White Paper: Smart Style Office as iSCSI Target for Storage Array and Storage Area Network

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White paper about the use of Smart Style Office computing and virtualisation appliances for IP storage purpose.

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White Paper: Smart Style Office as iSCSI Target for Storage Array and Storage Area Network

  1. 1. Smart Style Office as iSCSI Target forStorage Array or Storage Area NetworkZenith Infotech EuropePublished: February 2010Pages: 8 Page 1
  2. 2. ContentsIntroduction and Definitions .................................................................................................................................. 3 SSO Storage Concept .......................................................................................................................................... 3 iSCSI .................................................................................................................................................................... 3 iSCSI Target ......................................................................................................................................................... 3 Fibre Channel ..................................................................................................................................................... 3 Storage Array...................................................................................................................................................... 3 Software Target .................................................................................................................................................. 4 Logical Unit Number ........................................................................................................................................... 4Advantages and Disadvantages .............................................................................................................................. 4 Benefits .............................................................................................................................................................. 4 Limitations .......................................................................................................................................................... 4The Opportunity ..................................................................................................................................................... 4Use Cases ................................................................................................................................................................ 5 Managing Storage Capacity and Performance in Virtualization......................................................................... 5 Disk-to-Disk and Cloud Backup........................................................................................................................... 5 Remote Data Replication & DR .......................................................................................................................... 5 Thin Provisioning ................................................................................................................................................ 5Technical Considerations ........................................................................................................................................ 6 Multipathing policies for load balancing and failover ........................................................................................ 6 Support for x64 processors ................................................................................................................................ 6 Support for IPv6 ................................................................................................................................................. 6 Other Technical Considerations ......................................................................................................................... 6SSO as Storage Area Network ................................................................................................................................. 6 Smart Style Office Technology ........................................................................................................................... 6 Smart Style Office Components ......................................................................................................................... 6 Recommendations ............................................................................................................................................. 7Other White Papers ................................................................................................................................................ 7 Page 2
  3. 3. White Paper IntroductionSmart Style Office as iSCSI Target for Storage Array or Storage Area NetworkIf you want to make use of existing IT network  Flexible volume expansion through cloudinfrastructure expertise to get into storage connectivity and management interfacenetworking, introducing Smart Style Office (SSO) as  Automatic distribution of data viaiSCSI target is a smart way to go. Since Zenith proprietary BitSpread™Infotech released SSO in 2011, the adoption of  Optional near-instant offsite backup andstorage over IP in the SMB channel has recovery via MirrorCloud™significantly grown. That’s because iSCSI offers the  Kernel build-in iSCSI target daemon withbenefits of storage area networks (SANs), starting command line interfacewith shared, centralized storage on the SSOinfrastructure, to anyone with network expertise. iSCSI Abbreviation of Internet Small Computer System Interface. iSCSI is an Internet Protocol basedIntroduction and Definitions storage networking standard for linking dataWithin the context of providing