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Best storage for virtual servers: Pros and cons of FC, iSCSI and NAS
This article is part of the Storage magazine issue of Vol. 10 Num. 7 September 2011
Virtual servers need a good shared data storage system. All major networked storage protocols work with virtual machines, but some are better than others in certain environments. Choosing a data storage system to use with virtualized servers is one of the most critical architecture choices you’ll have to make, and one of the most challenging. There are many options available, but there’s no single type of networked storage that’s hands down the best for virtual servers. Each environment is different and what works well for one may not work well for another. Fibre Channel (FC) has been the traditional choice for virtualization, but iSCSI and network-attached storage (NAS) have become increasingly popular alternatives that can provide good performance for more limited budgets. Let’s look at the characteristics of each networked storage type and review its pros and cons. Fibre Channel storage For performance and reliability it’s hard to beat FC storage, but the performance comes at a price in terms of both dollars and complexity. ...
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Features in this issue
One-quarter of our Storage magazine survey respondents use cloud backup, and are pleased enough to keep a big chunk of their backup data stored in the cloud.
Dell plus Compellent proved to be a strong combination, but not quite strong enough to overtake NetApp on our sixth Quality Awards survey for midrange arrays.
Cloud backup services have seen increased adoption by SMBs, but with a choice of methods and tighter controls, cloud backup is now also a viable enterprise alternative.
Virtual servers need a good shared data storage system. All major networked storage protocols work with virtual machines, but some are better than others in certain environments.
Columns in this issue
Processors get faster, networking tech takes it up a notch and bus designs keep up the pace, but they may all be dragged down if we can’t find a fix for slow I/O performance.
Cloud-enabled storage arrays are among the ways that cautious end users are testing the cloud without the worry.
Software-only storage controllers running in virtual machines are an easy, economical way to get shared storage. But current products aren’t up to enterprise standards . . . yet.
Cloud storage is really a pretty simple concept, so how the heck did it get so complicated?