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Vol. 2 No. 8 October 2003

How to pick the right protocol for your SAN

Last month, we discussed transport issues for remote disaster sites (See "Linking SANs for disaster recovery, Part 1"). Once you have decided on the transport's physical infrastructure, deciding on the appropriate protocol to pump data to the other side will be your next major decision. If your requirements dictate and your budget allows for dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM), then you probably want to maintain native Fibre Channel (FC) communication between the initiator and target storage area network (SAN) device. If you've chosen TCP as your WAN transport mechanism, you have three choices for protocols: Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) Internet Fibre Channel protocol (iFCP) Internet SCSI (iSCSI) As to which one you choose, it depends on the design of your current FC SAN (if you have one), as well as the time it will take for iSCSI to prove itself with enterprise applications. How iFCP works iFCP gateways can connect multiple SANs to multiple SANs through an IP cloud. Each sending SAN switch sends packets (1) to the ...

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