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Building The Enterprise-Wide Storage Area Network

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A storage area network deployment within a global communications company is presented. The new storage-centric infrastructure includes an open, modular and scalable storage network, not tied to any one server or application. A leading provider of telecommunication solutions was looking to move ahead quickly with SAN technology to achieve early and sustainable competitive advantage by leveraging its information resources.

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									     BUILDI G THE E TERPRISE-WIDE STORAGE AREA ETWORK
                                                Stanislav Milanovic
                          Serco Group plc, Via Sciadonna 24/26, 00044 Frascati (RM), Italy
                                        e-mail: Stanislav.Milanovic@esa.int

                                                    Zoran Petrovic
                              University of Belgrade, Faculty of Electrical Engineering
                                        Department for Telecommunications
                             Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 73, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia
                                         e-mail: zrpetrov@ubbg.etf.bg.ac.yu

                       Abstract                             today’s most demanding e-business applications. SAN is
                                                            focused on the single task of managing storage resources
A storage area network deployment within a global           and removing that task from the LAN. SANs accomplish
communications company is presented. The new                this by providing any-server-to-any-storage connectivity
storage-centric infrastructure includes an open, modular    through the use of Fibre Channel switch fabric
and scalable storage network, not tied to any one server    technology. From a client network perspective, the SAN
or application. A leading provider of telecommunication     environment complements the ongoing advancements in
solutions was looking to move ahead quickly with SA         LAN (Local Area Network) and WAN (Wide Area
technology to achieve early and sustainable competitive     Network) technologies [1, 2, 3, 4] by extending the
advantage by leveraging its information resources.          benefits of improved performance and capabilities all the
                                                            way from the client and backbone through to servers and
Keywords: Storage Area Network, Fibre Channel,              storage. SANs are currently used to connect shared
e-business, Internet, ATM, Gigabit Ethernet                 storage arrays, cluster servers for failover, interconnect
                                                            mainframe disk or tape resources to distributed network
1. Introduction                                             servers and clients, and create parallel or alternate data
                                                            paths for high performance computing environments [5].
During the last decade, a multitude of changes in           Most SAN solution vendors also mandate SNMP
computing technology and the globalization of business      (Simple Network Management Protocol) support for all
via the Internet have created a tremendous growth in        the SAN networking components, which is then used
storage requirements. Companies across all industries       and exploited by SNMP based network management
are launching new business-critical applications such as    applications to report on the various disciplines of SAN
enterprise resource planning, business intelligence,        management [6].
customer relationship management and supply chain
reengineering — turning information into a strategic        The central foundation of the SAN is Fibre Channel
corporate asset. Its value to the organization and the      technology supporting multiple data rates up to 2 Gbps
bottom line is often directly related to how easily this    (4 Gbps full-duplex) [7]. The Fibre Channel (FC)
information can be shared across the entire enterprise      specification is a set of standards being developed by
and beyond, including customers, suppliers and other        ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and is
trusted trading partners. With information taking center    ideal for storage, video, graphic and mass data transfer
stage as a competitive differentiator, storage has moved    applications [8]. Fibre Channel is a layer 2 technology
from supporting player to a leading role in a company’s     which operates over copper and fiber optic cabling with
IT strategy and budget.                                     maximum distances appropriate to the media (30m for
                                                            copper, 500m for short-wave laser over multimode fiber,
To remain successful in such a dynamic marketplace,         10Km for long-wave laser over single mode fiber) [9].
organizations need reliable storage systems that can        Fibre Channel supports protocols such as SCSI (SCSI
effectively manage and protect critical business            over FC is called FCP), ESCON (Enterprise Systems
information. These systems must be able to scale quickly    Connection), FICON (Fiber Connectivity), SSA (Serial
to manage anticipated data growth — a difficult problem     Storage Architecture), IPI (Intelligent Peripheral
for many traditional storage approaches. As a result,       Interface), HiPPI (High Performance Parallel Interface),
organizations are now accessing and managing the            ATM, IP [10]. Fibre Channel is designed to transport
ever-increasing amount of enterprise data through           large blocks of data with greater efficiency and
innovative Storage Area Networks (SANs).   
								
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