Storage Area Networks (SANs)
- iSCSI is an IP protocol that works over the TCP/IP network.
- The clients reading from the iSCSI SAN are called initiators.
- The chunks of storage presented by an iSCSI SAN to clients are called targets. One SAN can have multiple targets.
- iSCSI is usually seen as a competitor to Fibre Channel (FC) which uses dedicated connections and switching which are pricey. In comparison, iSCSI operates over regular networks (e.g. switches and ethernet cabling).
- One can have a software or hardware iSCSI initiator. In either case one is using the network, the difference is whether the regular network adapter is used for this purpose or a dedicated host bus adapter – which is essentially a network adapter with special capabilities that allow it to process iSCSI commands faster than a regular network card. It also reduces the load on the initiator’s CPU as it utilizes the HBA to perform necessary computations.
- A LUN (logical unit number) is a portion of an iSCSI SAN which can be addressed specifically.
- Ports Utilized: 860, 3260 (TCP)
- The most common way to address a LUN is using its iSCSI Qualified Name (IQN), although Extended Unique Identifier (EUI) and T11 Network Address Authority (NAA) are sometimes used.
- Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) is a sort of DNS iSCSI initiators can use to discover iSCSI targets.
- Offers three series: SC, MD, and EqualLogic PS.
- The SC Series is based on Dell’s acquisition of Compellent.
- SC Connector
- LC Connector
- Single Mode
- Multi Mode
Host Bus Adapter (HBA)
- Red Hat GFS
- VMWare VMFS
- Derrick Wlodarz. Windows Storage Spaces and ReFS: Is It Time to Ditch RAID for Good? BetaNews, 2014.
Video Storage Companies/Product Lines
- Apace Systems
- Offers the vStor and eStor lines.
- Pricing wasn’t available from B&H or CDW as of 5/20/16.
- Offers NEXIS and ISIS lines of storage, with ISIS apparently being focused more on media storage.
- B&H pricing as of 5/20/16:
- Avid ISIS 1000 w/20TB (2x SSD) – $13,995.
- This is a Seagate company, product line is AssuredSAN.
- Pricing was unavailable for B&H as of 5/20/16.
- Only one unit had pricing associated on CDW as of 5/20/16:
- AssuredSAN (4000) Ultra56 J6G56 3/336 TB (56x HDD) – $119,523.
- Dynamic Drive Pool
- Pricing was unavailable from B&H or CDW as of 5/20/16.
- Appears they have to be bought through a reseller, in U.S., CineSys-Oceana
- Offers XStream product line.
- Appears units are only available directly from EditShare.
- Offers the Terrablock product line.
- Appears units are only available directly through Facilis.
- Grass Valley
- Appears the units must be bought through Grass Valley or one of their resellers/integrators/distributors.
- Maxx Digital
- Promax Platform
- VTrak A-Class
- Small Tree
- Studio Network Solutions
- EVO is their shared storage workflow server which offers hybrid storage (SAN and NAS).
- Includes ShareBrowser, a file/project/asset management interface designed for collaborative media teams.
- B&H pricing as of 5/20/16:
- EVO 16 Bay Base Media Server w/12TB (iSCSI) – $36,999.
- EVO 8 Bay Shared Media Storage Server w/48 TB – $17,995.
- CDW pricing as of 5/20/16:
- EVO Prodigy w/4 TB – $8,185.
- Tiger Technology
- Product line is called Tigerbox.
- No pricing is available on either CDW or B&H as of 5/20/16.
- Other World Computers (OWC)
- Offers several different product lines, the enterprise level is primarily the Jupiter line (Kore and Callisto).
- B&H has pricing on some of OWC’s products, but OWC also offers the products prices right on their site.
- They also have a more corporate site that focuses more on talking about products called OWC Digital.
- Prices on MacSales (OWC) as of 5/20/16:
- Callisto 8-Bay w/16 TB – $4,988.
- Kore 8-Bay w/16 TB – $3,288.
- Callisto 8-Bay w/24 TB – $6,288.
- Callisto 8-Bay w/32 TB – $7,188.
- Callisto 8-Bay w/48 TB – $11,988.
- Callisto 8-Bay w/64 TB – $13,888.
- Kore 8-Bay w/64 TB – $10,988.
- Callisto 16-Bay w/32 TB – $8,588.
- Kore 16-Bay w/32 TB – $5,428.
- Callisto 16-Bay w/48 TB – $10,788.
- Callisto 16-Bay w/64 TB – $11,988.
- Callisto 16-Bay w/96 TB – $20,888.
- Callisto 16-Bay w/128 TB – $25,588.
- Kore 16-Bay w/128 TB – $20,388.
- Dennis Kutchera. Navigating the Land Mine of Centralized Media Storage. CreativeCow, 2016.
- Great article that covers a number of different SAN systems.
- Janae Stow Lee. 5 Reasons You Should Move Your Video To Specialty Storage. Network World, 2015.
- Jon Toigo. Video Storage Takes Its Turn in the Spotlight. TechTarget SearchStorage.
- Wolfcrow. These articles were written for those involved in video production, rather than IT Pros, but they still contain a ton of useful information.
- How to Get SAN Storage for Video Production (Part One): The Parts.
- How to Get SAN Storage for Video Production (Part Two): The DIY Route.
- How to Get SAN Storage for Video Production (Part Three): Comparison of Vendors.
- NAS or SAN? Part One: How To Tell Which is Which?
- NAS or SAN? Part Two: When to Use Which for Video?
- Enrico Signoretti. Fibre Channel over Ethernet is Dead. Woah, Contain Yourselves. The Register, 2015.
- John F. Kim. Top 7 Reasons Why Fibre Channel Is Doomed. Mellanox Technologies, 2015.
- Wikipedia. iSCSI.