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CompTIA Storage+ Powered by

SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by


SNIA (Exam SG0-001)
Part Number: NH85187(IGEE)
Course Edition: 1.0

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Project Team
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Manager: Pradeep Reddy Graphic Designer: Vasanth Project Manager: Sathishkumar Shankaran Media Instructional
Designer: Content Editor: Materials Editor: Rajkumar B Business Matter Expert: Technical Reviewer: Pradeep Reddy
Project Technical Support: Mike Toscano

NOTICES
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CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

CONTENTS

COMPTIA STORAGE+ POWERED BY


SNIA (EXAM SG0-001)
LESSON 1 - EXPLORING STORAGE AND NETWORKING FUNDAMENTALS
A. Storage Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Data Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Storage Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Storage Device Categories . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Solid State Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Distributed Storage Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Hosts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Storage Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Storage Consolidation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

The Fibre Channel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

High Availability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Scalability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Bit Rate vs. Bandwidth vs. Throughput . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10


The I/O Channel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
I/O Buses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
B. Describe Network Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Ethernet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
Network Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
Network Names . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
WWN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Aliases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15
The OSI Reference Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
Gateways . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
File Servers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
Storage Transport Protocols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Contents

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CONTENTS
C. Identify Network Data Delivery Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Data Flow in the OSI Layer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Data Access Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
8b/10b Encoding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Sessions vs. Connections vs. Links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Data Transfer Rates . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Data Transmission Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Types of Data Transmission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
Flow Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Segmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
Initiators . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Targets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Payload Integrity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Oversubscription . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Error Management Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
Error Detection Approaches. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
Error Recovery Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27

LESSON 2 - DESCRIBING PHYSICAL NETWORKING HARDWARE


A. Describe Networking Hardware . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Switches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Trunking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
ISL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Hot-Pluggable on Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
HBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
CNA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Routers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Routers vs. Switches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

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CONTENTS
B. Examine HBA/NIC/PCI Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
HBA Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
Single-Ported and Multi-Ported HBAs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
HBA Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40
HBA Firmware and Software . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
NIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
PCI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42
PCI-X vs. PCI-E . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42

LESSON 3 - EXAMINING DISK TECHNOLOGIES


A. Examine Disk Fundamentals . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Hard Disk Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
Hard Disk Drive Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
CHS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
LBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50
Fragmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Types of Fragmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51
Defragmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
B. Describe SATA Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
PATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
SATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55
SATA Port Multipliers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
SATA Link Speeds and Distances . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57

Contents

CONTENTS
C. Describe SCSI/iSCSI Technologies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
SCSI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
SCSI Signaling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
The Structure of SCSI Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
The SCSI-3 Architecture Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
LUN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
LUN Mapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
SCSI Addressing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
The SCSI Command Protocol . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
TCQ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
iSCSI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
The iSCSI Protocol Stack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
iSCSI Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
iSNS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
iSNS Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
iSCSI over TCP/IP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
TOE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
TOE Types in iSCSI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
iSCSI Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Strengths and Limitations of iSCSI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
D. Describe SAS Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
SAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
SAS Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
SAS Ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
SAS Connectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
SAS Link Speeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
The SAS Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
SAS Transport Protocols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74

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E. Describe the Fibre Channel Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
FC Frames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
The FCP Stack . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
FC Nodes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
FC Ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
FC Port Types. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
FC Switches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
FC Topologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
FC Fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80
FC Hubs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Switched Hubs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
FC Directors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83
SCSI to FC Bridges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
FC Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
InniBand . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Interfaces to Mass Storage Subsystems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
F. Describe the RAID System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
RAID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
RAID Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
Dual RAID Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Hardware RAID Controllers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Software RAID. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
LUN Mapping in RAID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94
Storage Capacity Determination . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Hot Spares . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
RAID Properties . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Technical Characteristics of Host-Based RAID vs. Non-Host-Based
RAID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Contents

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CONTENTS

LESSON 4 - IDENTIFYING REMOVABLE MEDIA TECHNOLOGIES


A. Describe Tape Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Tape Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Data Recording Methods in Tapes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Types of Tape Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Tape Libraries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
Multiplexing with Tapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Multistreaming with Tapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
NDMP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
B. Describe Optical Disc and SSD Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Optical Discs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Types of Optical Discs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Optical Disc Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Optical Jukeboxes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
Seek Time . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Latency . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
Solid State Drives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112

LESSON 5 - DESCRIBING MODULAR STORAGE ARRAYS AND DISK


ENCLOSURES
A. Describe Modular Storage Array Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Modular Storage Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
Disk Array Controllers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 117
Single Controller Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Dual Controller Arrays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Modular Storage Array Grids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 119
Cache . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Expansion Adapters. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
Array Port Types and Cabling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 122

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B. Describe Disk Enclosures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Disk Enclosures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 124
Enclosure Controllers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Monitoring Cards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Enclosure Addressing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Cabling in Disk Enclosures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
Hot Pluggable in Disk Enclosures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127

LESSON 6 - EXAMINING STORAGE NETWORK CONNECTORS AND CABLING


A. Describe Copper Cable Connectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Copper Cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Types of Copper Cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
Ethernet Cable Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
Serial Cabling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
Twinax Cabling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
SAS Cabling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
Copper Cable Connectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
SAS Port Speeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
B. Describe Fiber Cable Connectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Fiber Optic Cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
Fiber Optic Cable Mode Types. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
Industry-Based Connectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Fiber Optic Cable Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143

LESSON 7 - DESCRIBING STORAGE ARCHITECTURES


A. Describe the DAS Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
DAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
DAS Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
DAS Protocols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150
Strengths and Limitations of DAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150

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B. Describe the NAS Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
NAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
NAS Device Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
NFS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
CIFS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
NAS OS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
NAS Implementations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
Share, Use, and Mount Resources . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
Technical Advantages and Disadvantages of NAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
NAS Backup and Recovery Risks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
iSCSI vs. NAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
C. Describe the SAN Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
SAN Building Blocks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
Hardware Components of a SAN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 158
Server Clustering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Clustering on a SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
Implications and Decision Points of Choosing a SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
SAN over TCP/IP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160
Strengths and Limitations of a SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
SAN vs. NAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
Technical Advantages of SAN over DAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
SAN Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
D. Describe Content Addressable Storage Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
Fixed Content . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
CAS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164
The CAS Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 8 - DESCRIBING ETHERNET NETWORK TECHNOLOGIES

CONTENTS

A. Describe Ethernet Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168


Ethernet Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
Fast Ethernet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
Gigabit Ethernet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
LAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170
Switched Ethernet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
Ring-Based Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 172
WAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
MAN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
VLAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
10Base Standards . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Ethernet Frames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
B. Multipath over Ethernet Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
iSCSI over Ethernet . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
MPIO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Link Aggregation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
C. Protocols on Ethernet Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
iSCSI Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
NFS Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
CIFS Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182

LESSON 9 - DESCRIBING AN FC SAN


A. Describe the FC SAN Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
FC SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
FC SAN Hardware Components. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
Flow Control in FC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
FC Flow Control Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 188
FC Classes of Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Comparison: NAS, iSCSI SAN, and FC SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189

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B. Describe Zones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
WWN Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Port Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Soft and Hard Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Hybrid Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
Zoning Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
Zone Aliases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
Domain IDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
NPIV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
SCSI IDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
Fabric Merges. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197
Causes of Zone Merge Failure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Common Blocking Problems to Fabric Merges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
Best Practices for Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
C. Describe Fabric Services and Extension Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Fibre Channel Login Mechanism . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
FC Addresses . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Fabric Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
Multiplexing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
DWDM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 203
DWDM Amplication Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
DWDM Channel Aggregation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
CWDM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
IP SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
FCIP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
iFCP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
FCIP vs. iFCP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
SONET . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
FC WAN Connectivity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
SAN Islands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
FCoE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208

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D. Describe Converged Storage Network Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
10GbE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
FCoE in Converged Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211
DCB . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 211
LLDP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
LLDPDU . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
Priority Tagging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
CoS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 216
Jumbo Frames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
Baby-Jumbo Frames . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
E. Describe Multipathing Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Multipathing in an FC SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Load Balancing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
Fail Over . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
Number of Paths to Disks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
Interoperability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Physical Connections vs. Logical Connections . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222
Multipath Protocol Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223

LESSON 10 - DESCRIBING STORAGE MANAGEMENT


A. Execute Storage Provisioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226
LUN Provisioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
LUN IDs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
LUN Masking and Sharing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Host-Based vs. Storage-Based Disks and Tapes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
Thin Provisioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
Best Practices for Disk Provisioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228

Contents

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B. Describe Volume Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
File-Level vs. Block-Level Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
The Conguration Layer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231
Logical Volumes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231
Volume Groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
File Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
LVM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
Mount Points . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234
C. Monitor Storage Networks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
Thresholds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
Setting Thresholds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
Trending . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
Forecasting and Capacity Planning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
Recording Baselines . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
Setting Alerts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
Auditing Log Files . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
Alerting Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238
D. Describe Storage De-duplication and Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240
Storage De-Duplication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240
De-duplication Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 241
Compression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
Single Instance Storage. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
Storage Performance and Capacity Implications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
Reduction Ratios vs. Data Types. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
E. Describe Management Protocols and Interfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Storage Management Protocols . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244
Storage Administration Interfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
In-Band vs. Out-of-Band Management. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246

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F. Examine ILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
ILM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
Data Migration Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248
Storage Tiers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
Data Archiving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
Data Purging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
Compliance Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250
Data Preservation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250
Object Oriented Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250
Value of Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250

LESSON 11 - DESCRIBING STORAGE NETWORK IMPLEMENTATION


A. Identify Implementation Parameters of SAS/SATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254
Conguration Characteristics of SAS/SATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 254
Compatibility Characteristics of SAS/SATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255
Performance Characteristics of SAS/SATA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 255
B. Describe Storage Networks That Use Switch Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Cascaded Topologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 257
Mesh Topologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
Core/Edge Topologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 258
ISL Trunking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 259
ISL Oversubscription . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 260
Advantages and Disadvantages of ISL Oversubscription. . . . . . . . . . . . 261
The Fan-In Ratio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
The Fan-Out Ratio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
Dual Independent Fabrics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
NIC Teaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 262
C. Describe Storage Networks That Use HBA Technology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264
End-To-End Solution of Storage Provisions Using HBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264
HBA Usage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 264
HBA Conguration Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265
HBA Conguration Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 265

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D. Describe Storage Layouts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
Storage Layouts in a SAN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 266
Data Partitioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
Access Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 267
Storage Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268
LUN Masking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 268
LUN Masking vs. Zoning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
Faults and Conditions in a SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 269
E. Examine Storage Network Implementation Environmental Concerns . . . 271
HVAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 271
Improper Cooling in HVAC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 272
Adequate Humidity Control in HVAC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273
Fire Suppression . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 273
Floor and Rack Loading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274
Power Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 274
Rightsizing of Power . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275
Sufficient Power Capacity. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 275
Scalable UPS Systems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276
Adequate Division of Circuits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 276
Power Capping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 277
Grounding . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 278
F. Examine Implementation and Maintenance Factors of Storage
Equipment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
Lifting Techniques. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 279
Weight Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Antistatic Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 281
Rack Stabilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 283

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LESSON 12 - INTRODUCING STORAGE VIRTUALIZATION

CONTENTS

A. Describe Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288


Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 288
Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 289
The Need for Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 290
Host-Based Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291
Device-Based Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 291
Network-Based Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 292
Methodologies of Network-Based Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . 292
Address Space Remapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
Block-Level and File-Level Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 293
Block Aggregation. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 294
B. Describe Storage Virtualization Implementation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 296
VSAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 296
Server Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 297
Virtual HBAs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 298
VTL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299
Implementation Parameters of Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 299
Advantages and Disadvantages of Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . 299
Challenges of Storage Virtualization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 300
C. Describe the SNIA Shared Storage Model . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302
The SNIA Shared Storage Model. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 302
The SNIA Storage Virtualization Taxonomy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 303
Taxonomy Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 304

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LESSON 13 - EXAMINING STORAGE NETWORK MANAGEMENT


A. Describe Storage Network Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 308
Management: From Simple Networking to Storage Networking . . . . . . 308
SRM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
Storage Network Managers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 309
Components of a Storage Network Management System . . . . . . . . . . 310
Information Life Cycle in a Storage Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 311
HSM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312
Device Managers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312
Storage Device Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 312
Usage Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313
Usage Management Applications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 313
SMI-S . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314
Policy-Based Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 314
B. Describe SAN Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316
SAN Management Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316
The SAN Management Hierarchy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 316
LDM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317
SMI-S-Based SAN Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317
The Change Management Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 317
C. Troubleshoot Common Network Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319
TCP/IP Network Management Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 319
FC Network Management Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 320
Bad Cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 321
Bad Ports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324
Bad Connectors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 324
Bad NICs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 325
Improper NIC Connection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326
Incorrect Conguration on NIC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326
Incorrect VLANs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 326
Incorrect Firewall Settings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327
The General Network Troubleshooting Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 327

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D. Troubleshoot Common FC Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
Zoning Errors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 333
Zoning Misconguration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 334
Failed GBIC or SFP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335
Failed and Intermittent HBA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335
Connectivity and Interoperability Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 335
Hardware and Software Incompatibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
Outdated Firmware or Drivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
Failed Cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 336
Miscongured FC Cables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337
The General FC Network Troubleshooting Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 337

LESSON 14 - EVALUATING STORAGE PERFORMANCE


A. Identify Storage Latency and Throughput. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 344
Cache Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345
IOPS Calculations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 345
RAID Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 346
Random vs. Sequential I/O . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 347
Impact of Replication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 348
B. Examine Tuning and Workload Balance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 349
Storage Data Proling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 349
Storage Tiering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 350
Partition Alignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 352
Impact of Fragmentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 352
Queue Depth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 353
C. Evaluate Storage Device Bandwidth. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 354
Bus and Loop Bandwidth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 354
Cable Speeds. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 355
Disk Throughput, Bus Bandwidth, and Cache Comparisons . . . . . . . . . . 355
Embedded Switch Port Speeds . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356
Shared vs. Dedicated Storage Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356
Load Balancing Using Multipathing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 356

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D. Evaluate Network Device Bandwidth . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358
Shared vs. Dedicated Network Devices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358
Teaming . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 358
Link Aggregation Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 359
Class of Service Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360
TOE Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 360
E. Evaluate Storage and Host Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362
Baselining Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362
Data Capture Tools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 362
Switch Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 363
Array Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 364
Host Tools Performance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 365

LESSON 15 - SECURING STORAGE NETWORKS


A. Describe Storage Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
Data Security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
Data Protection Using RAID . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
Access Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 371
Authentication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373
Encryption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 373
Encryption Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 375
Key Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376
Data Integrity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376
Data Consolidation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376
Data Destruction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376
Tiered Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 376
Access Methods in Tiered Storage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377
Storage Security Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377
Securing a Fabric . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 378
Failover Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 378

xx

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

CONTENTS
B. Manage Storage Redundancy. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 380
Redundancy Issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 380
High Availability for Storage Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 380
Single Points of Failure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 381
Component Redundancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 381
Cache Battery Backup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 382
Cache Mirroring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 382
C. Examine Backup and Recovery Technologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 384
Backup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 384
Backup Verication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 384
The Backup Window . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385
Backup Methodologies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 385
The Backup Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386
Backup Approaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 386
Backup Restoration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 387
Backup Media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389
Backup and Recovery Technologies. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 389
Backup Techniques . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 390
The Snapshot Process . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391
Backup Strategies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391
Centralized Backup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 392
Database Backup . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 392
Potential Backup Problems . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 393

Contents

xxi

CONTENTS
D. Describe Business Continuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395
Business Continuity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395
BCP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 395
CDP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 396
Technical Administrative Benets of CDP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 396
Capacity Utilization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 396
Disaster Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397
RPO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397
RTO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 397
DRP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 398
Replication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 398
Replication Methods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 400
Data Retention and Preservation Policy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 401
Remote Replication in a SAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 402
Infrastructure Resolution in Backup Recovery and Disaster . . . . . . . . . . 403
Levels of Disaster Recovery . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 404
Compliance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 405

APPENDIX A - MAPPING COURSE CONTENT TO THE COMPTIA


STORAGE+ POWERED BY SNIA (EXAM SG0-001) EXAM
OBJECTIVES
APPENDIX B - COMPTIA STORAGE+ ACRONYMS
LESSON LABS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 429
GLOSSARY

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 453

INDEX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 473

xxii

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

INTRODUCTION

ABOUT THIS COURSE


The CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001) course builds on your existing user-level knowledge and experience with storage systems and networks to present the
fundamental skills and concepts that you will need to use on the job in any type of storage
networking career. In this course, you will learn about the various storage architectures, their
features, critical areas of storage security, emerging eld of storage virtualization, and storage
network management. If you are pursuing a CompTIA technical certication path, the
CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, or CompTIA Server+ certication are excellent
rst steps to take before preparing for the CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA certication.
The CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001) course can benet you in
two ways. It can assist you if you are preparing to take the CompTIA Storage+ Powered by
SNIA examination (Exam SG0-001). Also, if your job duties include storage network troubleshooting, installation, or maintenance, or if you are preparing for any type of storage networkrelated career, it provides the background knowledge and skills that you will require to be
successful.

Course Description
Target Student
This course is targeted at network or system administrators whose responsibilities include
working with and supporting various storage technologies; storage professionals who have a
minimum of 12 months hands-on technical storage experience; or IT Managers who need a
thorough understanding of current storage technologies.

Course Prerequisites
Students taking this course should have basic computer skills with knowledge in any operating
system and familiarity with network components. In addition, we recommend that they hold
the CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, or CompTIA Server+ certication or have
equivalent skills and knowledge. Students can take the following New Horizons courses:

CompTIA A+ Certication: A Comprehensive Approach for All 2009 Exam Objectives


(Windows 7)

CompTIA Network+ (Exam N10-005)

Introduction

xxiii

INTRODUCTION

CompTIA Server+ Certication (2009 Objectives)

How to Use This Book


As a Learning Guide
This book is divided into lessons and topics, covering a subject or a set of related subjects. In
most cases, lessons are arranged in order of increasing prociency.
The results-oriented topics include relevant and supporting information you need to master the
content. Each topic has various types of activities designed to enable you to practice the guidelines and procedures as well as to solidify your understanding of the informational material
presented in the course.
At the back of the book, you will nd a glossary of the denitions of the terms and concepts
used throughout the course. You will also nd an index to assist in locating information within
the instructional components of the book.

As a Review Tool
Any method of instruction is only as effective as the time and effort you, the student, are willing to invest in it. In addition, some of the information that you learn in class may not be
important to you immediately, but it may become important later. For this reason, we encourage you to spend some time reviewing the content of the course after your time in the
classroom.

As a Reference
The organization and layout of this book make it an easy-to-use resource for future reference.
Taking advantage of the glossary, index, and table of contents, you can use this book as a rst
source of denitions, background information, and summaries.

