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Vol. 10 Num. 7 September 2011

Best storage for virtual servers: Pros and cons of FC, iSCSI and NAS

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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