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Vol. 1 No. 4 June 2002

Scalable SANs start with good switch links

Last issue we investigated the three different topologies available to the SAN Designer: point-to-point, arbitrated loop and fabric. Fabrics are the key to most contemporary installations, and inter-switch links (ISLs) are crucial to scaling a fabric as your SAN grows. @exb Multiple ISLs increase fabric performance With two 2Gb/s ISLs between two switches, aggregate bandwidth is increased to 4GB/s. @exe You'll want to install an ISL between connecting switches when you reach the limits of a single switch and have to enlarge the fabric. Take the example of an e-mail application that started out being deployed on a single FC switch, but has grown so rapidly that it exhausted the available ports on the single switch. On top of that, upper management has decided that because e-mail is another form of corporate communication, the application should now be considered mission critical. As a result, the initial switch will need to be scaled to satisfy the new availability requirements of the e-mail application, possibly into a dual ...

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Features in this issue

  • Now, That's a Cluster!

    Lawrence Livermore National Labs is pushing the envelope with a new storage cluster that mates 115TB of networked disk with a massive cluster of 600 dual Pentium 4 servers.

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