Course Objectives
In this course, you will gain knowledge of storage concepts, components, and the ability to
work on a storage networking environment.
You will:

examine the fundamentals of storage and network technologies.

xxiv

describe physical networking hardware.

examine disk technologies.

identify removable media technologies.

describe modular storage arrays and disk enclosures.

examine storage network connectors and cabling.

describe storage architectures.

describe Ethernet network technologies.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

INTRODUCTION

describe an FC SAN.

describe storage management.

describe storage network implementation.

identify storage virtualization concepts, technologies, and techniques.

examine storage network management.

evaluate storage performance.

describe storage network security.

Course Requirements
Hardware
For this course, you will need one instructor computer. Student computers are optional and are
only needed to run the course assessments from the interactive CD-ROM. The instructor computer will need the following minimum hardware conguration:

PC with Intel Pentium IV 1 GHz processor or higher

1 GB of RAM or higher

DVD-ROM drive

Generic monitor (1024 x 768)

DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver

Display system to project the instructors computer screen

Software

Microsoft Windows 7.

Microsoft Office 2003 or later on the instructors computer (only Microsoft Office
PowerPoint is required for this course).

Class Setup
For the Instructor Computer
1.

Make sure that all computer components are properly installed and working.

2.

Install Microsoft Windows 7 and Microsoft Office PowerPoint.

Introduction

xxv

NOTES

xxvi

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 1

LESSON 1

Lesson Time
1 hour(s), 30 minutes

Exploring Storage and


Networking Fundamentals
In this lesson, you will examine the fundamentals of storage and network technologies.
You will:

Identify the fundamentals of data storage.

Describe the basics of storage networking.

Identify network data delivery techniques.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

LESSON 1
Introduction
Many organizations are now facing a growing demand for storage capacity and hence conventional storage devices alone are no longer sufficient. As a result, it has become necessary to
open up new possibilities for data management. In this lesson, you will identify the fundamentals of storage and network technologies.
Although the term storage network is used to describe network-based data storage, various
technologies are available within storage networks, each of which serves a different purpose in
data storage. By examining such different technologies, you will be able to select and apply a
suitable technology for your organization.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

1.5 Given a scenario, install and maintain modular storage array components.

2.3 Given a scenario, implement the following Fibre Channel technologies.

4.1 Explain redundancy concepts, associated purposes, and components.

Topic B

1.1 Describe disk types, components, and features.

2.1 Identify common storage networking industry terms.

2.2 Explain the following storage networking industry terms.

Topic C

2.1 Identify common storage networking industry terms.

2.2 Explain the following storage networking industry terms.

TOPIC A
Storage Basics
Many organizations have a common storage area where all data can be stored and retrieved for
later use. To become a good storage administrator, you need to be familiar with the fundamentals of storage networking. In this topic, you will describe the basic concepts of data storage.
All IT companies consider data to be of paramount importance. This is because when a company loses its data it is as good as losing its entire identity. Therefore, it is very important to
store data securely. By examining the basics of data storage, you will be able to manage and
store data efficiently.

Data Storage
Data Storage (2 slides)

Denition:
Data storage, also known as computer data storage, is a method of storing or recording data or information on a hardware device. The key characteristics of data storage
are volatility, accessibility, mutability, addressability, capacity, and performance among
others. Data can be stored magnetically, optically, or electronically. Data storage can be

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 1
categorized into consumer storage and enterprise storage. Consumer storage involves
the traditional way of storing data in small scale storage devices like hard disk drives
and optical discs. Enterprise storage involves a centralized data storage system made
up of a dedicated network of servers and storage devices that help manage and protect
data.
Example:

Figure 1-1: Data storage on a network.


The Need for Data Storage
Data storage and its management is essential for any organization to survive in an
increasingly demanding and competitive business environment. Data availability at all
times, regardless of where it is stored, gives employees, customers, and partners the
up-to-date information they need to work toward meeting their business goals. In addition, data storage enables organizations to plan and modify strategies to meet their
business needs.
Data vs. Information
Data is a collection of raw facts that enable individuals and businesses to arrive at
critical conclusions. Information is analyzed data that derives intelligence and knowledge from raw data. Individuals or businesses consider data useful only when it is
available in a form that is easy to interpret. Unless information generated is communicated or otherwise shared among other users, it does not hold any value. Information
obtained from analysis of data not only benets businesses, but also maximizes the
scope for new business opportunities.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

LESSON 1
Storage Devices
Storage Devices (2 slides)

Denition:
A storage device is any hardware device that is designed to store data or information.
Depending on their designs, storage devices can save data magnetically, optically, or
electronically. A storage device can store information, process information, or perform
both. Devices such as hard disks, tapes, and optical discs in personal computers are
common types of storage devices. Mobile devices such as ash drives are examples of
smaller storage devices.
Example:

Figure 1-2: Some of the commonly used storage devices.

Storage Device Categories


Storage Device Categories

Storage devices can be categorized into internal and external devices.

Storage Device Category


Internal storage

Description
Internal storage devices are installed inside the system chassis. In addition to
their speed and low cost, internal storage devices need not be charged or
plugged in to a power source to function. Because the device is inside the
server, it receives power from the systems power supply.
In addition, internal storage devices are free from external threats because the
system chassis casings will protect the internal devices and the data that
resides in them. Examples of internal storage devices include RAM and hard
disk drives.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 1
Storage Device Category
External storage

Description
External storage devices provide auxiliary storage for data. They reside outside
the system chassis and are connected to the system by means of cables and
connectors. External storage devices are easier to set up than internal storage
devices.
In addition, external storage devices are much easier to share among different
users. However, external storage devices are slower and more expensive than
internal storage devices. Examples of external storage devices include the tape
library, optical jukebox, and ash drives.

Volatile and Nonvolatile Storage


Storage devices can be categorized into volatile and nonvolatile storage devices. Volatile storage, also known as volatile memory, describes a storage device whose content
is lost when the power is turned off. Examples of volatile storage include Random
Access Memory (RAM), Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), and Static Random Access Memory (SRAM). Nonvolatile storage, also referred to as nonvolatile
memory, describes a storage device whose content remains even after the power is
turned off. Some of the examples include Read Only Memory (ROM), hard disk
drives, optical discs, and ash drives.
Cache Memory
Cache memory, or CPU cache, is SRAM located near the processor. It allows the processor to execute instructions and to read and write data at a higher speed than the
regular RAM. Cache memory has the fastest storage capability because it is built into
a chip with a zero wait-state interface to the processors execution unit. Cache memory
is limited in size. Instructions and data are transferred from main memory to the cache
in blocks to enhance performance.
Printers and Scanners as Storage Devices
Printers and scanners are also considered storage devices because they come with their
own installed memory to store information about the current device settings as well as
the print and scan jobs in queue. The devices will have specic amounts of memory
installed by default, but can be upgraded. Upgrading the memory will enable printers
and scanners to handle higher-resolution jobs. The latest version of printers and scanners are capable of operating independently from an attached computer to store data
immediately after jobs are done.

Solid State Storage


Solid state storage is a data storage method in which integrated circuits are used to store data
rather than optical or magnetic media. Solid state storage is nonvolatile in nature and it takes
various forms such as a solid state card, solid state drive, or solid state module. In solid state
storage devices, data is stored in units of memory called blocks. Common types of solid state
storage devices include Solid State Drives (SSDs); Universal Serial Bus (USB) drives, commonly known as jump drives or thumb drives; ash memory cards; and Secure Digital (SD)
memory cards.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

Solid State Storage

LESSON 1
Distributed Storage Systems
Distributed Storage Systems
(2 slides)

Denition:
A distributed storage system is a method of aggregating multiple storage units that are
located across different physical locations. The distributed storage system provides a
means to store data remotely in addition to providing services such as publishing and
archival through centralization.
The two categories of architectures adopted by distributed storage systems are clientserver and peer-to-peer. In a client-server architecture, a node can be either a client or
a server, but not both. However, in a peer-to-peer architecture, a node can act both as a
client and a server. Both architectures have varying levels of centralization to meet the
needs of different network environments. An early term for networked storage that
evolved into Storage Area Networks (SAN) and storage virtualization, the distributed
storage system supports very high data availability levels at all times.
Example:

Figure 1-3: A distributed storage system aggregates various storage devices


into a single entity.

Hosts
Hosts (2 slides)

Denition:
A host is dened as a computer on a network that permits users to store and retrieve
data through applications running on the computer. A host can range from a simple
laptop to a complex cluster of servers. It consists of both physical and logical components. The physical components of a host are hardware devices that communicate with
one another using logical components. A host has three key physical components:
Input and Output (I/O) devices, a Central Processing Unit (CPU), and storage such as
internal memory and disk devices. The logical components of a host consist of software applications and protocols that enable data communication between a user and
the physical components of the host.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 1
Example:

Figure 1-4: A host permits users to store and retrieve data through various
applications.

Storage Networks
Denition:
A storage network is a specially designed network that interconnects various storage
devices using specic protocols and high-speed transmission technologies for storing
data in a common place. It can store and protect data in a centralized architecture so
that users can access data at any time. Storage networks provide organizations with
greater business agility than normal networks through storage consolidation, a low cost
architecture, and an uninterrupted data access.

Storage Networks (2 slides)

Example:

Figure 1-5: A storage network.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

LESSON 1
Storage Consolidation
Storage Consolidation

Storage consolidation, also known as storage convergence, is a method that centralizes data
storage among different devices and servers. One of the objectives of storage consolidation is
to enable data backup and archiving simultaneously, minimizing the time required to store and
access data. Using the storage consolidation architecture, les can be stored and retrieved
quickly because they do not compete with other resources for processor requirements. Moreover, storage consolidation facilitates a simplied storage infrastructure, high-capacity resource
utilization, centralized storage management, increased management efficiency, and reduced
operating cost.

The Fibre Channel


The Fibre Channel

Fibre Channel (FC) is a high-speed network technology developed for connecting computers
to various storage and peripheral devices. However, it has become one of the main standards
for storage networking. FC enables concurrent communication among workstations, data storage systems, servers, and other peripheral devices that use protocols such as Small Computer
Systems Interface (SCSI) and Internet Protocol (IP). It is also scalable to the total system
bandwidth of up to one terabyte per second. FC can use either copper cables or ber-optic
cables or both to connect devices.
Fiber vs. Fibre
Fiber is the optical media that is used to transmit data over long distances whereas
bre is the interface between an initiator and a target that is capable of high-speed data
transfer.
FC Speed Variants and Distance Covered
FC products operate at a variety of link speeds and can cover distances ranging from
0.5 m to 50 km.

Fibre Model

Speed

Distance

Single-Mode Fibre

1600 Mbps

0.5 m 10 km

800 Mbps

2 m 10 km

400 Mbps

2 m 10 km

200 Mbps

2 m 50 km

100 Mbps

2 m 50 km

1600 Mbps

0.5 m 125 m

800 Mbps

0.5 m 190 m

400 Mbps

0.5 m 400 m

200 Mbps

0.5 m 500 m

100 Mbps

0.5 m 860 m

Multi-Mode Fibre

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 1
High Availability
Denition:
High availability is a system design and service implementation approach which
ensures that a prearranged operational performance level is met during a specied
period of time. On a storage network, high availability expresses how closely storage
systems approach the goal of providing maximum data availability while maintaining a
high level of system performance.

High Availability (2 slides)

Example:

Figure 1-6: High availability of a storage system.


High Availability Rate
High availability systems are usually rated as a percentage that shows the proportion of
uptime to total time. An uptime rating of 99.999% or ve nines is a very high level
of availability, resulting in less than six minutes of downtime per year. Six nines, or
99.9999% uptime, results in around 30 seconds of downtime per year, but comes with
an associated proportional increase in cost.
Fault Tolerance
Fault tolerance is the ability of a system or network to withstand any foreseeable component failure and continue to provide an acceptable level of service. There are several
categories of fault tolerance measures, including those that protect power sources, disks
and data storage, and network components. Fault tolerant systems often employ some
kind of duplication of resources to maintain functioning if one component is damaged
or fails. Fault tolerance is often sought after high availability.

Scalability
Denition:
Scalability is the ability of a storage system to grow smoothly to meet increasing
demands without having to be replaced, recongured, or redesigned. When an enterprise data storage facility supports high-storage and high-growth business functions, it
must be able to scale while continuing to provide a high level of access as it grows.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

Scalability (2 slides)

LESSON 1
Systems can scale in two directions. When systems scale out or scale horizontally,
it means that more resources are added to the existing infrastructure. You may scale
out your website hosting capability by adding more servers. When systems scale up
or scale vertically, it means that existing components are replaced with components
that have more capacity. You can scale up an individual server by adding more storage
or a larger or faster hard disk.
Example:

Figure 1-7: Scalability of a storage system.

Bit Rate vs. Bandwidth vs. Throughput


Bit Rate vs. Bandwidth vs.
Throughput

Three common network metrics are commonly used to measure the performance of a storage
network with respect to data transfer.

Network Metric

Description

Bit rate

The rate at which bits are transmitted between two locations over a communication
network in a given period of time. Bit rate is often measured in bits per second (bps),
kilobits per second (Kbps), and megabits per second (Mbps).

Bandwidth

The amount of available or consumed data between two locations over a network. In
other words, bandwidth is the maximum bit rate over a network. Bandwidth is often
referred to as data transfer rate and is measured in bits per second (bps).

Throughput

The amount of data transferred per unit of time by a network device. Throughput is
also represented in bits per second, but unlike bit rate, it takes into account other factors such as processing delays, queueing delays, and network congestion. Throughput
of a device is calculated under standard testing conditions. Standard testing is done
with a combination of hardware and software by transmitting data from one end of
the network and calculating throughput at the receiving end.

The I/O Channel


The I/O Channel

10

The I/O channel, or input/output channel, is a line of communication that transmits data
between input/output devices and/or memory to the CPU and other peripheral devices of a
computer. The I/O channel uses a parallel architecture through which data can be transmitted at
a high speed, but for short distances. Because the I/O channel is well structured and static,
data can be routed between storage devices with minimal delay.

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LESSON 1
I/O Buses
An I/O bus is a set of wires that connects storage devices to CPU and memory. A few of these
wires will transmit data, whereas the others send housekeeping signals such as the clock pulse.
The I/O bus provides a path for the signals that carry data and control information on a computer.

I/O Buses

ACTIVITY 1-1
Examining Network Storage
Scenario:
You want to take up the position of a storage administrator in your organization. As a rst
step, you decide to examine the concepts of storage networking.

1.

What is throughput?
a) The rate at which bits are transmitted between two locations over a communication
network in a given period of time.
b) The amount of available or consumed data communication resources between two
locations over a network.
c) The amount of data transferred per unit of time by a network device.
d) The ability of a storage system to grow smoothly to meet increasing demand without
having to be replaced, reconfigured, or redesigned.

2.

Which of these are examples of external storage devices? (Select all that apply.)
a) Tape library
b) RAM
c) Flash drive
d) Optical jukebox

3.

What is high availability?


a) A method of centralizing data storage among multiple servers.
b) A system design and service implementation approach that ensures a prearranged
operational performance is met during a specified period of time.
c) The ability of a storage system to grow smoothly to meet increasing demands without
having to be replaced, reconfigured, or redesigned.
d) A protocol-specific identifier assigned to a node.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

11

LESSON 1
4.

What is an I/O channel?


a) It is a set of wires that connects input/output devices of a computer to the CPU and
other peripheral devices such as storage devices.
b) It is the optical media that is used to transmit data over long distances.
c) It is a line of communication that transmits data between input/output devices
and/or memory to the CPU and other peripheral devices of a computer.

TOPIC B
Describe Network Basics
In the previous topic, you described storage basics. In addition to storing data, you should also
make sure that this data is accessible by anyone within the organization whenever required.
Computer networks let you share data and resources within that network. In this topic, you
will describe network basics.
Imagine there are nearly 300 employees working in your organization. It is a must for each
one to have their own computer with access to the Internet and a printer. In such circumstances, instead of having 300 separate modems and printers, you can have one Internet
connection and one printer connected to one computer. This computer in turn is connected to
the other 300 computers that share the printer and the Internet connection. Such a network
downsizes cost and also saves space. By examining the basics of networking, you will be able
to manage a computer network effectively.

Ethernet
Ethernet

Ethernet is a family of networking technologies and access methods specied for Local Area
Networks (LANs). It is dened by the IEEE 802.3 standard and is referred to as 802.3
Ethernet. It was developed for computers to act as a broadcast transmission medium and communicate over a shared network. Ethernet has evolved and is currently the most widespread
technology for LANs. It usually operates with the end systems connected to the network using
twisted pair cables in their subnetworks and optical bers or coaxial cables in the network
backbone.
Advantages of Ethernet
Ethernet remains the most popular LAN technology because of the following advantages.

It can be implemented on the network at a very low cost.

12

It is easy to understand, implement, manage, and maintain.

The topology for the network installation is exible.

Simple interconnection and operation with products is possible that are standard
compliant regardless of the manufacturer.

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LESSON 1
Gigabit Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet provides a data transfer rate of 1 Gbps and mainly uses optical ber
(1000BASE-X), twisted pair cable (1000BASE-T), or balanced copper cable
(1000BASE-CX). 10 Gigabit Ethernet is currently the highest speed at which Ethernet
operates. It can achieve a speed of 10 Gbps, which is 10 times faster than Gigabit
Ethernet. It is also compatible with the Wide Area Network (WAN) and is still an
emerging technology. It supports ber media and can extend the operating distance up
to 25 miles.
The various Gigabit Ethernet standards are:

Name

Medium

Specied Distance

1000BASECX

Twinaxial cable

25 meters

1000BASESX

Multi-mode ber

220 to 550 meters dependent


on ber diameter and bandwidth

1000BASELX

Multi-mode ber

550 meters

1000BASELX

Single-mode ber

5 km

1000BASELX10

Single-mode ber using 1,310


nm wavelength

10 km

1000BASEZX

Single-mode ber at 1,550 nm 70 km


wavelength

1000BASEBX10

Single-mode ber, over


single-strand ber: 1,490 nm
downstream 1,310 nm
upstream

10 km

1000BASET

Twisted-pair cabling

100 meters

1000BASETX

Twisted-pair cabling

100 meters

Network Addresses
Denition:
A network address, also called an IP address in the context of a Transmission Control
Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) network, is a protocol-specic identier assigned
to a node on a network. A network address typically includes two parts: one that identies the network (called the network address) and the other that identies the node
(called the host address). A network address is typically a number and is mapped to
the Media Access Control (MAC) address by software running on nodes.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

Network Addresses (2 slides)

13

LESSON 1
Example:

Figure 1-8: A network address assigned to a node.


MAC Addresses
A MAC address, also called a physical address, is a unique, hardware-level address
assigned to every networking device by its manufacturer. MAC addresses are six bytes
long. The rst three bytes uniquely identify the manufacturer and are referred to as the
Organizationally Unique Identier (OUI). The remaining three bytes identify the device
itself and are known as the Universal LAN MAC address.

Network Names
Network Names (2 slides)

Denition:
A network name is a word or phrase assigned to a node to help users and technicians
recognize the device easily. A naming service, enabled by software running on one or
more nodes, maps a network name to a network address or MAC address.
Example:

Figure 1-9: A network name assigned to a node.