simplified storage storage facilities. By carrying SCSI commands overto your customers, Smart Style Office can be IP networks, iSCSI is used to facilitate dataimplemented as storage array with build-in iSCSI transfers over intranets and to manage storagetarget. The benefit to centralize storage within an over long distances. iSCSI can be used to transmitIT infrastructure project for small or large data over local area networks, wide area networks,customers is about availability, manageability and or the Internet and can enable location-scalability. independent data storage and retrieval.SSO Storage Concept iSCSI TargetWithin the Smart Style Office concept of The iSCSI specification refers to a storage resourcecomputing you can easily extend storage resources located on an iSCSI server (more generally, one ofby adding extra nodes to the environment: potentially many instances of iSCSI storage nodesscalability. Each additional storage node added will running on that server) as a target. An iSCSI targetautomatically become part of the cloud storage is often a dedicated network-connected hard diskarchitecture and data will spread across the storage device, but may also be a general-purposeenvironment using proprietary BitSpread™ computer, since as with initiators, software totechnology. This has the benefit of keeping data provide an iSCSI target is available for mostand storage volumes available at any time, even mainstream operating systems.when node hardware fails: availability. Fibre ChannelLast but not least, the cloud management center Fibre Channel, or FC, is a gigabit-speed networkgraphical user interface allows for management technology primarily used for storage networking.and monitoring of activities taking place within the Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) is a transportstorage node. At any time you can remotely log in protocol which predominantly transports SCSIthe Smart Style Office platform to check system commands over Fibre Channel networks.health, storage consumption and user activitylevels: manageability. Storage Array In a data center or enterprise environment, anThe benefits of using SSO as iSCSI target for iSCSI target often resides in a large storage array,storage arrays are: such as a Smart Style Office, AmpliStor, EqualLogic, NetApp filers, EMC NS-series or a HDS HNAS Page 3
  4. 4. computer appliance. A storage array usually Specifically, wrapping SCSI packets around TCP/IPprovides distinct iSCSI targets for numerous protocols has some overhead. It is also difficult toclients. guarantee the performance of mixed networks.Software TargetNearly all modern mainstream server operating The Opportunitysystems (such as BSD, Linux, Solaris or Windows How will IP storage help create and maintain aServer) can provide iSCSI target functionality, recurring revenue stream for resellers while stilleither as a built-in feature or with supplemental being valuable to the customer?software. There are also specific-purposeoperating systems (such as FreeNAS, Openfiler or Just selling iSCSI target infrastructure for IP storageFreeSiOS) that implement iSCSI target support. SAN purposes is not enough. The best formula is to have core competencies in all facets of theLogical Unit Number network, applications and storage integrationIn SCSI terminology, LUN stands for logical unit capabilities when dealing with SMB customers.number. A LUN represents an individually The successful reseller can earn recurring revenueaddressable (logical) SCSI device that is part of a from an IP storage SAN deployments via Smartphysical SCSI device (target). In an iSCSI Style Office by offering differentiated post-salesenvironment, LUNs are essentially numbered disk support capabilities.drives. It is extremely important that trusted resellers maintain a high-level of training and skill sets toAdvantages and Disadvantages properly understand the relationships betweenThe dynamics around storage connectivity are the customers applications and their needs for IPchanging. Fibre Channel has been on the market SAN Storage using Smart Style Office.for a long time, but iSCSI has matured and is readyto take a piece of the market, but what are its Knowledgeable network and IP SAN storagebenefits and limitations? integrators will have varying degrees of experience in network infrastructure, servers, security,Benefits applications and TCP/IP -- the basic ingredients for  iSCSI offers cheaper connectivity anyone that wants to be successful in this market. compared to Fibre Channel SAN ports To that end, a well-rounded network reseller will  leveraging existing knowledge in make their overall services and skills more valuable networking, rather than Fibre Channel to the end-users when they can handle most of infrastructure their IT and storage related needs simultaneously.  very important advantage is distance connectivity, no limit as long as there is networking  last but not least, iSCSI provides SAN storage to all kinds of machines, desktops as high-end  possibility to mirror data over IP-based networks using synchronous mirroring of disk arraysLimitationsOne of the challenges, especially for mission-critical or performance-sensitive applications, isthat there is higher latency in iSCSI. Page 4
