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Fiber disk?

Posted on 2014-01-02
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Last Modified: 2014-01-02
Hi,

What is a fiber disk? Isn't it just a sata or ssd disk connected to fiber?
Please clarify.

J.
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Question by:janhoedt
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Expert Comment

by:Aditya Arora
ID: 39751006
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by:andyalder
ID: 39751035
I think you mean fibre channel disk, fibre channel is a storage network technology, it's a bit like SCSI, SATA or SAS in that it can connect disks to controllers but it's a different protocol. They're generally much more expensive due to them being enterprise disks and demand being less than other connection protocols.

In a few cases they may be SATA disks with an interposer to convert from SATA to fibre channel, for example HP FATA disks.
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Duncan Meyers earned 500 total points
ID: 39751072
Fiber Channel is a high speed, low latency, highly reliable protocol originally developed by CERN to carry data generated by their particle accelerators - this was way before they started mucking about with Biggs-Hosons. Fibre Channel is a transport that carries other protocols - SCSI and IP are the main payloads, with SCSI being far and away the most common usage. As Andyalder notes, it's used within storage arrays to carry data from
The storage controllers to individual fibre channel attached  disks. It's also used to connect hosts to the storage arrays themselves.

Fibre Channel can be transported across fibre optic cables as well as copper cables. FC as a host connection protocol now supports speeds up to 16Gb/sec while FC to disks maxs out at 4Gb/sec - which is way faster than disks, either spinning platters or solid state.

It's main advantages are that it's a lossless protocol , has very low protocol overheads, is very fast with low latency and It understands and can find its way through a fully meshed network - something that Ethernet can't do.
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by:David
ID: 39751230
Fibre channel (FC) can be the physical interface embedded in a disk drive, or you could have an external enclosure that has a FC interface with electronics that let you use SAS,SSD,SCSI,SATA drives on the inside.

If you want a better answer, be more specific.  Pictures would be nice if you are trying to identify what you have or need.
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by:andyalder
ID: 39751345
Don't think FC was developed by CERN, I thought it was HP, IBM and Sun in 1990, at least that's what the forward of PHYSICAL AND SIGNALING INTERFACE (FC-PH) REV 4.3 plus other sources suggests.
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by:David
ID: 39751391
Agreed.  IBM holds the early patents for FC because much of it came from their channel and SSA patent portfolio.  DEC (now part of HP) & Sun did a lot of work on FC topologies like switched loops in addition to the original arbitrated loop and point-to-point.    

But bottom line, there was such an explosion of patents and advancements in late 80s/early 90s that what we know as fibre channel involved a large number of vendors.  

I'd love to see the link that said CERN invented it.  Unless the author referenced a specific patent or advancement, then it is wrong.
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by:Duncan Meyers
ID: 39752879
Oops.. Must have had a kangaroo loose in the top paddock when I wrote that. I stand corrected.
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