Network Names vs. Addresses
A network name is simply a text string assigned to a node on a network, whereas a
network address is made up of four bytes that uniquely identies a node on a network.

WWN
WWN (2 slides)

14

A World Wide Name (WWN) is a unique name that identies a particular element on a Fibre
Channel network. Similar to MAC addresses, the 64-bit WWN is assigned to a device during
manufacturing.

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LESSON 1
WWNs can be categorized into the World Wide Port Name (WWPN) and World Wide Node
Name (WWNN). A WWPN is a WWN that is assigned to a port on a Fibre Channel network,
while a WWNN is a WWN that is assigned to an endpoint or a device on a Fibre Channel
network. Some of the FC devices that have WWNs include Host Bus Adapters (HBAs), storage device ports, and physical ports in a switch.

Figure 1-10: The structure of WWN of an HBA.

Aliases
Denition:
Aliases are user assigned names for the WWNs of either the Host Bus adapters
(HBAs) or the storage arrays front end ports in SAN fabrics. Aliases are sometimes
called nicknames by different SAN switch vendors. Once created, they are usually
stored in the name server database. Zone members are each assigned an alias before
being created because relating to a name is much easier than relating to a 64 bit alphanumeric number. It also makes the zone creation process much easier. The SAN
administrator can modify or delete an alias.

Aliases (2 slides)

The terms SAN fabrics,


storage arrays, and zones will
be dealt with in detail in
subsequent lessons.

Example:

Figure 1-11: Creating an alias.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

15

LESSON 1
The OSI Reference Model
The OSI Reference Model (3
slides)

The Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) reference model is a network model developed by the
International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for communication on open system networks. This model divides the data communication process into seven tasks, groups, or layers.
Each layer is a collection of some related functions and protocols and has some devices that
work at that layer. Each layer is designed to provide services to the layer above it and issue
service requests to the layer below it.

Figure 1-12: The OSI reference model with its layers.


OSI consists of seven layers.

16

Layer

Function

Physical

This layer is the lowest layer and provides the means of transmitting data bits over a
physical medium. It also species electrical and mechanical characteristics such as
voltage, frequency, and transmission medium of a network. This layer receives fully
formatted data packets from the Data Link layer and places them on the media. Network adapters, hubs, and wireless access points are some of the devices that operate
at this layer. Therefore, this layer determines the mode and medium of transmission,
which are factors that affect the speed of transmission.

Data Link

This layer is responsible for transferring data packets among adjacent network nodes
without errors. After sending the packets, this layer waits for acknowledgment from
the receiving devices. This layer is also responsible for grouping data bits into
frames and attaching the address of the receiving node to each frame, thus forming a
data packet. It also adds error correction and detecting codes to the frames to perform error checks and corrections. Bridges and switches are some of the devices that
operate at this layer.

Network

This layer species how data packets are routed from a source to a destination
through a network. It is different from the Data Link layer, which deals with the
transmission of data among adjacent nodes only. The presence of too many packets
on the network may lead to collisions. The responsibility of controlling congestion
on the network by taking proper routing decisions belongs to the Network layer. In
addition, this layer denes the protocols for interconnecting two or more similar networks. All routers operate at this layer.

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LESSON 1
Layer

Function

Transport

This layer accepts data from the upper layers, breaks the data into smaller units,
passes the units to the lower layers, and ensures that all the units arrive correctly at
the other end. Because these small units may arrive out of sequence, the Transport
layer adds a sequence number to each unit and this helps reconstruct the original
order in case of any distortion. This layer is also responsible for carrying out error
correction and sending acknowledgments at the network level. In addition, this layer
denes protocols for interconnecting different types of networks with different protocol suites.

Session

This layer is responsible for establishing a connection between network devices and
applications, maintaining the connection, and then terminating or restarting it when
required. This layer controls how, when, and for how long a device can transmit or
receive data and species procedures for the connection, termination, and restarting
of sessions. It also species the procedures for synchronizing data transfer between
two devices with different data transmission rates.

Presentation

This layer is responsible for encoding data in a standard network compatible format.
Most programs contain data such as names, identication numbers, and passwords.
These items may be represented as characters, integers, or oating numbers, and
each device on a network may use a different code to represent the same data. In
addition, standard data formats are used to enable devices with different representation techniques to communicate with each other.

Application

This layer is the highest layer and provides various services and utilities that enable
application programs to access the network and its resources. This layer denes protocols for transferring les, sending email, and saving data on a network server. This
is the only layer with which users directly interact.

Gateways
Denition:
A gateway is a device, software, or system that converts data between incompatible
systems. Gateways can translate data between different operating systems, between
different email formats, or between totally different networks.

Gateways (2 slides)

The three main types of gateways are protocol, address, and format. A protocol gateway converts a TCP/IP packet to a legacy protocol such as a NetWare IPX packet and
vice versa. An address gateway connects networks with different directory spaces, and
a format gateway connects networks with different data encoding and representation
schemes, such as American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII).
Gateways function at every layer in the OSI model, but are sometimes referred to as
functioning at the Application layer. In most instances, gateway functionality is
achieved by using a combination of hardware and software.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

17

LESSON 1
Example:

Figure 1-13: A gateway converts data between incompatible systems or networks.

File Servers
File Servers (2 slides)

Denition:
A le server is a computer that stores programs and data les intended to be shared by
multiple users. Acting like remote disk drives, most of the le servers use high-speed
LAN or WAN links to keep data moving at optimal rates. Network Attached Storage
(NAS) is considered a dedicated le server.
Example:

Figure 1-14: A file server serves information to clients.

Storage Transport Protocols


Storage Transport Protocols

18

Numerous transport protocols are used on a storage network to meet the needs of diverse
applications.

Protocol

Description

Small Computer Systems Interface (SCSI)

This protocol provides a set of commands to a system to communicate with


storage devices and enables the system to read and write data to and from storage devices.

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LESSON 1
Protocol

Description

Internet Protocol (IP)

This protocol is used for data communication on a network and is responsible


for sending data packets across the network. It is a connectionless protocol and
acts as an intermediary between the higher protocol layers and the network.

Internet Small Computer Systems


Interface (iSCSI)

This is an IP-based storage network standard for linking storage devices. It uses
a command set to facilitate data transfer over networks and to manage data
storage over long distances.

Virtual Interface (VI)

This is an efficient, lightweight protocol that is used for transporting messages


within clusters in a virtual storage environment.

Fibre Channel (FC)

This is a dominant protocol in storage networking because it uses a serial architecture that provides high bandwidth. In addition, FC supports more devices,
applications, and protocols using long distance connectivity.

ACTIVITY 1-2
Examining Network Fundamentals
Scenario:
You are working as a network administrator in your organization and you want to progress to
the position of a storage administrator. As a rst step, you need to examine the concepts of
storage networking.

1.

Which of these are true about Ethernet? (Select all that apply.)
a) It is a family of networking technologies and access methods specified for LANs.
b) Gigabit Ethernet provides a data transfer rate of 1 Gbps and mainly uses copper
cables.
c) It can be implemented on a network at a very low cost.
d) The hardware required for Gigabit Ethernet is very cheap as compared with other
types.

2.

What is the use of a SCSI protocol?


a) This is an efficient, lightweight protocol that is used for transporting messages within
clusters in a virtual storage environment.
b) This protocol provides a set of commands to a system to communicate with storage
devices and enables the system to read and write data to and from storage devices.
c) This protocol is used for data communication on a network and is responsible for
sending data packets across the network. It is a connectionless protocol and acts as
an intermediary between the higher protocol layers and the network.
d) This is an IP-based storage network standard for linking storage devices. It uses a
command set to facilitate data transfer over networks and to manage data storage
over long distances.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

19

LESSON 1
3.

The Data Linklayer is responsible for transferring data packets among adjacent network nodes without errors.

TOPIC C
Identify Network Data Delivery
Techniques
In the previous topic, you described storage networks. The most fundamental aspect of any
storage network involves the data delivery technique that is used to transmit data across the
network. In this topic, you will identify data delivery techniques that are employed on a network.
Data takes different forms when it is transported across a network because of the compatibility
issues of various components involved in data transfer. In addition, the data transfer rate and
the data transmission mode also vary based on the devices that you use on the network. The
challenge for network and storage administrators is to implement delivery techniques within
the network to ensure that data is transmitted correctly and accurately across the network.

Data Flow in the OSI Layer


Data Flow in the OSI Layer

20

When an application initiates a data transfer process, the data passes through various layers of
a network and then transmits over the network. At each layer, the data undergoes a lot of
structural changes before being delivered to the receiving node.

Data

Description

Message

An information block to be communicated across a network. The message may consist of text, numbers, or multimedia les. The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP)
breaks down a message into small chunks or units of data for transmission across a
network, such as the Internet. Messages that are sent over Ethernet are often referred
to as Ethernet frames.

Segment

A small piece of data that is split from a data stream or message. The Transport layer
of the OSI Reference Model decides the size of segments in a message and transmits
the segments to their destinations with the help of routers.

Packet

A unit of data sent across a network. All packets contain three parts: header, data, and
footer or trailer. If a sender transmits a packet and the recipient is busy, the sender
sits idle until the packet receives the acknowledgment, after which it sends the next
packet. Throughput can be increased if data is sent in larger packets, with the recipient sending fewer acknowledgments. The contents of a packet depend on the network
protocol in use. The packet is the data unit at the Network layer of the OSI Reference
Model.

Frame

A xed-length data block that is encoded on the Data Link layer of the OSI Reference Model for transmitting data from one node to another on a network. The size of
a frame can range up to 2048 bytes.

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LESSON 1
Frames, Packets, and Datagrams
The terms frame, packet, and datagram are sometimes used interchangeably when
referring to data that travels over a network. Referring to the denition of the OSI
model, you can see that frames occur at layer 2 of the OSI model and packets are a
feature of layer 3. Packets and datagrams are largely interchangeable when referring to
IP networks, but datagram can sometimes refer to communications that do not have
delivery conrmation.

Data Access Methods


In storage networks, data can be accessed using two methods.

Data Access
Method

Data Access Methods

Description

Block level

Block level data access is common in SAN. In this method, the information
requests from various applications on the network are managed by a server and
correct chunks of data are delivered to the clients. Only the server has a knowledge of where the data comes from or where it resides within a storage
subsystem. This method has less overhead than le level data access. In addition,
this method allows connectivity to data disks without going through the le system, thus enhancing performance.

File level

File level data access is commonly used in workgroup environments. There is no


server involved in this method and direct manipulation of an entire le is done by
Network Attached storage (NAS). This method of data access cares little about
the location of the storage as long as the client has control over that le. In this
type of environment, users may require to access these les from various locations or share these les.

8b/10b Encoding
8b/10b encoding is an encoding method in which an 8-bit data packet is converted into a
10-bit data packet and transmitted over a digital medium. In 8-bit data, the rst 4 bits are
encoded into a 5-bit group and the remaining 4 bits are encoded into a 5-bit group. The groups
are then concatenated together to form 10-bit data before being transmitted over the medium.

8b/10b Encoding (2 slides)

The major function of the FC-1 layer is error detection and correction at the data transfer
level. Communication is done in bits and for every 8 bits, an additional 2 bits are added and
the resultant 10 bits are called a character. For every 4 data bits in a character, the last 2 bits
act as the parity bit.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

21

LESSON 1

Figure 1-15: 8b/10b encoding on a network.


Disparities
A disparity is nothing but the difference between the number of 1s and the number of
0s in a transmission character. When a 10 bit information is transmitted through Fibre
Channel, there might arise a disparity. There can be three types of disparities:

Positive disparity (+): When more than 5 bits contain 1, there is said to be a positive disparity.

Negative disparity (-): When more than 5 bits contain 0, there is said to be a
negative disparity.

Neutral disparity (=): When the 0s and 1s are equal, there is said to be a neutral
disparity.

Sessions vs. Connections vs. Links


Sessions vs. Connections vs.
Links

A link is a physical communication channel between the components of a computer network.


If the link is live, it is called a connection. However, a session is an exchange of information
between two components of the network that can last for a certain period of time. On a network, you can close a connection, but you can keep a session active by storing it to a local
disk and resuming it later using another connection.
Connectivity Protocols
Connectivity protocols are used for establishing and maintaining connections between
various devices of a network. Connectivity protocols are divided into stateful and stateless protocols. In a stateful protocol, a server maintains a state with a connection. It
means the server associates all of a clients requests together and knows that they all
came from the same client. But, in a stateless protocol, the server does not know
whether requests, which can be either related or distinct, come from the same client or
different clients. The stateless protocol considers only the requests and responses.
TCP/IP, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), and Network File System (NFS) are examples of
stateful protocols, while HyperText Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Common Internet
File System (CIFS) are examples of stateless protocols.

22

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LESSON 1
Data Transfer Rates
Data transfer rates refer to the amount of data delivered from one place to another in a given
time. On a network, data transfer rates can be measured in bits per second, while on a browser,
they are measured in bytes per second.

Data Transfer Rates

Based on the speed of transmission, data transfer rates are measured in kilobits per second
(Kbps), megabits per second (Mbps), gigabits per second (Gbps), and terabits per second
(Tbps). Data transfer rates vary based on the transmission technologies and the types of
devices that are used on a network.
The Baud Rate
Digital data is transmitted as 0s and 1s. A signal in a communication channel changes
when there is a change from 0 to 1 or 1 to 0. The rate of change in signals per unit
time is known as the baud rate. Baud rate is also called signaling rate.

Data Transmission Modes


A data transmission mode is the manner in which data is transmitted from one location to
another. Network devices use three ways of transmitting data.

Data Transmission
Mode

Data Transmission Modes

Description

Simplex

Simplex mode communication is the one-way transmission of information.


There is no return path. Because the transmission operates in only one direction, simplex mode can use the full bandwidth of the medium for
transmission.

Half duplex

Half duplex mode communications permit two-way communications, but in


only one direction at a time. When one device sends, the other must receive;
then they can switch roles to transfer information in the other direction. Half
duplex mode can use the full bandwidth of the medium because the transmission occurs in only one direction at a time.

Full duplex

Full duplex mode communications permit simultaneous two-way communications. A device can both send and receive at the same time. Sending and
receiving could occur over different channels or on the same channel. Generally, neither the sender nor the receiver can use the full bandwidth for their
individual transmissions because transmissions are allowed in both directions
simultaneously.

Types of Data Transmission


Two types of data transmission are available: parallel transmission and serial transmission.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

Types of Data Transmission

23

LESSON 1
Transmission Type

Description

Parallel transmission A type of digital transmission in which all the bits of a character are sent at the
same time over parallel communication channels. Each channel carries one bit,
and all the bits are sent at the same time. However, the requirement of more
communication channels increases the cost and makes it impractical for use in
long distance networks. Also, all the communication channels must work in perfect synchronization with each other, which is difficult to implement.
Due to the cost and synchronization factors, parallel transmission is mainly used
for communication over short distances such as communication between different
peripherals of a personal computer. An obvious use of parallel approach is the
parallel port on your computer, to which you can connect printers or scanners.
Other users include the Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) and
SCSI devices and interfaces.
Serial transmission

A type of digital transmission in which data is sent one bit at a time, sequentially over a transmission medium. However, serial connection requires fewer
channels as compared to parallel communication and is cheaper and more suitable for long distance networks. Also, a smaller number of channels reduces the
possibility of signal interference to a great extent.
Serial transmission can be further classied as synchronous transmission and
asynchronous transmission. Many common networking systems, such as
Ethernet, use serial approach. Other users include the USB, Fibre Channel, and
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) devices and interfaces.

Flow Control
Flow Control

Flow control is the management of data transmission between computers, devices, or nodes so
that data can be handled at an efficient pace. It provides a mechanism to control the transmission speed to prevent data overow or retransmission. Flow control also ensures that the
transmission speed of the senders data synchronizes with that of a receiver. Moreover, it
enables high-speed devices to communicate with low-speed devices and low-speed devices
with high-speed devices. Flow control is applied by denying additional device connections on
a network until the ow of traffic has reduced.
Buffering
Buffering is a ow control technique in which received data is stored on a temporary
high-speed memory location, called a buffer, until the main system components are
ready to work with the data. In a networking situation, the network card itself handles
buffering so that the system CPU does not have to become involved. Buffering is also
used when reading information from the disk or RAM, in which case the buffer is
more often called cache.

Segmentation
Segmentation (2 slides)

Segmentation, also known as segmentation and reassembly (SAR), is the process of breaking a
data packet into smaller units before data transmission and reassembling them into the proper
order at the receiving end. Segmentation enables packets to be made smaller so that they can
travel at high-speed over a network that has packet size restrictions in a given path.
Segmentation is performed at both ends of the Transport layer of the OSI model and the size
of the packet units is determined by a transport protocol. Segmentation is performed at packetswitched networks. On TCP/IP networks, segmentation is referred to as fragmentation.

24

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 1

Figure 1-16: Segmentation enables high-speed data transmission over a network.

Initiators
An initiator is the endpoint that initiates a SCSI session. In other words, the initiator gathers
the SCSI commands and routes them to the target over an IP network. In other words, the
hosts on a storage network are referred to as initiators. An initiator is of two types.

Initiator

Description

Software initiator

Implements iSCSI by using a code. They can be used with most operating systems and is a commonly used mode for deploying iSCSI on computers. Software
iSCSI initiators are mostly used where there are a limited number of host Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) slots.

Hardware initiator

Uses hardware, usually in combination with software, to implement iSCSI. It


reduces the Ethernet interrupts and overheads of iSCSI and TCP processing,
thereby improving server performance.

Initiators

Targets
A target is a storage device that normally does not initiate sessions, but responds to the initiators SCSI commands and provides the corresponding I/O data. A SCSI device, a target
executes a command from a SCSI initiator, performing some task or the other. If the target is a
storage array, then it usually provides one or more Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs), because no
read or write operations from the initiator would then be possible.

Targets

Targets can include storage arrays and software.

Target

Description

Storage arrays

In a data center, a target is found in a large storage array such as a NetApp ler,
EMC NS-series devices, and other such appliances. A storage array provides
unique targets for different clients.

Software targets

Most mainstream server operating systems provide iSCSI target functionality as a


built-in feature or as a separate plug-in. Some of the operating systems that implement iSCSI target support are FreeNAS, Openler, and JBOSS.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

25

LESSON 1
The term LUN will be dealt in
detail in the further lessons.

Fabrics

Fabrics
A fabric is a well designed, intelligent network that follows FC standards. It consists of
switches, routers, gateway devices, hubs, and tape libraries. These devices make the fabric an
intelligent network. Fabric is said to be self congurable because the ports of a fabric network
congure themselves according to the devices connected to them.
For example, if a host is connected to the fabric, it congures itself accordingly and shows the
F port (Fabric port) near the switch and the N port (Network port) near the host. Similarly, if
loop devices are connected to the fabric, it displays the FL port (Fabric Loop port) near the
switch and the NL port (Network Loop port) near the loop device. When a switch is connected
to a fabric, it congures itself to the E port (Extender port) near the ports of both switches.
In a switched fabric, all devices are connected to Fibre Channel switches. A switched fabric is
a network topology, where each network node is connected to another node through one or
more network switches.
The advantages of using a switched fabric are:

Bandwidth is used efficiently.