  5. 5. Use Cases Disk-to-Disk and Cloud BackupThe deployment of Smart Style Office as IP Storage A common challenge for many organizations isSystem has many purposes, but according to our timely and comprehensive data protection andexperience with our resellers the deployment data preservation. IP-based storage using thetakes place in Smart Style Office iSCSI target is a great complementary technology combined with disk-to-  Workgroup and file server storage disk data protection, such as disk-to-disk and disk-  Long-term retention of low-touch data to-disk-to-mirroring (see also Smart Style Office  Business continuity and disaster recovery Mirror Cloud), along with other approaches to  Archives and libraries for engineering, protect data locally and remotely. IP-based storage images, software, and email enables distributed access of storage while  Temporary capacity for migration, new supporting data movement over distance for projects, or web workloads remote mirroring, replication, archiving, and  Engineering, development, and lab electronic vaulting for data backup. applications Remote Data Replication & DRCombine Gigabit Ethernet based IP networks and Remote data replication consists of archiving ordisk storage as part of an IP storage solution to mirroring. Archiving is a commonly used process inaddress various business and IT challenges that which data is written to portable media, such asmay include supporting and enabling server or optical disks or magnetic tapes, old school! Forstorage consolidation, disk-to-disk backup, and disaster recovery purposes, the disks or tapes aredata or storage sharing among applications: physically transported to an offsite location and stored, old school!. Mirroring enables two sites toManaging Storage Capacity and share the same set of data so that either canPerformance in Virtualization continue to operate on that data in the case of aMost server virtualization projects start out with site outage.the right amount of capacity, at least to meetinitial demands. The problem comes when the Zenith Infotech offers a disk-to-disk backup andproject becomes successful, and sprawl starts. disaster recovery point solution with remote dataYour customers need ways to manage their replication. This product is called Mirror Cloud andcapacity and make sure that all data growth is has been available since January 2011.necessary. Thin ProvisioningMany of our customers havent had to deal with Thin provisioning provides the ability to purchase aperformance issues until server virtualization and new storage system that has significantly lessits accompanying consolidation of servers. As is overall capacity than the current system andthe case with storage capacity, as Smart Style allows space to be easily allocated to servers, on aOffice provides adequate performance at the start just-enough and just-in-time basis.of the virtualization project, but as it becomessuccessful, performance starts to suffer unless The primary concern with thin provisioning centersmeasures to prevent that are put in place. Unlike on over provisioning and what happens if thecapacity, though, performance is a more variable storage administrator actually runs out of storage.metric; the best practice needs to be more Smart Style Office has built-in tools for monitoringdynamic. And its not just physical storage and simplified allocation of new storage systemsperformance that needs to be monitored; storage over thin provisioning. When new nodes arenetwork performance and demands of the attached to the storage area network, the systemconnecting hosts also need to be examined. re-distributes data across the new node, increasing the availability and reducing the resourceSSO has monitoring interfaces included for both overhead, making more usable storage accessible.capacity and performance management. Page 5
  6. 6. Technical Considerations SSO as Storage Area NetworkWhen researching the market for appropriatestorage array hardware and software solution Smart Style Office Technologysupporting iSCSI, you need to consider following Smart Style Office has embedded technology from the storage software manufacturer Amplidata.Multipathing policies for load Amplidata has designed a revolutionary approachbalancing and failover to providing alternative storage systems. RatherIn order to thoroughly safeguard your stored than avoiding the weaknesses of RAID throughresources, each path between server and storage workarounds or small enhancements, Amplidatamust be protected. A single link between the two designed a whole new concept of storage whichis also a single point of failure, and if the link goes guarantees ultimate availability across petabytedown, that server’s access to storage is lost. With scale data sets at lower cost. This technology isthe appropriate software support, such as built into Smart Style Office:Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator v2.0, however,  BitSpread™ encodes data with higherthe administrator can implement a high availability availability than RAID6 and lowersolution though deployment of multiple paths overhead than replication.between servers and storage. Multipahting  BitLog™ tracks all block data writes toprovides an automatic means of persisting I/O offer snapshots, clones, rollback andwithout error, failing over the workload to a history on all stored data.redundant path should one path fail.  BitDynamics™ manages storage scalabilitySupport for x64 processors and availability, and performs out-of-band storage verification and optimization.The new 64-bit processors provide both 32 and 64-bit capabilities on the same processor, supporting  Encryption as all data is encoded andboth older 32 bit applications without loss of distributed across disks through theperformance, as well as newer 64 bit applications. BitSpread encoder.X64 technologies enable faster and more efficient  Caching technology retains the mostapplication performance, because more data can frequently accessed data blocks acrossbe preloaded into virtual memory, thereby one or multiple levels of caching toreducing the time it takes to seek, read, and write maximize read and write performance.to storage devices. Smart Style Office support x64  Unlimited snapshots as the overhead isprocessors. minimized by scrubbing the storage nodes and the associated logged blocks that canSupport for IPv6 be removed.Also known as the Next Generation InternetProtocol, IPv6 is designed to fully interoperate Smart Style Office Componentswith the current standard (IPv4), and has been The Smart Style Office Virtual Desktoparchitected specifically for Gigabit Ethernet. IPv6 Infrastructure consists of the minimal followingsolves many of the problems associated with IPv4, components:including security issues, autoconfiguration and  2 x CS414 nodes with quad core CPU AMDextensibility. 2.7GHz and 28 GB usable memory in total  Storage capacity of 12 x 1TB secondaryOther Technical Considerations storage and 4 x 60 GB primary SSD in total  Authentication  2 switches for public and private network  Authorization  1 x Racktivity device for power monitoring  Logical network isolation and environmental control  Physical network isolation  Fully racked and cabled with space to  Confidentiality and integrity scale with 2 more node in same rack Page 6
