The Growing Popularity of IP SANs


The Internet Protocol, simply known as IP, is easily the most widely used networking standard on Earth. The technology is well proven, familiar to IT staffs, and affordable. IP is common within corporate networking infrastructures, except when it comes to storing data. Today, however, there is growing adoption of IP-based storage area networks (SANs).

What is IP SAN? An IP SAN uses the iSCSI protocol to transfer block-level data over a network, generally with Gigabit or 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The advantages of this approach are well defined. Deploying IP SANs is simpler than traditional strategies. Because the technologies are well known and used in most networks, IP SANs can reduce both interoperability issues and training costs. IP SANs also offer better performance than file-level network attached storage (NAS). They are formidable choices for supporting server and storage virtualization deployments using VMware, Citrix Xen, and Microsoft Hyper-V. They are also effective for video applications like CCTV IP video because they allow multiple networked video recorders to share a single storage device. Similarly, they are ideal for data backup because multiple backup servers can share one storage platform.

If you want a storage pool that delivers enterprise-class performance and reliability and is also cost-effective and relatively simple to deploy, consider building an IP SAN with robust RAID solutions. You’ll be working with familiar technologies and eliminate the need for alternatives that are more expensive and complicated.