Switches provide optimized interconnections.

Multiple ports may communicate simultaneously.

Payload Integrity
Payload Integrity

Payload is the essential data or information contained within a data packet or other data transmission unit. It does not include overhead data that is required by the data transmission unit to
reach its destination.
Payload integrity is the process of checking if the data that is being sent from a source device
is received intact by a destination device without any unauthorized modication happening
during data transfer. Error management approaches are employed to ensure that payload integrity is achieved on networks.

Oversubscription
Oversubscription

Oversubscription is the process of connecting more than one storage device to the same port to
optimize switch use. Each port in a SAN can support a particular communication speed. However, since ports are rarely run at their maximum speed, it is possible to fan in multiple slower
devices to a single port and make use of the unused capacity.
For example, a single storage server may not be able to sustain 4 Gbps on one switch port.
Therefore, you can aggregate two 2 Gb servers or four 1 Gb servers to that 4 Gb switch port.
Connecting multiple devices to a single switch port improves a ports utilization, which not
only saves money, but also reduces the number of switch ports that need to be congured. The
disadvantage of oversubscription is that when many devices connect to the same port, they
contend for that particular ports bandwidth, resulting in poor response time.

Error Management Approaches


Error Management Approaches

26

Error management approaches on computer networks and storage networks can be divided into
error detection approaches and error recovery approaches.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 1

Error detection uses various schemes to detect and report on the errors caused by various
problems during data transmission from a source to a destination over a network.

Error correction not only detects errors, but also reconstructs original data during data
transmission.

Error Detection Approaches


Several approaches can be used for error detection.

Error Detection
Approach

Error Detection Approaches

Description

Parity check

Parity check refers to the use of parity bits to check whether data is transmitted accurately or not. A parity bit is a bit that is added to each byte of data to
identify whether each of the 0s and 1s within the data transmission is an
odd and even number.
Parity check is categorized into Vertical Redundancy Check (VRC) and Longitudinal Redundancy Check (LRC). VRC detects only the single-bit errors,
while LRC detects all 1-bit, 2-bit, and 3-bit errors, but not 4-bit errors.

Cyclic Redundancy
Check (CRC)

CRC is an error-checking mechanism in which two calculated values are


compared to determine whether errors occurred during data transmission
between a source and a destination. CRC uses a predened mathematical
operation to calculate a CRC code. The source node attaches the CRC to a
block of data and transmits it to the receiver. The receiving node calculates its
own CRC value for the data block and compares it to the transmitted CRC. If
the values match, the receiver assumes the data was unaltered during transmission.

Checksum

Checksum is a numerical value that enables a computer to verify that data


was received intact. The checksum value is added to the packet by the sending computer. The receiving computer performs calculations on the data
within the packet and compares the results to the checksum value stored in
the packets header. If the two values are identical, then the packet is presumed to contain valid data.

Error Recovery Approaches


Two primary approaches are used for error recovery.

Error Recovery
Approach
Automatic Repeat
Request (ARQ)

Error Recovery Approaches

Description
In ARQ, when a request is placed for the retransmission of erroneous data, an
error detection scheme is simultaneously combined with it. In this scheme,
each block of received data will be checked for errors and if the data is erroneous, retransmission requests will be made until the data becomes valid.

Forward Error Correc- In FEC, data is encoded using an error correction code by the sender before
tion (FEC)
data transmission occurs. This code adds additional information to the data.
The receiver will use the additional information provided, to recover the original data. In general, the reconstructed data is what is deemed to be the original
data.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

27

LESSON 1
Payload Integrity vs. Error Recovery Approaches
Payload integrity is performed to ensure that data is delivered intact from a source to a
destination, but error recovery approaches are performed to detect and correct any
errors in the data that is being sent. In addition, error recovery approaches are
employed to ensure that payload integrity is achieved on networks.

ACTIVITY 1-3
Identifying Network Data Delivery
Scenario:
To prepare yourself for becoming a storage administrator, you decide to identify the data delivery techniques of a network.

1.

Which is a data unit at the Network layer of the OSI Reference Model?
a) A message
b) A frame
c) A segment
d) A packet

2.

Which mode of data communication permits two-way communications, but in only one
direction at a time?
a) Simplex
b) Half duplex
c) Full duplex

3.

What is the main purpose of 8b/10b encoding on a storage network?


It helps convert parallel input data into serial output data for communication across a
Fibre Channel network.

28

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

Lesson 1 Follow-up

LESSON 1

In this lesson, you examined the basics of storage and network technologies. Knowing the fundamentals of storage and network technologies is essential for you to gain a strong footing in
the storage networking eld.
1.

Which type of storage network is implemented in your organization? What are the storage devices included in it?
Answers will vary, but may include: a SAN in a client-server or peer-to-peer architecture
and could include storage devices such as hard disks, optical discs, tapes, and solid state
storage devices.

2.

In what way does the knowledge of network data delivery techniques help you implement a storage network in your organization?
Answers will vary, but may include: by understanding network data delivery techniques,
you can implement delivery techniques within your storage network to ensure that data
will be transmitted correctly and accurately across the network.

Lesson 1: Exploring Storage and Networking Fundamentals

29

NOTES

30

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 2

LESSON 2

Lesson Time
1 hour(s)

Describing Physical
Networking Hardware
In this lesson, you will describe physical networking hardware.
You will:

Describe networking hardware.

Examine HBA/NIC/PCI technology.

Lesson 2: Describing Physical Networking Hardware

31

LESSON 2
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you explored the storage and networking fundamentals. To apply these
fundamentals in a storage environment, you need to familiarize yourself with the various
physical networking hardware. In this lesson, you will describe physical networking hardware.
Organizations using numerous applications for communication, accounting, and management
have to deal with large volumes of data. They require a highly reliable and secure storage
environment to ensure that their data is accessible at all times. Knowledge of the physical networking hardware will enable you to establish an ideal combination of networking elements
for your organization.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

1.4 Describe the uses of physical networking hardware.

Topic B

1.4 Describe the uses of physical networking hardware.

TOPIC A
Describe Networking Hardware
This lesson will describe the physical networking hardware. In this topic, you will describe the
networking hardware which are the basic components of forming a network.
As a storage networking professional, you will be required to build and maintain the right
equipment required for your organization. With proper knowledge of the necessary networking
hardware, you will be able to arrange equipment that really works best for the organization.

Switches
Switches (2 slides)

Denition:
A switch is a network device that acts as a common connecting point for various nodes
or segments. Switches have multiple ports and are responsible for forwarding data
from the source to the destination. However, switches forward data packets to only the
nodes they are addressed to and reduce the chances of collision among data packets.
Most switches can work with multiple pairs of ports simultaneously to improve performance. Since switches forward each packet to only the required port, the chances of
collisions are greatly reduced.

32

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 2
Example:

Figure 2-1: A switch connects multiple nodes on a network.


Switching
Switching is a process used for transmitting information over a network to the destination network device. The two types of switching are circuit switching and packet
switching. Circuit switching is used to direct the call in a traditional phone network.
The path of the call is decided before the transmission starts and it remains the same
until the connection is terminated.
In packet switching, the le to be transmitted is broken into small units known as
packets. These packets do not follow a xed path to reach the destination and are
arranged in the correct sequence at the destination device.
Forwarding Techniques
Switches forward data to nodes in four different ways.

Forwarding Technique

Description

Simple forwarding

A technique that involves identifying the receiver node or segment and


sending data through the appropriate port. Data is rst loaded into the
switch and then immediately relayed to the receiving node.

Store and forward

In this technique, data coming from a device is rst stored and validated
and then sent to the destination later. No real-time services can be provided through this technique because it involves a lot of delays.
However, the chances of errors and collisions are greatly reduced.

Cut through forwarding

A forwarding technique for packet switching networks where the switch


starts forwarding a packet even before the whole packet has been
received. The transmission starts immediately after the processing of the
destination address. Though this technique reduces delays, it also compromises the reliability of data by increasing the chances of collisions
and errors.

Fragment free forwarding

In this technique, the switch forwards a packet only after making sure
that there is no possibility of collisions occurring. It is used only on
those networks where there is a chance of collision on the source port.
Though it can be efficiently implemented for small networks, a large network with a large number of switches may not benet from fragment
free techniques due to high delays as compared to cut through switching.

Lesson 2: Describing Physical Networking Hardware

33

LESSON 2
Trunking
Trunking (2 slides)

Denition:
Trunking is a network connection method in which multiple network cables or ports
are used in parallel for increasing the link speed beyond the capacity of any one single
cable or port. A trunk handles multiple signals simultaneously and connects major
switching centers or nodes in a communications system. Trunks are used for interconnecting switches to form networks, and for interconnecting local area networks (LANs)
to form wide area networks (WANs) or Virtual LANs (VLANs).
A trunk is made of multiple wires, cables, or ber optic strands that maximize the
existing bandwidth and the number of channels that can be accommodated. A trunk
can also be a broadband wireless link. Trunking reduces the amount of cable hardware
needed to serve a given number of subscribers on a network by minimizing the number of physical signal paths.
Example:

Figure 2-2: A typical port trunking.

ISL
ISL (2 slides)

34

Denition:
An Inter-Switch Link (ISL) is a connection between two switches through E_ports in a
Fibre Channel fabric. In an FC SAN, fabrics are expanded and the number of ports is
increased using ISLs. The length of an ISL can be anything up to 500 m without any
special equipment. However, you can extend ISLs over long distance bre links by
tunneling Fibre Channel over IP. ISLs can be congured only on switch ports with
speeds of 100 Mbps and above.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 2
Example:

Figure 2-3: An ISL expands a fabric through E_ports.

Directors
Denition:
A director is a fabric switch with high bandwidth and large port count that is designed
to provide high availability and performance. Fully redundant hot swappable components, which minimize downtime, are present in directors.

Directors (2 slides)

Single-stage directors use a crossbar architecture that enables all ports to interconnect with each other simultaneously without any performance degradation. This feature
of simultaneously interconnecting without having any impact on performance is called
non-blocking. In a single-stage director with redundant components, service actions
(excluding the replacement of port cards), and failures are transparent. Also, the hot
code activation technology of a director enables the addition of critical feature
enhancements, without having any impact on critical applications.
Example:

Figure 2-4: A director that enables all ports to interconnect with each other.

Lesson 2: Describing Physical Networking Hardware

35

LESSON 2
Hot-Pluggable on Networks
Hot-Pluggable on Networks (2
slides)

Hot-pluggable on networks refer to the addition or removal of a node without affecting the
status of the running network. However, you have to perform certain network administration
tasks in order to prepare the operating network prior to the hot-pluggable event. Generally, all
network devices cause a hotplug event irrespective of the registration status of the devices in
the kernel. All device nodes can be virtually hotplugged though their hardware does not support physical hotplugging. Once a node is hot plugged, other devices on the network can
identify it and share the information across. For devices to be able to identify the hotpluggable node, either the hot-pluggable node or the network should be recongured. Routers,
switches, modems, disk arrays, and disk enclosures are some examples of hot-pluggable
devices.

Figure 2-5: Hot-plugging devices on a network.


Hot-Pluggable in Disk Arrays and Enclosures
Computer Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) allow hotplugging a new
disk. When hotplugged, the new disk is congured to suit the array requirements automatically or through user commands.
Computer enclosures support hotplugging through openings on the front plate, the top
plate, or a side plate. A disk cabinet with many hotplugging connectors is connected to
the enclosure through the opening and provides connections to many hard disk drives.

HBA
HBA (2 slides)

Denition:
A Host Bus Adapter (HBA) is an interface card or an electronic circuit board that provides I/O processing and connectivity between a host system and a storage device
through Fibre Channel or SCSI medium. The HBA that connects servers to a storage
network is often referred to as Fibre Channel HBA.
Some HBAs use copper cables, while some others use ber optic cables. To improve
the performance of the host processor, the HBA does many low-level interface functions either automatically or with minimal processor involvement. An HBA and its
associated disk subsystems are often referred to as a disk channel.

36

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 2
Example:

Figure 2-6: An 8-GB, dual-port HBA used on a Fibre Channel network.

CNA
Denition:
Converged Network Adapter (CNA), which is otherwise called a Converged Network
Interface Controller (C-NIC), is a computer I/O device that carries both Ethernet traffic
as well as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) traffic in a single cable. CNA offloads
the FCoE protocol processing task and therefore relieves the server CPU resources
from performing that task. Usage of CNA can reduce the number of adapters required
on the server, the number of cables, the number of switch ports, and the number of
PCI Express slots.

CNA (2 slides)

Example:

Figure 2-7: A CNA.

Routers
Denition:
A router is a networking device used to route data among multiple networks that use
the same protocol. Routers send data among networks by examining the network
addresses contained in the packets they process. A router can be a dedicated device or
can be implemented as software running on a node. Though the functions of a router
are similar to that of a switch, a router has higher data handling capacity than a switch.

Lesson 2: Describing Physical Networking Hardware

Routers (2 slides)

37

LESSON 2
Example:

Figure 2-8: The functioning of a router on a network.


Functions of a Router on a Network
A router manages the exchange of information from network to network, or among
network cabling segments. Based on routing tables and routing protocols, routers read
the network address in each transmitted frame and make a decision on how to send it
based on the most expedient route. Routers are used to segment LANs in order to balance traffic within workgroups and to lter traffic for security purposes and policy
management. Routers are also used at the edge of the network to connect remote
offices.
Routing Protocols
Routing protocols are protocols that specify how routers communicate with each other
and exchange information, which allows them to select the best possible route between
any two nodes on a network. There are two major types of routing protocols.

Routing Protocol
Type

38

Description

Link-state routing
protocol

In this protocol, every router contains a map showing which nodes are
connected to which router to determine the best possible path. Each
router independently identies the best possible next hop from every
node in its segment to every destination on the network. A link-state protocol router informs its neighboring routers when it identies a change in
the network topology.

Distance-vector
routing protocol

This protocol uses the distance or hop count between the source and the
destination as a metric for determining the best possible path. This protocol makes it mandatory for routers to continuously share their routing
tables with other routers on the network and keep them up-to-date on
any topology changes made in their segment.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 2
Routers vs. Switches
When computers communicate with different networks through switches, they are limited to
adjacent networks because switches use Media Access Control (MAC) addresses. Routers, on
the other hand, are designed to interconnect multiple networks and support connectivity to distant networks. They use a map of networks to make decisions on where to forward data
packets. Another advantage that a router has over a switch is that it can read the port number
and determine not only the datas destination, but also what kind of data it is because it is
aware of the IP address.

Routers vs. Switches

ACTIVITY 2-1
Examining Networking Hardware
Scenario:
You have joined a company as a networking administrator. Your manager has asked you to
update your knowledge of networking hardware.

1.

Which network device acts as a connecting point for various nodes or segments?
a) Switch
b) Host bus adapter
c) Router
d) Converged network adapter

2.

True or False? A router is an interface card or an electronic circuit board that provides
I/O processing and connectivity between a host system and a storage device through
Fibre Channel or SCSI medium.
True
False

3.

What are the advantages of a router over a switch?


A router is designed to interconnect multiple networks and support connectivity to distant networks. It uses a map of networks to make decisions on where to forward data
packets. Routers can read the port number and determine not only the datas destination, but also what kind of data it is, as it is aware of the IP address.

Lesson 2: Describing Physical Networking Hardware

39

LESSON 2

TOPIC B
Examine HBA/NIC/PCI Technology
In the previous topic, you described various physical networking hardware components. The
next set of components that go into a complete storage network is the various connectivity
technologies involved on a storage network. In this topic, you will examine HBA/NIC/PCI
technology.
You cannot implement a storage network by merely connecting all the storage devices together.
You need to be aware of specic interface products that serve the purpose of connecting and
communicating with various kinds of storage devices on a network environment. The ability to
identify such components is an integral part of the background knowledge that every storage
administrator should have.

HBA Technology
HBA Technology

HBAs are generally utilized in Fibre Channel SAN environments and can also be deployed for
connecting SCSI and Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) devices. The emergence
of iSCSI and Fibre Channel over Ethernet has led to the development of the Ethernet HBA.
There are different types of HBAs from low-cost embedded chips to high-end, dual-channel
multi-pathing adapters.
The basic HBAs have minimal buffering memory or intelligence and support small FC Arbitrated Loops (FC-AL). The high-end HBAs may have additional buffer memory for improving
performance and throughput, and features such as HBA-based LUN masking and failover
capability. Selecting an HBA technology platform, which provides a common driver architecture across many generations, ensures proper management of HBAs throughout the SAN.

Single-Ported and Multi-Ported HBAs


Single-Ported and MultiPorted HBAs

HBAs can be categorized into single-ported HBAs and multi-ported HBAs. A single-ported
HBA will have one port with a single WWPN address, whereas a multi-ported HBA will have
multiple ports with multiple WWPN addresses.
A single-ported HBA has its own PCI bus so that its throughput is better than that of other
adapters. A multi-ported HBA presents itself as multiple HBAs, but it needs to balance load
among multiple ports. The multi-ported HBA spreads I/O across multiple PCI slots and gives
better resilience. If a single-ported or multi-ported HBA fails, you need to replace the entire
HBA and change its WWPN. The software, hardware, or drivers on the HBA determine its
performance, interoperability, or availability on a storage network.

HBA Drivers
HBA Drivers

40

An HBA driver is a small bit of software code, usually written by an HBA vendor, that allows
a host operating system to communicate with the HBA. The HBA driver, which is usually
installed on a server, contains all commands that a server needs to communicate with a specic
device on a storage network.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 2
The HBA driver transmits I/O requests between a system and a set of storage devices or network nodes. To read a given block of data or information on a hard disk, the target driver
determines the actual physical sector of the data on the disk. The HBA driver then programs
the disk controller, issues the read request, and responds to the interrupt generated by the
request. The result of the read operation, whether successful or not, is returned to the target
driver, which then signals the completion of the operation.

HBA Firmware and Software


HBA rmware is a small piece of software located within a chip called a Basic Input-Output
System (BIOS) chip in an HBA. The BIOS chip is the brain of the HBA.

HBA Firmware and Software

HBA software is a vendor-specic software utility that is used to update an HBA so that new
functionality can be added to it. HBA software helps identify HBA details such as the port
count, port WWPN, port number, serial number, and other information. HBA software is also
used to set an HBAs I/O operations per second (IOPS) speeds such as 1 Gbps, 2 Gbps, or 4
Gbps. In addition, HBA software allows automating rmware updates, securing the network
with remote host access permission, monitoring and administering the HBA and connected
devices, and providing advanced scripting capabilities to access the HBA from a browser.

NIC
Denition:
A network interface card (NIC) is a circuit board or card that serves as an intermediary
between any network-capable device and a network such as a LAN. While building a
LAN, an NIC must be installed in all the devices of the network and all NICs must be
of the same architecture.

