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NAS and SAN installation

Posted on 2006-07-14
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I have read on the internet about the difference between NAS and SAN:http://www.nas-san.com/differ.html
but I need some explanations from an expert who used both NAS and SAN.

what I understand is:

NAS: we can use a swicth and connect multiple servers then connect the NAS Head to the switch then NAS Head to disk array or tapes.  but I don't know what is the NAS Head, is there any specific software to add?


SAN:connect all servers through fiber channel to a fiber channel switch then to the disk array or tape device. is there any software to install?


thanks
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Question by:jskfan
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by:ded9
ded9 earned 85 total points
ID: 17113466
You got to have a backup software  BrightStor ARCserve Backup, Storage Management

http://www3.ca.com/solutions/ProductFamily.aspx?ID=115

click the above link

Also check these links

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storage_Area_Network
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network-attached_storage


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Duncan Meyers earned 95 total points
ID: 17113475
>but I don't know what is the NAS Head, is there any specific software to add?
A NAS system may be a NAS-in-a-box with discs and the network servers in one expandable, highly redundant, highly available box- Netapp filers (http://www.netapp.com/products) and EMC Celerras (http://www.emc.com/products/platforms.jsp) spring to mind. Or they can be a conventional server with either internal disc or connected to an external SCSI or FC disc array. The server could run Linux, Windows Appliance Edition or a proprietary OS. There's also tiny wee NAS boxes made by the likes of Plextor, Western Digital, Maxtor and so on. They are emphatically *not* suitable for access by multiple clients at once. The NAS head you refer to is the server component.

In terms of connectivity, most NAS systems allow connection from Windows hosts using CIFS/SMB or Unix/Linux hosts using either SMB or NFS. Some also talk Appletalk.

>is there any software to install?
Yes and no - it depends on the SAN array manufacturer. Certainly, if you have two or more HBAs providing multiple paths into the SAN array then you'll need some sprt of multipathing software. EMC's is called PowerPath. The HP-UX native multipath software is called pvlinks, and so on.

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by:andyalder
ID: 17113791
A NAS head is a SAN attached NAS box, its storage is on the SAN and it presents it on the LAN as NAS. It may have internal disks for the OS. See for example NAS/SAN Fusion under http://h18004.www1.hp.com/storage/NASsupportedsolutions.html
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by:jskfan
ID: 17114691
We have Windows 2000 environment.

1- let me make sure I understand the concept if we use SAN
SAN: We 'll need Fiber Channel   to connect all serversto the brocade switch then to the Fiber Switch and from Fiber Swicth to the tape library or to Disk array.
do all servers need to have fiber switch card?
If we use SCSI Hub instead of Fiber Switch, how are we going to connect all servers to the SCSI Hub then to the tape library or Disk array?



2- let me make sure I understand the concept if we use NAS
All servers can have just ethernet cards, then can be connected to a regular switch and from the regular switch to the NAS Head and from the NAS Head to the tape library or Disk array.


Is this concept is correct?


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by:andyalder
andyalder earned 85 total points
ID: 17114762
It is fibre channel not fiber channel.

>do all servers need to have fiber switch card?
I
f they want block level access the tape or disk directly then yes, they need fiber connections to the fibre channel switch.

>If we use SCSI Hub

I didn't realise anyone made a SCSI hub any more, DEC used to have one made out of dwzzas but that was ages ago.

>All servers can have just ethernet cards, then can be connected to a regular switch and from the regular switch to the NAS Head and from the NAS Head to the tape library or Disk array.

Just about though I can't think of a NAS head that works as a tape gateway. The NAS head converts the block level SAN disk into file level LAN access using MS shares of NFS.
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by:jskfan
ID: 17115464
So how do you describe the route of the connection for NAS and SAN? From the Servers in the network to the tape library or to the disk array?
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by:andyalder
ID: 17115740
For file access from SAN it's called a NAS head or gateway, servers to shared SAN storage goes through a fibre channel switch, servers to shared tape go through a FC-SCSI bridge or router (HP call theirs a data router which is confusing since it's a Crosssroads FC-SCSI bridge). Shared tape gets expensive since you have to install backup server on every server, cheaper to use a dedicated backup server and LAN agents on the other servers.
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by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 17116187
>1- let me make sure I understand the concept if we use SAN
SAN: We 'll need Fiber Channel   to connect all serversto the brocade switch then to the Fiber Switch and from Fiber Swicth to the tape library or to Disk array.

Just to clarify on this point (andyalder has covered off just about everything else) - a Brocade switch is a fibre channel switch, so it goes: Servers to fibre channel switch(es), fibre channel switch(es) to storage array or tape library. In a well set up SAN, you'd have two fibre channel HBAs per server, each HBA would connect to one of a pair of switches and each switch would connect to at least one port on the SAN disc array. This gives you multiple paths so that a switch, HBA, cable or storage processor could fail and your servers can continue processing without interruption. This configuration requires some sort of multi-pathing software.
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by:Letterpart
Letterpart earned 85 total points
ID: 17138342
We are running an EMC AX150i which is iSCSI.

It has dual storage processors and each of them has two iSCSI ports.

We then run a bit of software on our servers (initiators) which allows them to connect to the AX150 over a normal gigabit ethernet port through a Powerconnect 2716 switch and into the AX.

That way we don't need any fibre, don't have the expense of the HBA's and all the storage network traffic is on it's own network over normal ehternet switches.

The other machine on the LAN connect through the initiator servers and see the SAN storage as normal.

Our tape library just hangs off the back of one of these servers and backs up the data as normal.
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