  7. 7.  Cloud Management Center with extensive Dont "go cheap" virtual machine controls (start, stop, snapshot, clone, restart, etc.) and server Consolidation, whether its servers or storage, can management tools. increase vulnerability, something thats often lost in the discussion about the benefits of scaling andEach node has about 4TB of usable storage flexibility, etc. This is especially true in a virtualincluded. The storage system offer high-availability server environment where virtual machine’sdue to the BitSpread technology. Adding additional densities keep increasing and a storage hardwarenodes increases the availability of the system and failure can affect even more applications than itfurther reduces the overall resource overhead. did in a physical environment. With Smart Style Office there is the practice of using commodityEach node has a iSCSI targets built-in, so each node hardware to reduce storage costs, but care shouldcan act as storage array within an existing be taken to make sure its reliable, and scalable,virtualization project. It is also possible to connect enough for the application.a separate virtual machine environment to an IPstorage environment build on top of Smart Style Consider scale-out/scale-upOffice. Consolidated storage that is supporting a dynamicThe system itself can be located at the customer virtualized server environment could be providingpremise and has all remote administration tools storage for dozens of server instances. To scaleincluded. As long as there is power and IP, remote large enough to handle the expected storageadministrators can access their Smart Style Office growth, node storage solutions are available frominstance and make changes to the configuration, Zenith Infotech (planned Q3 2011). Also callede.g. allocating more storage, etc. "scale-out" or "scale-up," depending upon their specific architecture, these systems can grow whileBesides on-premise deployments, Smart Style maintaining performance, something that neitherOffice can also be placed at the data center. This technology could do in the past.requires another view on bandwidth consumptionand security configuration, but the user experience Find out whats on the floorshould be identical compared to a localdeployment. Knowing the Smart Style Office and what OS platforms are prevalent for virtualization can makeRecommendations your job a lot easier. A total concept solution,For most organizations, solutions from either a including IP storage and server virtualization, in aNAS or SAN vendors can be implemented that single platform solution such as Smart Style Officemeet their needs. The real differentiator for Smart will be the path of least resistance. Become aStyle Office IP storage and other storage solutions reseller today or start testing the platform byin a virtualization environment may be the ordering your evaluation version.features and functionality of the storage systemitself, not so much whether its block- or file-based, and what potential limitations that Other White Paperstechnology choice puts on the environment down  Smart Style Office as Virtual Desktopthe road. Infrastructure for Desktop Virtualization  Smart Style Office as iSCSI Target forAs a reseller, youll need to spend some time Storay Array and Storage Area Networkunderstanding the customers environment and  Smart Style Office as as Application Hostwhat their future requirements may be. As is the for Multi-Site Small Office Environmentscase with every storage decision, there are no easy  Smart Style Office as Wide Area Networkanswers. Heres some advice for how to approach Host for Data Center Servicesthe decision.  Smart Style Office as Server Cluster for High Availability Workloads Page 7
  8. 8. DisclaimerThe information contained in this documentrepresents the current view of Zenith InfotechEurope on the issues discussed as of the date ofpublication. Because Zenith Infotech Europe mustrespond to changing market conditions, it shouldnot be interpreted to be a commitment on the partof Zenith Infotech Europe, and Zenith InfotechEurope cannot guarantee the accuracy of anyinformation presented after the date ofpublication.This White Paper is for informational purposesonly. Zenith Infotech Europemakes no warranties,express, implied or statutory, as to the informationin this document.Complying with all applicable copyright laws is theresponsibility of the user. Without limiting therights under copyright, no part of this documentmay be reproduced, stored in or introduced into aretrieval system, or transmitted in any form or byany means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying,recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose,without the express written permission ofMicrosoft Corporation.Zenith Infotech Europe may have patents, patentapplications, trademarks, copyrights, or otherintellectual property rights covering subject matterin this document. Except as expressly provided inany written license agreement from Zenith InfotechEurope, the furnishing of this document does notgive you any license to these patents, trademarks,copyrights, or other intellectual property.©2011 Zenith Infotech Europe. All rights reserved. Page 8

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