NIC (2 slides)

The NIC has a ROM chip that contains a MAC address which is used to identify that
device and to direct traffic between the device and other devices on the network. The
back plate of the NIC features a port that accommodates an Ethernet cable which in
turn runs to a central hub or switch. The hub or switch passes information between
computers using the MAC address and allows resources such as printers and scanners
to be shared along with data. NIC is a term that is universally used in the Ethernet
context, but it is often referred to as HBA in the Fibre Channel context.
Example:

Figure 2-9: A typical NIC.

Lesson 2: Describing Physical Networking Hardware

41

LESSON 2
PCI
PCI

Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) is an industry specication for interconnecting a


host system with other hardware components. The hardware component can be either an integrated circuit that ts into the motherboard or an expansion card that ts into a slot.
PCI species the size of the computer bus, electrical characteristics, bus timing, and communication protocols. The standard PCI bus is 32 bits wide and runs at a bus clock speed of 33
MHz with a peak transfer rate of 133 Mbps. There are a number of variations of PCI, including PCI-eXtended (PCI-X) and PCI Express (PCI-E).

PCI-X vs. PCI-E


PCI-X vs. PCI-E

Two enhancements of the conventional PCI standard have been made available: PCI-X and
PCI-E.

PCI Standard

Description

PCI Extended
(PCI-X)

Uses a parallel interconnect to share with other PCI-X devices. It is an extension


of the PCI 32-bit format and differs mainly on the width (64 bits) and high frequencies (up to 533 MHz). PCI-X is used as a bus for high-bandwidth peripherals
such as RAID controllers and Gigabit Ethernet.

PCI Express
(PCI-E)

Uses a faster serial physical-layer communications protocol. In addition, it uses a


point-to-point bus topology to ensure that devices have constant access to the system bus. It is used for high-speed graphic and network cards. Each device has a
serial connection consisting of one or more lanes that carry data in both directions.

ACTIVITY 2-2
Scenario:
As a storage administrator, you need to know about HBA/NIC/PCI technology.

1.

True or False? PCI Express is used as a bus for high-bandwidth peripherals.


True
False

2.

Which is a small piece of software located within a BIOS chip?


a) HBA firmware
b) PCI
c) NIC
d) HBA

42

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 2
3.

What is an HBA driver?


An HBA driver is a small bit of software code that allows a host operating system to communicate with the HBA. The HBA driver, which is usually installed on a server, has all
commands that a server needs for communicating with a specific device on a storage network.

Lesson 2 Follow-up
In this lesson, you examined physical networking hardware. Understanding physical networking hardware is vital for you to gain a strong footing in the storage networking eld.
1.

In what way does knowledge of physical networking hardware help you implement a
storage network in your organization?
Answers will vary, but may include: by understanding physical networking hardware, you
can easily find the technologies and tools that are required and establish an ideal combination of storage system elements to meet your organizational needs.

2.

What are the advantages of using a CNA?


Answers will vary, but may include: CNA relieves the server CPU resources by offloading
the FCoE protocol processing task. Usage of CNA can reduce the number of adapters
required on the server, the amount of cables, the amount of switch ports, and the number of PCI Express slots.

Lesson 2: Describing Physical Networking Hardware

43

NOTES

44

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 3

LESSON 3

Lesson Time
3 hour(s), 30 minutes

Examining Disk
Technologies
In this lesson, you will examine disk technologies.
You will:

Examine the disk fundamentals.

Describe SATA technology.

Describe SCSI/iSCSI technologies.

Describe SAS technology.

Describe the Fibre Channel architecture.

Describe the RAID system.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

45

LESSON 3
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you described physical networking hardware. In addition to this, you
need to familiarize yourself with the various disk drive components that act as major storage
elements. In this lesson, you will examine disk technologies.
Most IT organizations require a reliable and secure storage environment for accessing data at
all times. By examining the disk technologies, you can implement a variety of storage solutions for your organization. You will also be able to compare and contrast disk technologies to
decide on the best high performance storage solution to suit your requirements.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

1.1 Describe disk types, components, and features.

5.2 Identify tuning and workload balance concepts.

Topic B

46

1.1 Describe disk types, components, and features.

Topic C

1.1 Describe disk types, components, and features.

2.1 Identify common storage networking industry terms.

2.3 Given a scenario, implement the following Fibre Channel technologies.

5.4 Describe network device bandwidth properties and functions.

Topic D

1.1 Describe disk types, components, and features.

2.2 Explain the following storage networking industry terms.

Topic E

1.1 Describe disk types, components, and features.

1.4 Describe the uses of physical networking hardware.

2.3 Given a scenario, implement the following Fibre Channel technologies.

2.9 Compare and contrast common storage infrastructures.

Topic F

1.5 Given a scenario, install and maintain modular storage array components.

3.1 Explain the following RAID levels and associated properties.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

TOPIC A

LESSON 3

Examine Disk Fundamentals


Throughout this lesson, you will examine the disk technologies that will help you implement
an effective storage network. To meet the storage requirements in your organization, you will
need to identify the basics of various disk components. In this topic, you will examine the disk
fundamentals.
The goal of every IT organization is to optimize the utilization of its storage assets and avoid
using expensive storage components for low value data. The basic knowledge of disk fundamentals will help you understand the appropriate use of disk technologies for implementing a
storage network.

Hard Disk Drives


Denition:
A Hard Disk Drive (HDD) is a data storage device that uses xed media to store data.
In other words, the disk is built into a drive that remains on the computer until an
upgrade or a repair is underway. HDDs connect directly to the system board via at
least one cable for data and another for power. The HDD consists of several aluminum
or glass platters with a magnetic surface coating on which data is stored magnetically.
A computers storage capacity can be expanded by adding more hard disk drives.

Hard Disk Drives (3 slides)

Figure 3-1: A typical HDD.


Hard disk drives can be internal or external. Internal hard disk drives are mounted
inside the computer case and are connected directly to the system board. External hard
disk drives are standalone portable units connected to the system using a number of
connections, including USB and rewire.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

47

LESSON 3
Example:

Figure 3-2: An internal and external HDD.


Comparison of Disk Drives
The following table summarizes the electrical and mechanical differences in disk
drives.

Disk Drive

Type of
Interface

Transfer
Rate

Rotational
Speed

Range of Storage Capacity

PATA

PATA (IDE)

3-133 Mbps

5,400 rpm

500 MB-400 GB

SATA

SATA

150-600
Mbps

5,400-7,200
rpm

40 GB-1.2 TB

SCSI

SCSI

5-320 Mbps

10,00015,000 rpm

20 MB-300 GB

SAS

SAS

375-750
Mbps

7,200-15,000
rpm

450 GB-2 TB

I/O vs. Throughput


Throughput of a disk drive can be optimized by balancing the I/O load across all the
disk drives. This ensures that all disk drives are busy at all times. For example, if there
is a processing delay in servicing the I/O requests, then the throughput will also substantially reduce.

Hard Disk Drive Components


Hard Disk Drive Components

48

A typical hard disk drive is made up of ve major internal components that facilitate the reading and writing of data.

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LESSON 3
Disk Drive Component

Description

Platter

A platter is an aluminum or glass disk coated with magnetic material on both


surfaces. Data can be read from or written to both surfaces of the platter.
A hard disk drive can contain one or more platters. All platters are sealed in a
case called the Head Disk Assembly (HDA). The cumulative storage capacity of
all platters determines the total storage capacity of the hard disk. The capacity of
a hard disk is measured in megabytes, gigabytes, and terabytes.

Spindle

A spindle is a spinning axle on which all the platters of a hard disk are mounted.
The spindle is driven by a drive motor. The rotating speed of a spindles motor
is measured in rotations per minute (rpm). Most of the current disk drives have a
spindle speed of 5,400 rpm, 7,200 rpm, or 10,000 rpm and 15,000 rpm spindles
are emerging.

Read and write head

A read and write head is a spring-loaded airfoil that ies above or below the
surface of a platter at a distance measured in micro-inches. The air gap is
removed when the spindle stops rotating and the read and write head rests on a
special lubricated area on the platter near the spindle.

Actuator arm assembly

The read and write heads are mounted on an actuator arm assembly, which positions the heads at a location on a platter where the data needs to be read or
written.

Disk controller

A disk controller is a printed circuit board that controls the power supplied to the
spindle motor and its speed. It also controls the read and write operations by
moving the actuator arm and switching between different heads, optimizing data
access.

CHS
The Cylinder Head Sector (CHS) is a method of addressing each physical block of data on a
hard disk. Every platter on a hard disk drive is divided into several tracks, which in turn are
divided into several sections called sectors. Sectors are the smallest storage units on the hard
disk drive and each sector has a storage capacity of 512 bytes.

CHS (2 slides)

Additionally, each platter contains two read/write heads and the head value of the hard disk
drive is the total number of read/write heads in it. A set of two corresponding tracks on the
platter is called a cylinder. The cylinder value is the total number of cylinders on each side of
a platter and the sector value is the total number of sectors in each cylinder. A hard disk drive
with a CHS value of 800 x 8 x 32 will have 800 tracks per side of a platter, 8 heads, and 32
sectors per track with a total storage capacity of 104,857,600 bytes.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

49

LESSON 3

Figure 3-3: CHS on a hard disk drive.

LBA
LBA (2 slides)

Logical Block Addressing (LBA) is a linear addressing scheme to specify the location of a
block of data on a hard disk. Logical blocks in a storage system are typically measured at 512
bytes each. In any hard disk, blocks are located by indexing the sectors with a unique sector
number. The sector number starts from 0 and ends with n-1, where n is the total number of
sectors on the disk. LBA allows a computer to address a hard disk whose capacity is larger
than 528 MB.

Figure 3-4: LBA specifies the location of blocks of data in an HDD.

50

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LESSON 3
Fragmentation
Denition:
Fragmentation is a phenomenon in which les in a disk are divided into pieces. When
fragmentation occurs, the storage space of a hard disk drive is used inefficiently, reducing its capacity and performance. In other words, fragmentation creates waste spaces
sequentially or randomly in hard disk drives.

Fragmentation (2 slides)

Fragmentation occurs when many of the free storage blocks are too small to satisfy
any applications request. The major symptoms of fragmentation are the slowdown of
the hard disk drive and increase in seek time, leading to the capability of the drive
being reduced.
Example:

Figure 3-5: Fragmented areas on a disk.

Types of Fragmentation
Fragmentation can be categorized into three major types.

Fragmentation
Type

Description

Data fragmentation

This type of fragmentation occurs when small bits of data in memory are broken
into multiple pieces so that each piece is able to t the available memory locations.

Internal fragmentation

This type of fragmentation occurs inside the allocated memory blocks due to a
restriction on the allowed storage sizes of the allocated blocks. The word internal species that the storage space that remains unused is inside the allocated
memory, but is never used.

External fragmentation

This type of fragmentation occurs whenever a dynamic memory allocation algorithm allocates memory in a device. This algorithm leaves out small pieces of
blocks that cannot be used effectively. The data blocks cannot satisfy the demands
of an application because these blocks are divided into pieces that are very small.
The word external species that the unusable storage space is outside the allocated memory.

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LESSON 3
Defragmentation
Defragmentation (2 slides)

Denition:
Defragmentation is the process of optimizing a disk by reducing fragmentation on a
hard disk drive. It is done through organizing the content of the hard disk drive so that
les and data are moved closer to one another and are contiguous. Defragmentation
creates larger regions of free space on the hard disk drive using compaction to prevent
fragmentation. Defragmentation also reduces data access time and allows efficient
usage of the hard disk drive.
Some operating systems defragment automatically, while others require that users use
special utility tools to perform defragmentation. Disk defragmenters are special programs that can minimize disk fragmentation and improve computer performance by
running through the hard drive and re-locating fragmented le sequences closer to each
other.
Example:

Figure 3-6: Disk defragmentation.

52

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LESSON 3

ACTIVITY 3-1
Examining Disk Fundamentals
Scenario:
As a storage administrator, you need to examine disk fundamentals.

1.

2.

Match the disk drive components with their description.

Platter

Spindle

Read write head

Disk controller

a.

An aluminum or glass disk coated


with magnetic material on both surfaces.
b. A printed circuit board that controls
the power supplied to the spindle
motor and its speed.
c. A spinning axle on which all platters
of a hard disk are mounted.
d. A spring-loaded airfoil that ies
above or below the surface of a platter at a distance measured in microinches.

True or False? CHS is a linear addressing scheme to specify the location of a block of
data on a hard disk.
True
False

3.

Which are true about fragmentation? (Select all that apply.)


a) When fragmentation occurs, the storage space of a hard disk drive is used inefficiently, reducing its capacity and performance.
b) Internal fragmentation occurs due to a restriction on the allowed storage sizes of the
allocated blocks.
c) A dynamic memory allocation algorithm leaves out small pieces of blocks that cannot
be effectively used, thus causing fragmentation.
d) Fragmentation is a linear addressing scheme to specify the location of a block of data
on a hard disk.

4.

Which are true about defragmentation? (Select all that apply.)


a) Defragmentation optimizes a disk by reducing fragmentation on a hard disk drive.
b) Defragmentation creates larger regions of free space on a hard disk drive.
c) Disk defragmenters are special programs that can minimize disk fragmentation.
d) Defragmentation occurs when small bits of data in memory are broken into multiple
pieces.

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53

LESSON 3
5.

Which type of addressing is used to specify each physical block of data in a hard disk?
a) CHS
b) LBA
c) Fragmentation
d) Defragmentation

TOPIC B
Describe SATA Technology
In the previous topic, you examined disk fundamentals. The most common and widely used
disk technology is SATA. In this topic, you will describe the SATA technology.
Every organization aims at using a high-speed disk drive that is low in cost with high storage
capacity. SATA is one such technology that offers such provisions. As a storage system administrator, you should be familiar with the SATA technology in order to differentiate the
implementation requirements of various technologies in your organizations storage environment.

PATA
PATA (2 slides)

Denition:
Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) is a drive connection standard that
uses half duplex, parallel signaling technology to connect disk drives and other devices
to their controllers within a computer. Originally called Integrated Drive Electronics
(IDE), Enhanced Integrated Drive Electronics (EIDE), or Advanced Technology
Attachment (ATA), PATA connections are used to connect internal hard drives, optical
drives, and tape drives to the systems motherboard.
On the motherboard, two sockets provide connections for up to two drives per socket.
The PATA interface provides a data transfer rate of 133 Mbps using ribbon cables with
40 or 80 wires and 40-pin connectors.

54

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LESSON 3
Example:

Figure 3-7: A PATA connection on a computer.


IDE, EIDE, and ATA
Integrated Drive Electronics (IDE) and Enhanced IDE (EIDE) are alternative names
for the Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) standards that are now referred to as
PATA. After Serial ATA drives became popular, the PATA term was coined to refer to
the parallel drives. There have been several versions of the ATA standard, with successive versions providing support for different types of devices or performance
enhancements such as higher data transfer rates.
For example, ATAPI (Advanced Technology Attachment Packet Interface) provides support for tape drives and CD-ROM drives, while ATA-7 supports data transfer rates of
up to 133 Mbps.
PIO
Programmed Input/Output (PIO) was the original data transferring method between a
CPU (through an ATA controller) and an ATA device. The PIO interface is grouped
into various modes with each corresponding to a different transfer rate. All modes have
similar electrical signaling, while the cycle time is reduced to achieve a higher transfer
rate. The slowest mode known as Mode 0 is supported by all ATA devices. By using
Mode 0, the CPU can determine its maximum transfer rate and congure the ATA controller for optimal performance.
DMA
Direct Memory Access (DMA) is a data transmission technique in which data is transferred from main memory to a device without passing through the CPU. DMA enables
you to copy a block of memory from system RAM and create a buffer on the device.
This operation does not stall the processor. DMA is essential to provide network
packet routing, audio playback, and streaming video.

SATA
Denition:
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) is a drive connection standard that
uses half duplex, serial signaling technology to connect hard disk drives and other
devices to their controllers within a computer. SATA transfer speeds are much higher
than PATA for the same drive technologies.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

SATA (2 slides)

55

LESSON 3
SATAs physical installation is also much easier because SATA power and data cables
are much smaller, thinner, and more exible than traditional PATA ribbon cables.
SATA connectors have seven pins. The data transfer rate of SATA interface varies
between 1.5 Gbps and 6.0 Gbps.
Example:

Figure 3-8: A SATA connection on a computer.


eSATA
External SATA (eSATA) is an external interface for SATA connections. Like USB and
FireWire, it provides a connection for external storage devices. eSATA connections
provide fast data transfers without having to translate data between the device and the
host computer. eSATA interfaces do require an additional power connector to function.
eSATA functionality can be added by installing eSATA cards to systems.
NCQ
Native Command Queueing (NCQ) is a technology that permits every single hard disk
to receive more than one I/O request at a time and decide which I/O request should be
completed rst. This in turn increases the performance of SATA hard disks. NCQ can
deal with up to 32 commands at a time.
The disks can calculate the best order to perform the I/O operations by gaining additional knowledge of its own seek times and rotational position. This reduces
unnecessary seeking of the drives heads and increases disk performance for workloads
where multiple simultaneous read/write requests are outstanding, most often occurring
in server-type applications.
Command queueing features enhance the performance of the hard disk drive when a
series of commands are directed to read sectors that are far away from each other.
These commands are accepted and reordered by the hard disk drive to read the maximum possible data during a single disk rotation.

SATA Port Multipliers


SATA Port Multipliers (2
slides)

56

Denition:
A SATA port multiplier is a unidirectional splitting device that is used to connect several SATA devices to a SATA host port. The SATA port multiplier usually works with a
dedicated SATA controller to connect multiple SATA devices. The SATA port multiplier supports all standards of SATA drives.

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LESSON 3
Using a SATA port multiplier, you can connect up to 15 devices to a single SATA host.
The main advantages of using a SATA port multiplier include the usage of fewer
cables to connect more drives and cost-effective and expanded scalability to storage
systems.
Example:

Figure 3-9: A SATA port multiplier connects multiple SATA drives to a host
port.

SATA Link Speeds and Distances


SATA link speeds and distances differ between various generations of SATA interfaces.

SATA Generation

Link Speed and Length

First generation

With a link speed of up to 1.5 Gbps, these interfaces have an uncoded transfer rate
of 1.2 Gbps, after taking 8b/10b encoding overhead into account. These interfaces
can extend up to one meter.

SATA Link Speeds and


Distances

Second generation With a native speed of up to 3 Gbps, these interfaces have an uncoded transfer rate
of 2.4 Gbps, after taking 8b/10b encoding overhead into account. These interfaces
can extend up to one meter.
Third generation

Link speed is up to 6 Gbps and is backward compatible with previous generations.


These interfaces can extend up to one meter.

eSATA

Link speed is up to 157 Mbps. These interfaces can extend between one and two
meters.

