letters H-B-A represent the term host bus adapter, but they could just as well stand for "Hardly Been Acknowledged" or "Has Been Anonymous." But things are changing with the latest generation of HBAs. An HBA--the interface card that connects a host computer to a Fibre Channel SAN--is pretty much invisible. In your storage infrastructure, you'll see arrays, switches, cables and subsystems, but nary an HBA, which is embedded in the server and may even come factory installed. Adding to their Rodney Dangerfield "I don't get no respect" image, HBAs have the reputation of being "unsophisticated widgets," admits Herman Chao, director of product management with Brocade's server division. "You turn it on, configure it once and you're done," he says. "For an administrator installing a SAN, the big ticket item is the storage they buy from an EMC," adds Amit Vashi, QLogic's VP of marketing. "Then they buy the servers, then the switches. The last thing they think about is the HBA." But the underappreciated HBA may finally be getting its due. Roughly every three years... Access >>>
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Solid State: New frontier for storage
Solid-state media is starting to show up as an option for traditional storage arrays because it offers higher performance and lower power consumption. However, there are still reliability concerns related to wear out, the slower write performance of flash cells, and issues related to array management and interoperability.
Here comes 8Gig Fibre Channel
New 8Gb/sec host bus adapters (HBAs) and switch devices have started arriving. But with storage arrays incorporating the new, higher speed technology still months away, end-to-end 8Gb storage infrastructures are still in the planning stages. Storage managers can get a jump on their 8Gig configurations by upgrading switches and HBAs now, or by considering networking gear that supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet.
- HBAs finally getting some respect
- Testing from virtually anywhere
- SAS bumps up speed to 6Gigs
- Disaster Recovery By The Numbers
Ask the Experts: SANs with multiple OSes
We're upgrading a SAN with multiple operating systems (OSes). Should we run a different OS version in each fabric or upgrade both together?
- Our View: Like passwords for chocolate
- Solid State: New frontier for storage
- DLT-S4 tape drives at bargain prices
Storage gets a dose of medical data
By 2014, healthcare providers will be required to make every patient's medical information available electronically. While having all of a patient's data in one place will make it easier to diagnose and treat them, many medical IT departments don't have the IT infrastructure, storage and network bandwidth to accommodate these records.
- What can storage vendors do to improve their tech support?
- Lack of meta data complicates file archiving
- Users hesitate on iSCSI adoption
- Does SAP eat more than its share of storage?
- No open-and-shut case for NAS gateways
Server blades and storage
by Ellen O'Brien
Many IT shops are moving from traditional rack-mounted servers to blade configurations in hopes of reducing power and floor space requirements in their data centers. But combining blade architectures with server virtualization can cause problems with I/O and storage systems.
Change that stands the test of time: Best Practices
by James Damoulakis
We're embarking on a period of significant market segmentation, with vendors creating offerings to target price points and specific feature-set combinations for various audiences.
What's red hot this summer? Common sense:Storage Bin 2.0
Information security, data deduplication and virtualization are booming. But as we finally put some of these common-sense themes into practice, we'll invariably expose the next set of weaknesses we'll have to contend with.
- Dedupe and virtualization don't solve the real problem: Editorial
FCoE: Coming to a data center near you: Hot Spots
by Bob Laliberte
Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) has the potential to reduce data center complexity and make the world a little greener by decreasing the number of cards, cabling and network devices in the data center.
- Change that stands the test of time: Best Practices by James Damoulakis
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