"FCoE vs. iSCSI - Making the Choice" from Interop Las Vegas 2011

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The notion that Fibre Channel is for data centers and iSCSI is for SMB’s and workgroups is outdated. Increases in LAN speeds and the coming of lossless Ethernet position iSCSI as a good fit for the data center. Whether your organization adopts FC or iSCSI depends on many factors like current product set, future application demands, organizational skill-set and budget. In this session we will discuss the different conditions where FC or IsCSI are the right fit, why you should use one and when to kick either to the curb.

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  • The average server includes quite a few back-end ports, from traditional data networking to storage connectivity, management, and clustering. Many server manufacturers are consolidating most or all of these functions on 10 GbE, and improving performance at the same time. Rather than four bonded Gigabit Ethernet ports, less than half the capacity of a single 10 GbE connection is required. Next, server management is moved to the same IP/Ethernet connection, and capacity is left over for iSCSI to replace a Gigabit Ethernet or Fibre Channel port or two. Even cluster communication will be bundled over 10 GbE, whether a simple IP heartbeat or advanced DMA using RoCE. The average server now needs just two redundant 10 GbE ports rather than up to a dozen ports and cables.
  • "FCoE vs. iSCSI - Making the Choice" from Interop Las Vegas 2011

    1. 1. FCoE vs. iSCSIMaking the Choice<br />Stephen Foskett<br />stephen@fosketts.net<br />@SFoskett<br />FoskettServices.com<br />Blog.Fosketts.net<br />GestaltIT.com<br />
    2. 2. This is Not a Rah-Rah Session<br />
    3. 3. This is Not a Cage Match<br />
    4. 4. First, let’s talk about convergence and Ethernet<br />
    5. 5. Converging on Convergence<br />Data centers rely more on standard ingredients<br />What will connect these systems together?<br />IP and Ethernet are logical choices<br />
    6. 6. Drivers of Convergence<br />
    7. 7. What's in it for you?<br />
    8. 8. The Storage Network Roadmap<br />
    9. 9. Performance: Throughput vs. Latency<br />High-Throughput<br />Low Latency<br />
    10. 10. Serious Performance<br />10 GbE is faster than most storage interconnects<br />iSCSI and FCoE both can perform at wire-rate<br />
    11. 11. Latency is Critical Too<br />Latency is even more critical in shared storage<br />
    12. 12. Benefits Beyond Speed<br />10 GbE takes performance off the table (for now…)<br />But performance is only half the story:<br />Simplified connectivity<br />New network architecture<br />Virtual machine mobility<br />
    13. 13. Server Connectivity<br />1 GbE Network<br />1 GbE Cluster<br />4G FC Storage<br />10 GbE<br />(Plus 6 Gbps extra capacity)<br />
    14. 14. Flexibility<br />No more rats-nest of cables<br />Servers become interchangeable units<br />Swappable<br />Brought on line quickly<br />Few cable connections <br />Less concern about availability of I/O slots, cards and ports<br />CPU, memory, chipset are deciding factor, not HBA or network adapter<br />
    15. 15. Changing Data Center<br />Placement and cabling of SAN switches and adapters dictates where to install servers<br />Considerations for placing SAN-attached servers:<br />Cable types and lengths<br />Switch location<br />Logical SAN layout<br />Applies to both FC and GbEiSCSISANs<br />Unified 10 GbE network allows the same data and storage networking in any rack position<br />
    16. 16. Virtualization: Performance and Flexibility<br />Performance and flexibility benefits are amplified with virtual servers<br />10 GbE acceleration of storage performance, especially latency – “the I/O blender”<br />Can allow performance-sensitive applications to use virtual servers<br />
    17. 17. Virtual Machine Mobility<br />Moving virtual machines is the next big challenge<br />Physical servers are difficult to move around and between data centers<br />Pent-up desire to move virtual machines from host to host and even to different physical locations<br />
    18. 18. Enhanced 10 Gb Ethernet<br /><ul><li>Ethernet and SCSI were not made for each other
    19. 19. SCSI expects a lossless transport with guaranteed delivery
    20. 20. Ethernet expects higher-level protocols to take care of issues
    21. 21. “Data Center Bridging” is a project to create lossless Ethernet
    22. 22. AKA Data Center Ethernet (DCE), Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE)
    23. 23. iSCSI and NFS are happy with or without DCB
    24. 24. DCB is a work in progress
    25. 25. FCoE requires PFC (Qbb or PAUSE), DCBX (Qaz)
    26. 26. QCN (Qau) is still not ready</li></ul>Priority Flow Control (PFC)<br />802.1Qbb<br />Congestion Management (QCN)<br />802.1Qau<br />Bandwidth Management (ETS)<br />802.1Qaz<br />PAUSE<br />802.3x<br />Data Center Bridging Exchange Protocol (DCBX)<br />Traffic Classes 802.1p/Q<br />
    27. 27. Flow Control<br />PAUSE (802.3x)<br />Reactive not proactive (like FC credit approach)<br />Allows a receiver to block incoming traffic in a point-to-point Ethernet link<br />Priority Flow Control 802.1Qbb)<br />Uses an 8-bit mask in PAUSE to specify 802.1p priorities<br />Blocks a class of traffic, not an entire link<br />Ratified and shipping<br />Switch A<br />Switch B<br />Graphic courtesy of EMC<br />Result of PFC:<br />Handles transient spikes<br />Makes Ethernet lossless<br />Required for FCoE<br />