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LESSON 3

ACTIVITY 3-2
Examining SATA Technology
Scenario:
Imagine your organization plans to implement a storage network. As a storage administrator,
you need to update yourself with SATA technology.

1.

Which are true about SATA? (Select all that apply.)


a) A SATA port multiplier supports all standards of SATA drives.
b) SATA transfer speeds are much higher than PATA for the same drive technologies.
c) SATA uses serial signaling technology to connect hard disk drives and other devices to
their controllers.
d) SATA cables are ribbon cables with 40 or 80 wires and 40-pin connectors.

2.

What is the link speed of a second generation SATA interface?


a) 6 Gbps
b) 1.5 Gbps
c) 3 Gbps
d) 157 Mbps

3.

Which are true about a SATA port multiplier? (Select all that apply.)
a) It supports only a few standards of SATA drives.
b) It is a unidirectional splitting device that is used to connect several SATA devices to a
SATA host port.
c) It usually works with a dedicated SATA controller to connect multiple SATA devices.
d) Using a SATA port multiplier, you can connect up to 15 devices to a single SATA host.

58

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TOPIC C

LESSON 3

Describe SCSI/iSCSI Technologies


In the previous topic, you familiarized yourself with SATA technology, which is one of the
most important disk technologies. SCSI and iSCSI are the other widely used disk technologies
that enable you to store data on a network. In this topic, you will identify technical characteristics of the SCSI and iSCSI technologies.
SCSI and iSCSI are related technologies that are currently used as a disk technology for major
network storage systems. SCSI/iSCSI technology enhances the capabilities and performance of
storage data transmission over IP networks. As a system administrator, if you need a connection standard that provides high-speed connection and communication between storage devices
in a network, then you should be familiar with the SCSI and iSCSI technologies so that you
can select suitable devices for your organizations storage network.

SCSI
Denition:
Small Computer System Interface (SCSI) is a parallel connection standard that allows
computers to connect and communicate with peripheral devices. SCSI denes various
commands, transmission protocols, and physical interfaces such as cables for connecting SCSI compliant devices. SCSI is most commonly used to connect storage devices
such as tape drives and hard drives, and peripheral devices such as printers, scanners,
and CD drives. SCSI uses half duplex transmission mode for data transmission.

SCSI (2 slides)

Using a single SCSI interface, you can connect between 8 and 16 devices over a distance between 1.5 meters and 25 meters. You can connect any number of hosts and
peripheral devices to a particular SCSI interface, but the minimum requirement is one
host. SCSI cables have 50-pin, 68-pin, or 80-pin connectors depending upon the type
of SCSI in use. SCSI uses both internal and external connectors to connect and communicate with peripheral devices.
Example:

Figure 3-10: A typical SCSI system.

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59

LESSON 3
Bus Masters
A Bus Master is a device that drives and controls signals on a system. In a simple
architecture, a CPU is the bus master, which enables communication between input and
output devices. Sophisticated motherboards allow other capable devices or multiple
CPUs to control the bus. This feature allows a network controller card to directly
access a disk controller, while the CPU performs other operations that do not require
the bus.
MTBF
Mean-Time-Between-Failure (MTBF) is the average time between failures on a system.
MTBF calculations assume that a system is renewed or xed after each failure and
returned to service. The average time between a failure and the resumption of service
is termed Mean Down Time (MDT).
Differences Between ATA and SCSI Upper Layer Protocols
ATA is an old disk drive implementation method in which the controller is integrated
with disk drives. Whereas, in SCSI and other recent technologies, controllers are not
integrated with disk drives. The data transfer rate of ATA drives is relatively less (80 to
100 Mbps) than the faster SCSI drives (up to 640 Mbps).

SCSI Signaling
SCSI Signaling

SCSI uses three types of signaling.

SCSI Signaling
Type

Description

Single-ended

This type uses half of the cable for carrying data and control signals and the
remaining half for ground. Due to this conguration, signals on a single-ended
bus are more prone to corruption because of noise, especially when the bus speed
is increased. A single-ended bus can connect devices up to the maximum distance
of 6 meters.

High Voltage Differential (HVD)

This type uses a set of two wires for every data or control signal on the bus. All
the signals are determined by the voltage difference between the line pair, resulting in higher noise tolerance. This feature makes it suitable for long distance
cables with fast bus speeds. HVD devices use high voltage and cannot be used on
a single-ended SCSI chain.

Low Voltage Differential (LVD)

This type also uses two wires for each signal. The advantages of LVD include
reduced signal corruption due to noise. Advantage of LVD over HVD is that it
uses lower voltages than HVD, resulting in reduced cost and low power consumption. In addition, LVD devices use a low voltage and can be used on a
single-ended SCSI chain.
Most of the LVD devices automatically detect when attached to a single-ended
bus and operate at the single-ended mode. This characteristic makes it possible to
mix LVD with single-ended devices on the same bus. LVD provides a cable
length of 12 meters.

The Structure of SCSI Standards


The Structure of SCSI
Standards

60

SCSI standards have been revised repeatedly over the years. Various transport media are used
in these SCSI standards.
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LESSON 3
SCSI Standard

Description

SCSI-1

It featured an 8-bit parallel bus running at 3.5 Mbps in asynchronous mode or 5 Mbps
in synchronous mode. The maximum bus cable length is 6 meters, compared to the
0.45-meter limit of the PATA interface. Implementation of HVD with a maximum cable
length of 25 meters is a variation from the original standard.

SCSI-2

Introduced the Fast SCSI and Fast Wide SCSI variants. Fast SCSI doubled the transfer
rate to 10 Mbps, and Fast Wide SCSI doubled the width of the bus to 16 bits to reach
20 Mbps. Maximum cable length was reduced to 3 meters.

SCSI-3

These are SCSI devices that exceeded the capabilities of SCSI-2. Also known as Ultra
SCSI and Fast-20 SCSI, SCSI-3 doubled the bus speed to 20 Mbps for narrow (8-bit)
systems and 40 Mbps for wide (16-bit) systems. However, the maximum length of the
cable was retained at 3 meters.

Ultra-2 SCSI

This standard featured an LVD bus, which brought the advantage of reduced signal corruption due to noise and reduced cost and power consumption. Due to this reason,
Ultra-2 SCSI is often referred to as LVD SCSI.

Ultra-3 SCSI

Also known as Fast-80 SCSI, this version was basically an improvement on the Ultra-2
SCSI standard, in that the transfer rate was doubled once more to 160 Mbps. Fast-80
SCSI offered new features such as CRC, domain validation, and the error correcting
process.

Ultra-320
SCSI

Also known as Fast-160 SCSI, this standard doubled the data transfer rate to 320 Mbps.
Ultra 320 SCSI is backward compatible with other SCSI types of the same connection,
but with a reduced data transfer rate. Ultra320 SCSI requires LVD signaling and the
maximum cable length allowed is 12 meters.

Ultra-640
SCSI

Also known as Fast-320 SCSI, Ultra-640 doubles the interface speed to 640 Mbps and
pushes cable lengths drastically, making it impractical for more than one or two
devices.

The SCSI-3 Architecture Model


SCSI encompasses several standards each of which specializes in a different domain. Therefore, it is unavoidable to have a unied structure of all these standards that synchronizes the
commands and other common attributes of all standards. This structure is universally called the
SCSI-3 architecture model. The model denes the command sets, protocols, and signaling
methods required for implementing SCSI and other interfaces such as rewire and Fibre Channel.

The SCSI-3 Architecture


Model

LUN
A Logical Unit Number (LUN) is a unique identier that is used to address the storage devices
connected to a computer. The storage devices can be identied and assigned by a LUN ranging
from 0 to 7. A LUN can also be used to refer to an entire physical disk, or a subset of a large
physical disk or a disk volume.

LUN

The physical disk or disk volume can be an entire single disk drive, a partition (subset) of a
single disk drive, or a disk volume from a RAID controller comprising multiple disk drives
that are connected together to achieve large capacity and high redundancy. LUNs provide a
unique address to storage devices and represent a logical abstraction.

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LESSON 3
LUN Mapping
LUN Mapping (2 slides)

LUN mapping is the process of creating a storage resource and dening its external access
paths by conguring a logical unit from a disk arrays logical disk volumes. LUN mapping is
done either by grouping logical disk volumes as a single logical unit or by creating partitions
within them. The logical unit is then mapped to multiple ports or multiple target IDs to provide alternate paths for nonstop data availability.

Figure 3-11: LUNs are mapped to various partitions in a logical disk volume.
LUN Mapping in Windows, Unix, and Linux
LUN mapping allows storage administrators to control the visibility of LUNs to host
systems. On subsystems, each logical unit is assigned a unique identier. Storage management tools are used to assign local Operating System (OS) volume identiers to
specic logical units based on their subsystem identiers.
In Windows operating systems, logical units are mapped to D:\ and in UNIX and
Linux systems, logical units are mapped to /dev/dsk/c1t2d0s2 and so on.

SCSI Addressing
SCSI Addressing

SCSI addressing, also known as Controller Target Disk (CTD) addressing, is an addressing
scheme used to identify storage volumes in a SCSI disk. A CTD normally includes a controller
number, a target number, and a disk number.
The controller number, such as c0, c1, c2, and so on, is used to identify a controller such as an
HBA. The target number, such as t0, t1, t2, t3, and so on, is a unique hardware address that is
assigned to the front end port of each device. The disk number, also known as the LUN, is
used to denote the number of disks at the target location.
For example, if a host allocates LUN 10 and LUN 11 as the disk numbers for two storage volumes, the host will see two CTDs for the two volumes. The CTD for LUN 10 will be c0t0d10
and for LUN 11, it will be c0t0d11.

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LESSON 3
The SCSI Command Protocol
The SCSI command protocol denes how data transfer happens between two primary elements
called initiators and targets. Initiators are usually HBAs or systems to which SCSI devices are
connected and targets are SCSI devices themselves. Targets sometimes include subsystems that
are connected to the main system. An initiator sends SCSI commands to a target with the help
of a Command Descriptor Block (CDB).

The SCSI Command Protocol

The CDB contains a one-byte operation code followed by ve or more bytes of commandspecic parameters. SCSI commands can be categorized into non-data commands, write
commands, read commands, and bidirectional commands. Totally, about 60 different commands
are available in the SCSI standard.
SCSI Nexus Addressing
A SCSI nexus is the relationship between a SCSI initiator and a SCSI target in an I/O
process. SCSI uses various identiers to construct a nexus. The identiers include a
SCSI initiator, a SCSI target, a LUN, and a queue tag. A SCSI I_T nexus consists of
only a SCSI initiator and a SCSI target. A SCSI I_T_L nexus consists of a SCSI initiator, a SCSI target, and a LUN within the target.
The SCSI protocol allows the initiator to send only one I/O process at a time per
I_T_L nexus. Sometimes, the SCSI protocol allows concurrent I/O processes or tasks
to be pending at the LUN through a mechanism known as SCSI tagged queueing. For
that, the protocol uses SCSI I_T_L_Q nexus addressing, which consists of a SCSI initiator, a SCSI target, a LUN, and a queue tag.

TCQ
Tagged Command Queueing (TCQ) is a technology that allows hard drives to concurrently
accept multiple read and write requests from the host. The commands arriving at the drives
buffer are tagged with an identier and reordered to minimize the distance up to which the
drives read head needs to be moved laterally along the platter.

TCQ

TCQ can deal with up to 216 commands at a time. TCQ exhibits two extra features over NCQ.
One of the features is that, the commands that need to be executed are specied by the initiator in the same order as they are sent to the hard disk drive. Secondly, the priority command
sent by the initiator can be executed before all other commands in the queue.

iSCSI
Denition:
The Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) is an IP-based storage networking standard that enables data transfer over TCP/IP networks. The iSCSI protocol
works by encapsulating SCSI commands into data packets and transporting them
through a TCP/IP network. This capability allows iSCSI to transfer data over any kind
of IP network such as intranets, LANs, WANs, and the Internet.

iSCSI (2 slides)

In addition, iSCSI facilitates location independent data storage and retrieval and storage management over long distances. This feature eliminates the need for a second
network that is specically used for data storage. iSCSI does not require any special
purpose cabling to transfer data over long distances, but it can use the existing infrastructure for data traffic and storage. iSCSI can run on 1-Gigabit Ethernet and
10-Gigabit Ethernet networks.

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LESSON 3
Example:

Figure 3-12: iSCSI enables data storage over a TCP/IP network.


Ethernet Oversubscription
Ethernet oversubscription is a practice of connecting multiple devices to Ethernet to
optimize the performance and bandwidth of the network. In any network, each device
can operate at a different speed, but the network may provide a bandwidth in
gigabytes.
Because the devices rarely run at their maximum speed, it is imperative to add more
devices to the network so that the available bandwidth is properly utilized. By doing
so, Ethernet oversubscription assures the quality of service and enables maximum utilization of the network. Ethernet oversubscription is mostly implemented in high-storage
environments such as data centers.

The iSCSI Protocol Stack


The iSCSI Protocol Stack

64

The iSCSI protocol enables host systems and storage devices to communicate bidirectionally
over TCP/IP networks. The iSCSI protocol stack has ve layers with each layer playing a specic role in the data communication process between initiators and targets.

iSCSI Layer

Description

Application

Sends application requests from initiators and receives responses from targets through
software applications.

SCSI

Converts requests into SCSI commands and transports them in the form of CDBs.

iSCSI

Packs the SCSI CDBs in protocol data units (PDU) and adds additional information
including the LUNs of target devices.

TCP/IP

Encapsulates the PDUs and passes them to IP, which then adds the routing address of
the destination device. Initiators encapsulate write requests while targets encapsulate
read requests.

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LESSON 3
iSCSI Layer

Description

Physical

Transmits and receives IP packets across Ethernet.

PDU
A PDU is a unit of data that is specied in a protocol of a layer in a layered system.
The PDU consists of user data and control information of the protocol used.

iSCSI Operation
Whenever an application sends a request, the operating system generates appropriate SCSI
commands and a data request. The data request will go through encapsulation and, if required,
encryption procedures. In addition, a packet header will be added before packets are transmitted over an Ethernet network. Upon its reception, the packet will be decrypted, if it was
encrypted, and disassembled into SCSI commands and the data request. The SCSI commands
are sent to a SCSI storage device through a SCSI controller. Because iSCSI is bidirectional, it
can be used to return data in response to the original request.

iSCSI Operation

iSNS
Internet Storage Name Service (iSNS) is a network protocol that allows automatic discovery,
conguration, and management of iSCSI and FC devices on a TCP/IP network. Using this protocol, the initiators and targets automatically register themselves with an iSNS server. An iSNS
database, which maintains information about iSNS client attributes, serves as an information
repository of iSNS servers. The iSNS protocol enables a standard network to function as a
storage network by providing various services.

iSNS

iSNS Services
An iSNS implementation provides four primary services.

Service

Description

Name Registration
and Storage
Resource Discovery

iSNS implementations allow all entities on a storage network to register and


query an iSNS database. Both targets and initiators can register with the iSNS
database and each entity can inquire about other initiators and targets. For
example, a client initiator can obtain information about target devices from an
iSNS server.

Discovery Domains
and Login Control

Administrators can use the Discovery Domains service to divide storage nodes
into manageable, nonexclusive groups. By grouping storage nodes, administrators
will be able to limit the login process of each host to the most appropriate subset
of targets registered with the iSNS. This allows the storage network to scale by
reducing the number of unnecessary logins and by limiting the amount of time
that each host spends to log in.
Each target can use Login Control to delegate its access control and authorization policies to an iSNS server. Such delegation is intended to promote
centralized management.

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iSNS Services

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LESSON 3
Service

Description

State Change Notication

This service allows an iSNS server to issue notications about each event that
affects storage nodes on the managed network. Each iSNS client may register for
notications on behalf of its storage nodes, and each client is expected to
respond according to its own requirements and implementation.

Bidirectional Mappings between FC


and iSCSI Devices

Because the iSNS database stores naming and discovery information about both
FC and iSCSI devices, iSNS servers are able to store mappings of FC devices to
proxy iSCSI device images on the IP network. These mappings may also be
made in the opposite direction, allowing iSNS servers to store mappings from
iSCSI devices to proxy WWNs.

iSCSI over TCP/IP


iSCSI over TCP/IP

Several factors drive the choice of TCP/IP as the medium for transporting iSCSI commands.

TCP/IP includes a suite of protocols that are built in various layers, with each protocol
being responsible for a distinct aspect of communication.

TCP/IP can work over various physical media and topologies and can be implemented on
various devices.

TCP/IP offers scalability, congestion control mechanisms, and end-to-end connection models, which are independent of the underlying network.

And, TCP/IP is expected to support underlying networks for sometime in the future.

TOE
TOE

TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) is a technology that is incorporated into a Network Interface
Card (NIC) or an HBA of a system. This technology is used to offload the processing of the
entire TCP/IP stack from the CPU to the network controller so that network throughput is optimized.
TOE can be implemented using a network processor and rmware, an application specic integrated circuit (ASIC), or a combination of both. TOE is primarily used in high-speed networks
such as gigabit Ethernet. The deployment of TOE in conjunction with gigabit Ethernet enables
applications to take full advantage of network capabilities. TOE is the most common method
of reducing overhead in IP storage protocols such as iSCSI and NFS.

TOE Types in iSCSI


TOE Types in iSCSI

66

Two types of TCP/IP Offload Engine implementation are available in an iSCSI environment.

TOE Type

Description

Partial TOE

In this type, all connections to a host are controlled by the system stack, but off-loading
operations are handled by a TOE card. When a connection between a host server and a
client is established, the system stack passes the connection state to a TOE device, which
in turn handles the heavy lifting of data transmission without the intervention of the host
processor. As soon as the connection is closed, the TOE device returns the connection
state to the system stack. Partial TOE is implemented on a network where errors and lost
packets are infrequent.

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LESSON 3
TOE Type

Description

Full TOE

In this type, a TOE card offloads all TCP/IP operations from the host processor. In addition, the TOE card takes the responsibility of establishing connections, error handling,
and closing connections from the processor. By doing so, full TOE lowers host processor
utilization and increases data throughput on the network. Full TOE is mostly implemented on a network where frequent errors and lost connections occur.

Non-TOE
A non-TOE is simply an iSCSI HBA that uses specic software to perform TCP/IP
offloading operations. It mitigates the overhead of TCP/IP processing, improving the
performance of servers that use the iSCSI protocol.
Non-Dedicated Non-TOE iSCSI Initiators vs. Non-Dedicated Full TOE iSCSI Initiators
iSCSI can be congured as a non-dedicated system and a dedicated system. In a nondedicated system, an iSCSI disk array is accessed through a normal network. But, in a
dedicated system, the iSCSI disk array is accessed through a separate network dedicated to meet the needs of the iSCSI environment.
The dedicated system uses an iSCSI HBA to initiate the data transfer process. But, a
non-dedicated system uses two types of initiators: non-dedicated non-TOE iSCSI initiator and non-dedicated full TOE iSCSI initiator.
A non-dedicated non-TOE iSCSI initiator neither establishes a connection between a
host and a client nor performs offloading operations. It uses specic software to perform both functions in a non-dedicated system. But, a non-dedicated full TOE iSCSI
initiator uses software to establish a connection between a host and a client and performs offloading operations on its own in a non-dedicated system.

iSCSI Applications
iSCSI enables users in small organizations to connect their storage pools over a LAN. Because
users can easily add storage without requiring extensive technical knowledge of iSCSI solutions, iSCSI is applied in large organizations, too.

iSCSI Applications

However, mission-critical applications in data centers will require high throughput and low
latency. To meet such demands, iSCSI HBAs are employed on the network. The foremost
application of iSCSI is the remote backup.

