A SearchStorage.com reader recently asked:
How do you compare SCSI based storage technology with Fibre Channel based, and how do you compare them if the storage size is maximum 2 terabytes (TB)?
Two important steps to compare different technologies, in this case
From a disk drive perspective, FC, SCSI and SAS are about equal in terms of performance, reliability, capacity and features including dual-porting. From a host storage interface, SCSI can be less expensive due to lower costs by eliminating switches and using embedded server or low cost SCSI adapters. FC, on the other hand, provides more flexibility in terms of distance, flexible topologies and number of devices and servers that can be attached. From a performance standpoint, for most applications either SCSI (Ultra160 and Ultra320) or FC should be sufficient. Another alternative for block-based storage access would be to use iSCSI- or a SAS-based controller to attach emerging SAS-based storage to servers.
If your requirements are for 2 TB of storage, clarify whether you are referring to usable or raw capacity. For example, if you need 2 TB of usable storage and plan on using mirroring for data protection, you will need 4 TB of storage plus any applicable spare disk drives. There are many vendors whose products can scale up to 2 TB, or put another way, scale down to 2 TB, including the EMC AX100, HDS WMS100, HP MSA, IBM (DS400, DS300, DS4100, N3700), Sun/STK 3000 series and Xiotech Magnitude 3D 3000e among others.
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About the author: Greg Schulz is a senior analyst with the independent storage analysis firm, The Evaluator Group Inc. Greg has 25 years of IT experience as a consultant, end user, storage and storage networking vendor, and industry analyst. In addition, Greg is the author and illustrator of "Resilient Storage Networks". Greg holds both a computer science and software engineering degree from the University of St. Thomas.
This was first published in November 2006