Storage Area Network (SAN) Protocols

SAN is a sub-network for high-speed transfer of data between the SAN storage and the network devices. To perfectly accomplish this task, SAN utilizes a number of protocols which include the Fibre Channel over Transmission Control Protocol Internet Protocol (FCIP), internet Fibre Channel Protocol (iFCP), Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI) and the Metro Fibre Channel Protocol (mFCP). FCIP supports the interconnection of Fibre Channel SANs’ storage islands over Local Area Networks, Metropolitan Area Networks or Wide Area Networks that are IP-based thus forming an integrated SAN in a single Fibre Channel fabric.

FCIP entity advances Fibre Channel frames over the network through the TCP/IP. So as to succeed in forwarding the FC frames. FCIP utilizes the fibre channel frame encapsulation. The iFCP, on the other hand, refers to a gateway-to-gateway internet protocol.

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It is endowed with the provision of FC fabric services to FC devices over a Transmission Control Protocol Internet Protocol (TCP/IP). Through the TCP, iFCP undertakes error detection, congestion control and recovery over the network.Besides, this protocol allows interconnectivity and networking, at wire speeds, of the existent FC devices over an IP network (Taneja, 2010). Fibre Channel storage devices are attached to the IP-based fabric through gateways that are transparent.

This is made possible through the ability of the protocol to translate the frame addresses. iFCP protocol makes the functionality of FC fabric possible within the IP network since it replaces the FC switching and routing infrastructure with in IP technology and components.Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI) protocol is also another SAN protocol that is TCP/IP-based. iSCSI establishes and manages the connections between Internet Protocol-based storage devices, clients and servers.

As a result of this maintained and set up connection, data is transferred between the multiple devices of the storage network at a high speed and at a block level. This protocol is highly used where the devices are close to each other thus the Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI) architecture, that is server-client model-based, is used.Moreover, SCSI buses are capitalized on in this protocol. iSCSI ensures reliable delivery and encapsulation of bulk data between the initiators and the targets.

This protocol is also unswerving for data transmissions over LANs, WANs or the internet and enables local and independent storage of data and its retrieval (Javin. com, 2009). iSCSI is designed to perform the data communication principal prerequisites with the appropriate Quality of Service (QoS) and safely.These key data requirements include data storage systems consolidation, backing up the data within the storage devices, clustering of the server, data replication and recovery of data in situations of emergency.

mFCP is a gateway-to-gateway internet protocol that conveys the FC protocol for Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) over metro internet networks. It is endowed with the provision of FC fabric services to FC devices over User Datagram Protocol (UDP). mFCP maps iFCP protocol to the UDP.This mapping, thus, smoothes the progress of high performance via a frivolous mechanism for the encapsulation and transmission of FC frame images over the IP network.

These images are forwarded between the FC end nodes directly without necessarily being translated (Javin. com, 2009). Despite UDP being less reliable than TCP since it is connectionless, it is more efficient. mFCP is used for data transfers for Short-haul networks or within the data centers.

Consequently, its performance and dependability becomes creditable.

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Storage Area Network (SAN) Protocols. (2017, May 04). Retrieved from