Strengths and Limitations of iSCSI


Some of the strengths of iSCSI are:

It extends storage across global IP networks.

It broadens the scope of a storage network because of its long distance connectivity.

It leverages the skill sets required to manage storage.

And, it provides a low cost storage network.

Strengths and Limitations of


iSCSI

Some of the limitations of iSCSI are:

It encapsulates the SCSI protocol in IP packets and adds a frame overhead on the network.

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LESSON 3

It forces SCSI-to-IP mapping to be implemented in hardware for high performance.

And, it is always faced with security exposure because storage happens through the IP
network.

ACTIVITY 3-3
Examining SCSI/iSCSI Technologies
Scenario:
As a storage administrator, you need to review your knowledge on SCSI and iSCSI technologies.

1.

Which statements are true about a LUN? (Select all that apply.)
a) A LUN is an addressing scheme used to identify storage volumes on a storage network.
b) A LUN is a unique identifier of a device addressed by the SCSI, iSCSI, or Fibre Channel
protocol.
c) LUNs are assigned to a single disk or an array of disks.
d) A LUN is assigned to any device on a network.

2.

Which is not a component of CTD addressing?


a) Disk number
b) Controller number
c) Data number
d) Target number

3.

Which is not a feature of iSCSI?


a) The iSCSI protocol works by encapsulating SCSI commands into data packets and
transporting them through a TCP/IP network.
b) iSCSI is an IP-based storage networking standard that enables data transfer over
TCP/IP networks.
c) iSCSI requires special purpose cabling to transfer data over long distances.
d) iSCSI enables data transfer over any kind of network such as intranets, LANS, WANs,
and the Internet.

4.

True or False? TCQ allows an operating system to queue up multiple read and write
requests to a hard drive at the same time.
True
False

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TOPIC D

LESSON 3

Describe SAS Technology


In the previous topic, you examined the SCSI and iSCSI technologies. Similar to SATA and
SCSI, SAS is another disk technology that is popularly used for network storage solutions. In
this topic, you will describe SAS technology.
SAS technology is a technology that has the highest scalability ratios among disk technologies.
As an aspiring storage administrator, you should be aware of the ports and protocols associated
with this technology, so you can construct a versatile storage system for your organization.

SAS
Denition:
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) is a full duplex, serial connection standard that uses a
point-to-point serial interface to directly link disk drives to their controllers. Point-topoint connectivity increases data throughput and improves the ability to locate and x
disk failures. SAS is a performance improvement over SCSI because SAS connects up
to 128 devices of varying sizes and types with the help of thin and long cables. In
addition, SAS provides a solution for the clock skew and signal degradation problems
that are common in parallel SCSI. SAS inherits its physical characteristics from SATA,
command set from parallel SCSI, and frame formats from Fibre Channel.

SAS (2 slides)

A SAS physical link, also known as a PHY, consists of a set of four wires that are
used as two differential signal pairs. One pair transmits signals in one direction, while
the other pair transmits signals in the opposite direction, allowing signals to move in
both directions simultaneously. The SAS technology provides support for SATA
devices by offering backward compatibility with second generation SATA devices, but
SAS devices cannot be connected to SATA backplanes. SAS devices are generally
more expensive than the equivalent parallel SCSI devices.
Example:

Figure 3-13: A SAS system connects many devices.

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LESSON 3
Clock Skew
Clock skew is the difference in the arrival time of simultaneously transmitted bits in a
parallel communication channel. It is more common in PATA and parallel SCSI interfaces and drives. The main disadvantage in parallel interfaces is that when the length
of the bus and its speed increase, clock skew also increases.

SAS Components
SAS Components

A typical SAS system consists of an initiator, a target, a service delivery subsystem, and several expanders.

Component

Description

Initiator

A device that originates device service and task management requests for processing by a target device and also receives responses for those same requests from
other target devices. The initiator can be an onboard component or an add-on
HBA.

Target

A device such as a hard disk or a disk array containing logical units and target
ports that receives requests and also sends responses for the same requests to the
initiator.

Service delivery
system

An I/O system that connects an initiator and a target and transmits information
between them.

Expander

A device that facilitates connection and communication between multiple SAS


devices through a single initiator port.

SAS Expanders
SAS expanders are low-cost, high-speed switches that enable SAS controllers to connect more number of devices than parallel SCSI. SAS expanders can be categorized
into two types: edge expanders and fan-out expanders.
An edge expander can connect up to 127 SAS or SATA devices and can also connect
another edge expander with the same set of devices. If the topology requires more
devices to be connected, only a fan-out expander should be used because a fan-out
expander can connect up to 128 edge expanders or devices.

SAS Ports
SAS Ports (2 slides)

SAS ports can be categorized into narrow ports and wide ports, based on the number of PHYs
they contain. If a port contains only one PHY, it is called a narrow port. However, if a port
contains more than one PHY, it is called a wide port.
The narrow port consists of a transmit pair and a receive pair and operates at 300 Mbps in full
duplex mode. The wide port contains up to four physical interfaces with each operating at 300
Mbps in full duplex mode to provide a total throughput of 1,200 Mbps. In addition, each SAS
port, whether it is narrow or wide, is identied by a unique 64-bit address known as the WWN
or SAS address.

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LESSON 3

Figure 3-14: SAS ports are categorized based on the PHYs they contain.

SAS Connectors
Several SAS connectors are available that can be used with SAS devices.

SAS Connector

SAS Connectors (3 slides)

Description

SFF-8482

An internal connector that was originally designed for SATA


compatible devices. A SATA socket is not compatible with SFF8482 drives and hence the need for this connector. This
connector contains seven pins and can connect only one device at
a time.

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LESSON 3
SAS Connector

Description

SFF-8484

An internal connector that comes in two and four lane versions.


The two lane version contains 19 pins and can connect two
devices, while the four lane version contains 38 pins and can
connect up to four devices at a time.
SFF-8470

An external connector that contains 32 pins and can connect four


devices at a time. Sometimes, it is also used as an internal connector. Also referred to as an Inniband connector.

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LESSON 3
SAS Connector

Description

SFF-8087

An internal molex connector that contains 36 pins and can connect four devices at a time.
SFF-8088

An external molex connector that contains 26 pins and can connect four devices at a time.

A molex connector is a two-piece pin and socket interconnection primarily used to connect disk drives.

SAS Link Speeds


The original SAS technology was capable of transferring data up to 3 Gbps. However, with
recent improvements in the technology, the new generation SAS systems can transfer up to 6
Gbps. In addition, a 12 Gbps SAS technology is expected to be released through the SAS 3.0
specication. Because of this high-speed data transfer, SAS is expected to be an ideal solution
for organizations that require substantial storage, backup, and archiving needs.

SAS Link Speeds

To know more about SAS 3.0 specication, you can visit http://www.scsita.org/.

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LESSON 3
The SAS Architecture
The SAS Architecture

The SAS architecture is made up of six layers.

Layer

Description

Physical

Denes the physical and electrical characteristics of a SAS system.

PHY

Denes the signaling protocols such as 8b/10b data encoding, link initialization,
speed negotiation, and reset sequencing on a SAS system.

Link

Handles connections and transmits data. The main functions include primitive encoding, data scrambling, and establishment and tearing down of connections between
SAS initiators and target devices.

Port

Combines multiple PHYs with the same addresses into wide ports.

Transport

Supports SAS transport protocols.

Application

Handles various applications in the SAS system.

SAS Transport Protocols


SAS Transport Protocols

SAS primarily uses three transport protocols.

SAS Transport Protocol

74

Used To

Serial SCSI Protocol


(SSP)

Support SAS devices on a system. Full duplex SSP frames are exchanged by
PHYs. These frames consist of a Start of Frame (SOF) primitive, data passwords, an End of Frame (EOF) primitive, and a Receiver ready (RRDY)
primitive, which grants permission to send a frame. The transport layer denes
the frame content, while the link layer enforces rudimentary frame sizes and
checks the CRC.

Serial ATA Tunneling


Protocol (STP)

Support SATA devices that are connected to SAS expanders on a system. Once
an STP connection is established, the STP initiator and the STP target communicate as if they are a SATA host and SATA device directly attached on a physical
link. The transport layer and the application layer dene frame content, while the
link layer enforces rudimentary frame sizes and checks the CRC.

Serial Management
Protocol (SMP)

Congure and manage SAS expanders. Only an initiator can open an SMP connection, while the target is not allowed to do so. SMP is half duplex and has
neither the Acknowledged (ACK) or negative acknowledged (NAK) primitives
nor any ow control. The transport layer and the application layer dene frame
content, while the link layer enforces rudimentary frame sizes and checks the
CRC.

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ACTIVITY 3-4

LESSON 3

Examining SAS Technology


Scenario:
Your organization plans to implement a storage network. As a storage administrator, you
decide to update yourself with SAS technology.

1.

Which of these are true about SAS ports? (Select all that apply.)
a) SAS ports can be categorized into narrow and wide ports.
b) Each SAS port is identified by a unique 32-bit address known as a WWN or SAS
address.
c) If a port contains more than one PHY, it is called a wide port.
d) If a port contains only one PHY, it is called a narrow port.

2.

Which SAS protocol is used to configure and manage SAS expanders?


a) SSP
b) SMP
c) STP

3.

True or False? If a topology requires more devices to be connected, only an edge


expander should be used.
True
False

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LESSON 3

TOPIC E
Describe the Fibre Channel
Architecture
In the previous topic, you examined the SAS technology. Now, you might want to examine
one of the primary storage networking technologies using which you can build a storage network with any kind of storage devices. In this topic, you will examine the Fibre Channel
architecture.
Fibre Channel is the easiest, safest, and most reliable solution for information storage and
retrieval. Fibre Channel also provides a storage architecture using which all storage devices in
remote locations can be connected together so that they appear as if they exist on local systems. Understanding the technical advantages of Fibre Channel will enable you to construct a
high-performance storage network for your organization.

FC Frames
FC Frames (2 slides)

Denition:
An FC frame is the building block of an FC connection. FC frames can be categorized
into control frames and data frames.
A control frame, which contains no data, is normally used to signal the successful
delivery of a data frame. The data frame, which holds a maximum of 2112 bytes of
information, is mainly used to transmit data between two ports. The data frame consists of a header, the information to be transmitted, also known as payload or useful
data, and a CRC checksum. All these components are enclosed by a Start of Frame
(SOF) delimiter and an End of Frame (EOF) delimiter at both ends. The header contains the source and destination addresses that allow the frame to be routed to the
correct port. The CRC checksum is used to detect or recognize transmission errors in
the connection.
Example:

Figure 3-15: The structure of an FC frame.

The FCP Stack


The FCP Stack

76

The Fibre Channel Protocol stack is divided into two parts. The rst part, consisting of FC
protocol layers FC-0 to FC-3, realizes the underlying Fibre Channel transmission technology in
a SAN. The other part, consisting of layer FC-4, denes how application protocols, such as
SCSI and IP, are mapped on a Fibre Channel network.

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LESSON 3
Each layer of the Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) stack is designed to perform specic functions
in a SAN environment.

FCP Layer

Description

FC-0

The FC-0 layer, also known as the Physical Link layer, denes the physical link including cables, connectors, and electrical and optical formats of differing signal rates in the
FC system. In addition, this layer species how transmitters and receivers work for all
media types and the process of converting parallel signals into serial signals. This layer
is the lowest layer of the FCP stack.

FC-1

The FC-1 layer, also known as the Encoding layer, denes the 8b/10b encoding and
decoding rules, special characters, and error control during data transmission. In addition, FC-1 describes transmission words such as ordered sets that are required for
administering a Fibre Channel connection.
An ordered set is a four-byte transmission word that contains data and special characters. Fibre Channel uses ordered sets to move data across a network. The ordered set,
which begins with a special character K28.5, provides the availability to obtain bit and
word synchronization in the FC-2 layer and also establishes word boundary alignment.
With the help of ordered sets, FC-1 denes various link level protocols to initialize and
administer a link.

FC-2

The FC-2 layer, also known as the Framing and Flow Control layer, denes the structure, organization, and delivery of data on an FC network. FC-2 always operates at the
8-bit level and is responsible for link initialization, framing, and ow control.
Once framing is done, the 8-bit data is passed through the FC-1 layer where it will be
encoded into 10-bit data. Before every frame is sent, the FC-2 layer does a cyclic
redundancy check to detect errors in it. In addition to this, FC-2 denes various service
classes that are tailored to meet the requirements of various applications.

FC-3

The FC-3 layer, also known as the Common Services layer, is designed to support common services necessary for high level capabilities. Some of the functions include
authentication, encryption, compression, link multiplexing, disk mirroring, and
virtualization. This layer is expandable to provide more kinds of security services.

FC-4

The FC-4 layer, also known as the Protocol Mapping layer, maps application protocols
such as SCSI and IP onto an underlying Fibre Channel network. By doing so, it enables
multiple transport protocols to be transmitted over a single physical interface.
This layer breaks the upper layer protocols data block to t into the FC data payload,
and assigns an exchange ID, a sequence ID, and a sequence count to it. When the
frames arrive at their destination, the three pieces of information enable an application
to put that data block into its original form.

FC Nodes
An FC node is any endpoint device on a Fibre Channel network that stores data. In addition,
the FC node can initiate and receive data transmission on the network. An application will run
on the node and data will be stored in the node.

FC Nodes

In a SAN, nodes do not know whether they are attached to a SCSI bus or a Fibre Channel
infrastructure. They simply present data to the Fibre Channel network. In the SAN, nodes communicate with other nodes through FC ports.

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LESSON 3
FC Ports
FC Ports

An FC port is an intelligent interface point in a Fibre Channel network. FC ports understand


Fibre Channel and communicate with one another through links. FC ports are embedded in
devices such as HBAs, disk arrays, and FC switches.
The main function of an FC port is to connect various devices to the Fibre Channel network
and enable data transmission between them. In addition, FC ports are responsible for controlling and managing Fibre Channel operations. Generally, each FC port is assigned a unique
WWPN and a Fibre Channel ID.
Node Ports
A node port is an interface between FC and a devices internal bus architecture. For
example, the PCI bus in hosts and the SCSI bus in subsystems are node ports.
Multiple ports are combined together to form a logical interface called a port channel.

FC Port Types
FC Port Types

Fibre Channel provides different types of ports to connect nodes on a network. Each node possesses at least one port that connects ports on other nodes.

FC Port

Description

N_port

Also known as a node port, it describes the capability of a port as an end


device such as a server and a storage device. HBAs and subsystem controllers
contain one or more N_ports. An N_port creates a point-to-point connection by
directly connecting to another N_port or a switch port.

F_port

Also known as a fabric port, it acts as a counterpart to an N_port and passes


the frames that the N_port sends to it through an FC network on to the target
device.

L_port

Also known as a loop port, it describes the capability of a port to participate in


the arbitrated loop topology as an end device.

NL_port

Also known as a node loop port, it combines the features of both an N_port
and an L_port.

FL_port

Also known as a fabric loop port, it allows a fabric to connect to a loop.

E_port

Also known as an expansion port, it enables switches to connect together.

G_port

Also known as a generic port, it enables switches to congure their ports automatically.

B_port

Also known as a bridge port, it connects two FC switches through their


E_ports. B_ports are used in FC WAN gateways to extend storage over an IP
network.

U_port

A generic universal switch port that is capable of operating as an E_port,


F_port, or as an FL_port.

Some Fibre Channel component manufacturers provide additional port types that can be used to enhance the
functionality of existing ports.

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LESSON 3
Industry-Known Port Names
An FC ports mode of operation changes depending on what is connected to the other
side of the port. All host or server ports are called node ports or N_ports, all hub ports
are called loop ports or L_ports, and all storage ports are also called node ports.
However, switch ports have multiple personalities. If no device is connected to a
switch port, it is called a generic port or G_port. If a host or storage array is plugged
into it, it is called a fabric port or F_port, if a hub is plugged into it, it is called a
fabric-to-loop port or FL_port, and if two switch ports are connected, they are called
expansion ports or E_ports.
Port Assignments
On a storage network, FC ports are assigned with the help of vendor-specic software
applications. The software application will identify which ports should be assigned to
what devices and determine the length of Fibre Channel cables required to connect
various devices on the network.

FC Switches
Denition:
An FC switch is a device that is used to connect and control multiple devices on an
FC network. Its functionality is similar to that of other network switches. The FC
switch is responsible for the efficient and high-speed switching of frames over a storage network. FC switches are the basis of the switched fabric topology, where the
switches are interconnected to form a fabric. The fabric, in turn, can support numerous
point-to-point connections, individual nodes, and arbitrated loops.

FC Switches (2 slides)

The only difference between the FC switch and other network switches is that the FC
switch is compatible only with FC devices. FC switches provide various services
including name service, time service, automatic discovery and registration of host and
storage devices, rerouting of frames, if possible, in the event of a port problem, and
storage services such as virtualization, replication, and extended distances.
Example:

Figure 3-16: FC switches connecting multiple devices on a network.

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LESSON 3
FC Topologies
FC Topologies

Three major topologies are available that describe how ports are connected together on an FC
network.

Topology

Description

Point-to-point (Pt-toPt)

In this topology, two ports are directly connected to each other. The connection
is full duplex, enabling both ports to transmit and receive at the same time.
Using this topology, you can connect two ports that are 120 km apart. This
topology is easy to set up, but it has limited scalability. This topology is generally used to connect RAID and other storage subsystems to servers on a storage
network.

Arbitrated loop (FCAL)

In this topology, all ports are connected with the help of an FC hub to form a
loop or ring, similar to the token ring network. Hardware can be implemented in
both a logical ring and a physical ring. Many SANs implement this topology as
a physical ring because it requires less hardware and is a lower cost implementation. This topology was initially introduced as a replacement for physical SCSI.
The physical ring topology has the same disadvantages as any other physical
ring, but many are countered by the fact that a SAN is a tightly controlled network and does not have the variables of a production network. This topology
supports 126 devices with a half duplex connection and greater shared bandwidth
between devices than other topologies. This topology is mainly used to connect
disk drives to RAID controllers or HBAs.

