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Controller - Big picture

There are different terminologies related to SAN/Disk I come across, in terms of 'Controller'...:

RAID controller, SAN controller, SAN Volume Controller (anything else?)

can you please give the distinction between these or which of these are the same? What are the purposes of a controller and how do they help data access for a server to the LUN.

Thanks
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anushahanna
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anushahanna
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anushahannaAuthor Commented:
Other terms I have seen are SATA Controller, 15K Controller...
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jhyieslaCommented:
A controller is the interface between some storage item and the motherboard.  An IDE drive, for example, has an IDE controller. Sata drives have a Sata controller.

Typically in servers you have SCSI drives or SAS and in bigger installs you might have a SANs which is just a big cabinet with lots of disks.   So for a SCSI drive you would have a SCSI controller and so forth.  Some older controllers may not support RAID or have some limited RAID functionality.  Early HP servers would come with a SCSI controller that would allow you to integrate SCSI drives with the server, but there was no support for hardware-based RAID.  To get that you had to install a special SCSI RAID controller.

SANs controllers are typically iSCSI or fiber.
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anushahannaAuthor Commented:
15K Controller just mean an interface for a 15K Disk, right?

Are SAN controllers and SAN Volume Controllers the same?

Do these controllers have a bandwidth, that they can only transport so much storage data at one time?

Thanks
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jhyieslaCommented:
Not sure about the 15K. I've never had to "link" the drive speed to the controller, but perhaps that's just because the vendor matched them for me.

Not sure I know the difference, if there is one, between a SANs and SANs volume controller.

SANs systems, at least the fiber ones that I am familiar with, do have a bandwidth component. You usually need to match the controllers with the drive types as far as bandwidth.
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