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Vol. 2 No. 2 April 2003

Virtual SANs bring order to chaos

Cisco has embedded virtual storage area network (VSAN) technology in its new Multilayer Director and Fabric Switch (MDS) line. This new technology will let you construct fabrics as collections of ports--not collections of switches. You can also segregate not only just traffic, but fabric services, between the virtual SANs. Integrating VSANs into your fabric An MDS switch can act exactly like a non-VSAN switch by using a single VSAN and using only E ports and ISLs to communicate with other switches. This single VSAN and its fabric would communicate with all the non-VSAN switches in exactly the same way they do and participate fully in whatever topology exists. A VSAN switch could also have several VSANs and connect to multiple non-VSAN switches over multiple E ports and ISLs. It is possible that these non-VSAN switches could all have their own independent fabrics. In this case, the topology would look like a hub with spokes, where each spoke represented a unique fabric connection. It is conceivable that an MDS switch could be ...

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Features in this issue

  • Virtual SANs bring order to chaos

    by  Marc Farley

    What will Cisco's embedded virtual SAN technology in its new MDS switch line mean to storage managers? For starters, a new way to manage SANs as they spread across the company.

  • Midrange or high end: what's right for you

    by  Jim Booth

    While the line is blurring, it's not gone. We look at what really differentiates high-end from midrange storage. And we look at the virtues of combining them.

  • USC Spurns Usual Tape Suspects

    In his role as director of emerging technologies at the University of Southern California (USC), Mike Lin is responsible for storing and backing up between 50TB to 100TB of data, for faculty and students alike.

  • Is storage management software worth it?

    High prices, deep discounts, expensive deployments, uncertain vendor commitment--what's a storage manager to think? We help decode the confusion that abounds in this market.

  • SATA drive challenges SCSI functionality

    When it comes to disk drives, suitability for enterprise or desktop applications has little to do with the interface, but with the drive's underlying mechanical platform.

  • Storage managers grapple with Windows

    by  David Braue

    The spread of Windows into ever-more serious applications and the growth of data on Windows servers means that more storage managers are attaching Windows hosts to their SANs. Along with that comes the need to decide whether Windows-based storage management software is the way to go.

Columns in this issue

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