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Fault tolerance for network-attached storage

Fault tolerance for network-attached storage
Rick Cook

Although concerns about fault tolerant storage are usually associated with SANs, the growing capacity of Network-Attached Storage (NAS) appliances and the importance of the information stored on them makes it important to consider fault-tolerant architectures for at least some NAS as well.

Some NAS devices now handle multiple terabytes of storage and, perhaps more importantly for reliability concerns, are used for jobs like corporate mail servers, which can impact the entire enterprise if they fail.

Vendors are responding to the concerns by producing fault-tolerant NAS appliances that try to combine NAS' traditional virtue of ease of installation and low cost with fault tolerant features such as no single point of failure. For example NAS vendor Procom Technology recently introduced the NetForce 3000 series of appliances that include dual active controllers, redundant fans and power supplies. One model in the series includes dual active server modules with no single point of failure, and the company claims a five-second failover time.

About the authori: Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

Related Book

Building Storage Networks
Author : Marc Farley
Publisher : Osborne
ISBN/CODE : 0072120509
Cover Type : Soft Cover
Pages : 590
Published : Jan 2000
Summary :
Plan and design robust, flexible, and scalable storage systems to meet the demands of your enterprise and Web site. Building Storage Networks covers fundamental topics such as network 1/0, RAID, and network backup and provides valuable insight into the latest storage technologies, including Storage Area Networks (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS). Detailed technical information and analyses guide you through enterprise needs assessment, solution identification, and technology implementation. Special Storage Networks blueprints provide sample schematics and architectures to visually reinforce important concepts.

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