    28. 28. Bandwidth Management<br />Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS) 802.1Qaz<br />Latest in a series of attempts at Quality of Service (QoS)<br />Allows “overflow” to better-utilize bandwidth<br />Data Center Bridging Exchange (DCBX) protocol<br />Allows devices to determine mutual capabilities<br />Required for ETS, useful for others<br />Ratified and shipping<br />10 GE Link Realized Traffic Utilization<br />Offered Traffic<br />HPC Traffic3G/s<br />3G/s<br />2G/s<br />3G/s<br />3G/s<br />2G/s<br />Storage Traffic3G/s<br />3G/s<br />3G/s<br />3G/s<br />3G/s<br />3G/s<br />LAN Traffic<br />4G/s<br />5G/s<br />3G/s<br />3G/s<br />4G/s<br />6G/s<br />Graphic courtesy of EMC<br />
    29. 29. Congestion Notification<br />Need a more proactive approach to persistent congestion<br />QCN 802.1Qau<br />Notifies edge ports of congestion, allowing traffic to flow more smoothly<br />Improves end-to-end network latency (important for storage)<br />Should also improve overall throughput<br />Not quite ready<br />Graphic courtesy of Broadcom<br />
    30. 30. Now we can talk aboutiSCSI vs. FCoE<br />
    31. 31. Why Choose a Protocol?<br />
    32. 32. SAN History: SCSI<br />Early storage protocols were system-dependent and short distance<br />Microcomputers used internal ST-506 disks<br />Mainframes used external bus-and-tag storage<br />SCSI allowed systems to use external disks<br />Block protocol, one-to-many communication<br />External enclosures, RAID<br />Replaced ST-506 and ESDI in UNIX systems<br />SAS dominates in servers; PCs use IDE (SATA)<br />Copyright 2006, GlassHouse Technologies<br />
    33. 33. The Many Faces of SCSI<br />“SCSI”<br />SAS<br />iSCSI<br />“FC”<br />FCoE<br />
    34. 34. Comparing Protocols<br />
    35. 35. Why Go iSCSI?<br />iSCSI targets are robust and mature<br />Just about every storage vendor offers iSCSI arrays<br />Software targets abound, too (Nexenta, Microsoft, StarWind)<br />Client-side iSCSI is strong as well<br />Wide variety of iSCSI adapters/HBAs<br />Software initiators for UNIX, Windows, VMware, Mac<br />Smooth transition from 1- to 10-gigabit Ethernet<br />Plug it in and it works, no extensions required<br />iSCSI over DCB is rapidly appearing<br />
    36. 36. iSCSI Support Matrix<br />
    37. 37. iSCSI Reality Check<br />
    38. 38. The Three-Fold Path of Fibre Channel<br />
    39. 39. FCoE Spotters’ Guide<br />Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)<br />FC-BB-5<br />Bandwidth Management (ETS)<br />802.1Qaz<br />Priority Flow Control (PFC)<br />802.1Qbb<br />Congestion Management (QCN)<br />802.1Qau<br />Fibre Channel<br />Ethernet<br />Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE)<br />
    40. 40. Why Go FCoE?<br />Large FC install base/investment<br />Storage arrays and switches<br />Management tools and skills<br />Allows for incremental adoption<br />FCoE as an edge protocol promises to reduce connectivity costs<br />End-to-end FCoE would be implemented later<br />I/O consolidation and virtualization capabilities<br />Many DCB technologies map to the needs of server virtualization architectures<br />Also leverages Ethernet infrastructure and skills<br />
    41. 41. Who’s Pushing FCoE and Why?<br />Cisco wants to move to an all-Ethernet future<br />Brocade sees it as a way to knock off Cisco in the Ethernet market<br />Qlogic, Emulex, and Broadcom see it as a differentiator to push silicon<br />Intel wants to drive CPU upgrades<br />NetApp thinks their unified storage will win as native FCoE targets<br />EMC and HDS want to extend their dominance of high-end FC storage<br />HP, IBM, and Oracle don’t care about FC anyway<br />
    42. 42. FCoE Reality Check<br />
    43. 43. Comparing Protocol Efficiency<br />Source: UjjwalRajbhandari, Dell Storage Product Marketing<br />http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/Comparing+Performance+Between+iSCSI,+FCoE,+and+FC<br />
    44. 44. Comparing Protocol Throughput<br />Source: UjjwalRajbhandari, Dell Storage Product Marketing<br />http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/Comparing+Performance+Between+iSCSI,+FCoE,+and+FC<br />
    45. 45. Comparing Protocol CPU Efficiency<br />Source: UjjwalRajbhandari, Dell Storage Product Marketing<br />http://www.delltechcenter.com/page/Comparing+Performance+Between+iSCSI,+FCoE,+and+FC<br />
    46. 46. Conclusion<br />
    47. 47. Counterpoint: Why Ethernet?<br />Why converge on Ethernet at all?<br />Lots of work just to make Ethernet perform unnatural acts!<br />Why not InfiniBand?<br />Converged I/O already works<br />Excellent performance and scalability<br />Wide hardware availability and support<br />Kinda pricey; another new network<br />Why not something else entirely?<br />Token Ring would have been great!<br />FCoTR<br />Get on the Ring<br />
    48. 48. Thank You!<br />Stephen Foskett<br />stephen@fosketts.net<br />twitter.com/sfoskett<br />+1(508)451-9532<br />FoskettServices.com<br />blog.fosketts.net<br />GestaltIT.com<br />TechFieldDay.com<br />40<br />

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