Switched fabric (FCSW)

In this topology, multiple devices are connected using FC switches. Unlike other
topologies, communication between two ports happens only through the switches
and not through any other device. This allows multiple pairs of ports to communicate simultaneously in a fabric, an interconnection methodology that handles
routing on Fibre Channel networks.
Switches can be linked together to form the network fabric. In addition, the failure of any port or device will not affect the function of other ports or devices.
This topology is the most exible and scalable FC topology for a SAN. By using
a maximum of 239 switches approximately 16 million devices can be connected
in a switched SAN topology.

FC Fabrics
FC Fabrics (2 slides)

Denition:
An FC fabric is a well designed, intelligent, and self-congurable network of switches,
routers, and storage devices that follows FC standards. It is called intelligent and selfcongurable because the ports of the fabric can congure themselves according to the
devices connected to them. Each switch in a fabric contains a unique domain identier,
which is a part of the fabrics addressing scheme.
In a single fabric, up to 239 switches can be connected and each switch can connect to
multiple devices. The maximum possible number of devices that a fabric can connect
is estimated to be around 16 million. The fabric can also include devices such as hubs.
Fibre channel network can also be designed using two separate fabrics for the purpose
of redundancy. Redundant fabrics are not connected to each other, but they share the
edge nodes.

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LESSON 3
Example:

Figure 3-17: A typical FC fabric.

FC Hubs
Denition:
An FC hub is a device that is used to connect FC devices on a storage network, which
implements only the arbitrated loop topology. Each port on an FC hub contains a port
bypass circuit (PBC) to automatically open and close a loop. A closed loop of FC
devices can be built by interconnecting the ports one after the other.

FC Hubs (2 slides)

Typically, an FC hub possesses 7 to 10 ports that can be stacked to a maximum loop


size of 127 ports. When a device is connected to a hub, the arbitrated loop will be
reinitialized. An arbitrated loop physical address (AL_PA) will be assigned to the
device, which will begin arbitration when it needs to communicate with another device
on the loop. An FC hub can connect up to 126 devices in a loop. The major advantage
to using an FC hub is that it can be used to bypass malfunctioning ports on a storage
network.

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LESSON 3
Example:

Figure 3-18: An FC hub interconnects ports one after the other.


Differences Between FC Hubs and FC Switches
In FC hubs, bandwidth is shared among all ports, while in FC switches, each port is
assigned with a dedicated bandwidth. An FC hub adopts an arbitrated loop topology
and provides a loop, whereas an FC switch adopts a switched fabric topology and provides a fabric. FC switches are more expensive than FC hubs, but their price is
dropping.

Switched Hubs
Switched Hubs (2 slides)

Denition:
A switched hub is a hardware device that acts as both a hub and a switch. Switched
hubs actively participate in protocol related activities, such as discovery, identication,
and management of devices on a storage network, event logging, and diagnostics.
Each individual port of a switched hub is allocated a dedicated bandwidth of 100
Mbps and higher. Switched hubs function well with switches and they actively
improve the speed of transactions by performing some of the tasks of switches. Also,
they are extremely scalable and adaptable to future growth. However, switched hubs
are cheaper than switches and therefore on some storage networks, switched hubs represent an alternative to switches.

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LESSON 3
Example:

Figure 3-19: Switched hubs in a SAN.

FC Directors
Denition:
An FC director is a large port count, high-bandwidth switch, designed to provide the
highest performance and availability in a SAN. FC directors are designed and built to
scale up and to provide high bandwidth and high availability. SAN is a mature technology that complements an FC switch and is used in most of the largest data centers.
The current crop of FC directors can scale up to several hundred Fibre Channel ports
in a single unit.

FC Directors (2 slides)

Example:

Figure 3-20: FC directors provide high bandwidth and high availability in a


SAN.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

83

LESSON 3
SCSI to FC Bridges
SCSI to FC Bridges

An SCSI to FC bridge is a hardware device that allows SCSI devices to connect directly to a
Fibre Channel network. The device acts as a media converter by assigning FC addresses to
SCSI targets and allowing them to appear as FC ports on the network. This will enable parallel
SCSI devices to connect and communicate through the FC network. However, if you deploy
extended copy services software onto this bridge, it will work as a storage router.

FC Disks
FC Disks

An FC disk is a disk drive technology that makes use of the FC interface. FC disk drives use
copper twisted-pair cables or ber optic cables for connectivity. FC disks can be connected
using copper cables up to a distance of 6 m and using ber optic cables up to a distance of 10
km. FC disks are the most preferred storage technologies to be used on a storage network
because they are also used to set up RAIDs.

InniBand
InniBand

InniBand is an I/O architecture as well as a specication for connecting processors with highspeed peripheral devices such as hard disks. InniBand provides point-to-point, bidirectional
serial links for connecting processors with devices in high-performance computers and enterprise data centers. InniBand is gradually replacing the traditional PCI standard by offering
high throughput, low latency, high scalability, quality of service, and failover.
InniBand functions as a channel-based system in which all transmissions happen through a
channel adapter. In an Inniband channel, each processor contains a host channel adapter
(HCA) and each peripheral device contains a target channel adapter (TCA). Both adapters
exchange information between them and ensure security as well as quality of service.
Differences Among ATA/SATA, SCSI, iSCSI, FC, Inniband, and SAS
The following table lists the differences among the ATA/SATA, SCSI, iSCSI, FC,
InniBand, and SAS protocols.

84

Protocol

Characteristic

ATA/SATA

ATA uses half duplex, parallel signaling technology to connect disk drives and
other devices to their controllers within a computer, while SATA uses half
duplex, serial signaling technology to connect hard disk drives and other
devices to their controllers within a computer.

SCSI

SCSI uses half duplex, parallel signaling technology to connect and communicate with peripheral devices. SCSI denes various commands, transmission
protocols, and physical interfaces such as cables for connecting SCSI compliant
devices.

iSCSI

iSCSI uses full duplex, serial signaling technology to connect and communicate
with storage devices. iSCSI works by encapsulating SCSI commands into data
packets and transporting them through a TCP/IP network.

FC

FC uses full duplex, serial signaling technology to connect and communicate


with peripheral and storage devices. FC enables concurrent communication
among various devices that use SCSI and IP protocols.

InniBand

InniBand uses full duplex, serial signaling technology to connect processors


with devices in high-performance computers and enterprise data centers.

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LESSON 3
Protocol

Characteristic

SAS

SAS uses full duplex, serial signaling technology to directly connect disk drives
to their controllers.

Interfaces to Mass Storage Subsystems


Mass storage subsystems such as IBM mainframe computers use specially designed interfaces
to interconnect servers with mass storage devices. Enterprise Systems Connection (ESCON),
Fibre Connection (FICON), and High Performance Parallel Interface (HIPPI) are the most
common interfaces that are used for connecting mass storage devices and other devices on a
storage network.

Interface

Description

Enterprise Systems Connection


(ESCON)

This is an optical ber, half duplex, serial interface connection technology that
interconnects IBM mainframe computers, workstations, and storage devices across a
single channel.
An ESCON channel provides a data rate of 17 Mbps and covers a distance of up to
60 kilometers. ESCON uses an I/O switch called the ESCON director to provide
dynamic, any-to-any connectivity between various devices. ESCON is mainly used
in Campus Area Networks (CANs) and Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs).

Interfaces to Mass Storage


Subsystems

Fiber Connectivity This is an optical ber, full duplex, serial interface connection technology that
(FICON)
extends the capabilities of ESCON. FICON uses a mapping layer that is based on
Fibre Channel and multiplexing technologies, which allows it to transmit small and
large amounts of data at the same time.
FICON channels are capable of transferring data at 200 Mbps over a distance of up
to 100 kilometers. Each FICON channel can support up to 4,000 I/O operations per
second and is equivalent to eight ESCON channels.
High-Performance This is a standard point-to-point interface used for connecting high-speed storage
Parallel Interface devices with supercomputers. HIPPI uses a network switch called a nonblocking
(HIPPI)
crossbar switch that allows data to be forwarded on the network with minimal processing.
The original HIPPI standard specied a data transfer rate of up to 100 Mbps, but
was soon upgraded to 200 Mbps. HIPPI is an ideal technology for transferring large
amounts of data such as audio and video streams, data warehouse updates, and data
backup within a range of 10 kilometers.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

85

LESSON 3

ACTIVITY 3-5
Examining the Fibre Channel Architecture
Scenario:
Your organization plans to implement a Fibre Channel network. As a storage administrator, you
need to test your knowledge on the Fibre Channel architecture.

1.

Which Fibre Channel layer is also known as the Network layer?


a) FC-0
b) FC-1
c) FC-2
d) FC-3
e) FC-4

2.

In which topology can hardware be implemented in a logical ring and a physical ring?
a) Point-to-point
b) Arbitrated loop
c) Switched fabric

3.

Which FC port is used to connect switches in a fabric?


a) An N_port
b) An L_port
c) An FL_port
d) An E_port

4.

True or False? An FC switch is compatible with any peripheral device.


True
False

5.

Which are characteristics of a switched hub? (Select all that apply.)


a) Through a switched hub, several devices can exchange data at full bandwidth.
b) Switched hubs are costlier than switches.
c) A switched hub can connect any number of devices.
d) Each individual port of a switched hub is allocated a dedicated bandwidth of 100
Mbps or more.

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LESSON 3
6.

Which layer of the FCP stack maps application protocols such as SCSI and IP onto an
underlying Fibre Channel network?
a) FC-0
b) FC-1
c) FC-2
d) FC-3
e) FC-4

7.

Which are the characteristics of an FC port? (Select all that apply.)


a) An FC port is an intelligent interface point on a Fibre Channel network.
b) FC ports understand Fibre Channel and communicate with one another through links.
c) FC ports initiate and receive data transmission on a network.
d) FC ports are responsible for controlling and managing Fibre Channel operations.

8.

Match the devices with their description.

FC switch

a.

FC hub

b.

FC director

c.

Bridge

d.

Switched hub

e.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

The device that acts as both a hub


and a switch.
The device that is designed to provide the highest performance and
availability in a SAN.
The device that allows SCSI devices
to connect directly to a Fibre Channel
network.
The device that is used to connect FC
devices on a storage network that
implements only the arbitrated loop
topology.
The device that is responsible for the
efficient and high-speed switching of
frames over a storage network.

87

LESSON 3

TOPIC F
Describe the RAID System
In the previous topic, you identied the Fibre Channel architecture. So far, you are familiar
with independent storage devices. Any fault or error in independent storage devices will prevent you from storing and protecting data on a continuous basis. Now, you might want to
identify a set of storage standards using which you can store and protect data without interruption. In this topic, you will describe the RAID system.
Imagine you have hundreds of hard disks that are used in a data center to fulll the requirements of an application. In the event of a disk failure, installing a replacement disk and
restoring data from the backup can be time consuming and the unavailability of data during the
backup process may involve high costs. With RAID technology, you can overcome a disk failure without any data loss even when the replacement disk is being installed to restore data.

RAID
RAID (2 slides)

Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID) is a method of storing the same set of data
across multiple hard disks to provide storage reliability. RAID can be implemented through an
operating system, but hardware-based RAID implementations are more efficient and are widely
deployed.
A hardware-based RAID implementation will require a card, or a controller, to show all its
disks as a single drive to the computer. These cards, usually PCI, PCI-X or PCI-E cards, can
also be built into the motherboard. RAID employs disk striping, disk mirroring, or a combination of both. Disk striping is the process of spreading data across multiple disks, while disk
mirroring is the process of storing the same data on multiple disks. There are several RAID
levels, each with a different combination of features and efficiencies.

Figure 3-21: RAID spreads the same data across multiple hard disks.

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LESSON 3
Striping
Striping is a technique of splitting data sequentially across more than one disk. Within
each disk, a predened number of contiguously addressable disk blocks called strips
are dened. The set of aligned strips that spans all disks within the RAID set is called
a stripe. Strip size describes the number of blocks in a strip. It is also called stripe
depth. In other words, it is the maximum amount of data that can be written to or read
from a single HDD in the set before the next HDD is accessed, assuming that the
accessed data starts at the beginning of the strip.
Mirroring
Mirroring is a technique of storing data on two different HDDs, yielding two copies of
data. If one HDD fails, the data is intact on the surviving HDD and the controller continues to service the hosts data requests from the surviving disk of a mirrored pair.
When the failed disk is replaced with a new disk, the controller copies the data from
the surviving disk of the mirrored pair. This activity is transparent to the host.
Mirroring improves read performance because read requests can be serviced by both
disks. In addition to providing complete data redundancy, mirroring enables fast recovery from disk failure.
Parity
Parity is a method of protecting striped data from HDD failure without the cost of
mirroring. An additional HDD is added to the stripe width to hold the parity; this is
the mathematical construct that allows re-creation of the missing data. Parity is a
redundancy check that ensures full protection of data without maintaining a full set of
duplicate data. It is calculated by the RAID controller.
Parity information can be distributed across all the drives or stored on separate, dedicated HDDs in a RAID set. If the parity disk fails, the value of its data is calculated
using data disks. Parity will need to be recalculated, and saved, only when the failed
disk is replaced with a new disk.
JBOD
Just a Bunch of Disks or JBOD, also referred to as spanning, is a storage method that
uses a number of external physical hard drives organized into a single logical drive to
store data. JBOD is a simple storage technology that allows a server to write to a large
storage medium comprising multiple smaller drives. Unlike RAID, JBOD does not provide any advantages in terms of redundancy or performance.
Disk Arrays and Intelligent Disk Arrays
A disk array is a collection of disks with a disk controller. If a disk array contains
cache, CPU, and storage OS, it is called an intelligent disk array.
SBOD
Switched Bunch of Disks or SBOD is a storage method in which switching technology
is used in an array to provide direct links to individual drives. SBOD uses switches
between the RAID controller and individual drives to monitor the I/O to and from the
drives. With switching technology, the failure of one switch does not affect the others.
SBOD is designed as a plug and play replacement for JBOD with improved reliability
and performance.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

89

LESSON 3
RAID Cache
A RAID cache is a form of disk or peripheral cache. Although implementing RAID
can increase fault tolerance and availability of data, performance can suffer. RAID controllers often include cache memory that is used to store the most recently accessed
les, thus decreasing access time if those les are needed again by the system. With
RAID cache, I/O occurs at the speed of the PCI bus, but not at the speed of hard
disks.
Cache Protection
RAID cache can be protected using the following methods.

Battery protection: The cache can have an internal battery, which enables the
cache to preserve unwritten data for days until disks are re-powered and data is
nally written to the disks.

Mirrored cache: Data is written to two cache memory banks simultaneously so


that cache can be protected in the event of a cache failure.

Error checking: The use of error checking code can detect and correct cache
errors.

RAID Levels
RAID Levels (2 slides)

90

Several RAID levels are commonly used for data protection on a storage network. The tradeoff relative to performance of each level varies based on the application of technology in it.

RAID Level

Description

RAID level 0

RAID level 0 implements disk striping, which is the process of spreading data across
multiple drives. Striping can drastically improve read and write performance. Striping
provides no fault tolerance; however, because data is spread across multiple drives, if
any one of the drives fails, you will lose all of your data. At least two hard disks are
needed at this level. Common in high end storage arrays, RAID level 0 is used in
editing and video production functions.

RAID level 1

RAID level 1 implements disk mirroring or duplexing, which provides complete


duplication of data on two separate drives. In mirroring, two disks share a drive controller. In duplexing, each disk has its own drive controller, so the controller card is
not a single point of failure.
This level of RAID offers higher reliability than RAID 0, but doubles the storage cost
because two hard disks are used to store one disks worth of data. An even number of
hard disks are required for this level.
RAID level 1 is suitable for applications that require high availability. RAID level 1
is applied in accounting and payroll functions.

RAID level 2

RAID level 2 implements striping with error correction code, which spreads data, bit
by bit, across multiple drives. Error correction code information is built from the bits
and stored on a separate drive. Reliability in this level is higher than that of a single
disk and is comparable to the reliability of RAID levels 3, 4, and 5. This level also
provides higher data transfer rates and I/O rates. However, RAID level 2 requires the
use of nonstandard disk drives and is therefore not commercially viable.

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LESSON 3
RAID Level

Description

RAID level 3

RAID level 3 also uses disk striping, but data is striped across three or more drives.
Parity information is stored on a separate drive. A RAID level 3 system requires at
least three, and usually no more than ve, drives. RAID level 3 systems provide both
performance and fault tolerance enhancements. In multi-drive systems, les can be
written or read faster than that of a single-drive system.
If a drive fails in a RAID level 3 system, the information on that drive can be rebuilt
from the remaining drives and the parity drive. RAID level 3 provides good bandwidth for the transfer of large volumes of data. Therefore, it is used in applications
that involve sequential data access of large les, such as video streaming.

RAID level 4

RAID level 4 spreads data block by block across multiple drives. A block refers to
whatever the block size is on the disks. Usually, blocks are groups of 1 to 16 disk
sectors. Parity information is stored on a separate drive. RAID level 4 uses at least
two, and usually no more than ve, drives. RAID level 4 systems provide both read
performance and fault tolerance enhancements. Potentially, the system can read as
many single-block-sized les as there are drives at one given time. However, because
a single parity drive is used and every write must be accompanied by an associated
parity write. Only one le at a time can be written.
As with RAID level 3, if a single drive in a RAID level 4 system fails, data can be
rebuilt from the remaining drives and the parity drive. RAID level 4 is applied in systems or functions that involve large data storage.

RAID level 5

RAID level 5 is the most commonly used level. In this level, data is striped across
three or more drives to enhance performance and parity bits are used to provide fault
tolerance. You need at least three physical disk drives. If one drive fails, the parity
information on the remaining drives can be used to reconstruct data.
With RAID 5, disk performance is enhanced because more than one read and write
can occur simultaneously. However, the parity calculations create some write performance overhead. RAID level 5 is common in high end storage arrays in a
multitasking environment.

RAID level 6

RAID level 6 is the term applied to extensions of RAID 5 in which two different levels of parity calculations are spread across the disks along with data. This is also
called double parity RAID. RAID 6 offers another level of protection. By using
double parity, RAID 6 can protect mission-critical data from two concurrent disk
drive failures.
With the rapid growth of disk densities and disk array sizes, the likelihood of concurrent failures are high and therefore RAID level 6 implementations are catching up
fast.

Dual RAID Levels


Because single RAID levels do not always address the administrators specic storage requirements, combinations evolved to support more comprehensive protection and greater
performance. RAID combinations are often referred to using only numerical digits such as
RAID 10 or by using a + sign between the numbers such as RAID 1+0. Although RAID 0+1
is slightly different from RAID 1+0, they are the most commonly found combinations in use
and they both require at least four drives to implement.

Dual RAID Levels

Various combinations of RAID levels offer different levels of performance and protection.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

91

LESSON 3
Dual RAID Level

Description

RAID level 01 or RAID RAID 01 is a combination that utilizes RAID 0 for its high performance and
0+1
RAID 1 for its high fault tolerance. A server running eight hard drives is split
into two arrays of four drives each. Then, RAID 0 is applied to each array,
resulting in two striped arrays. RAID 1 pertains to the two striped arrays with
one array mirrored on the other.
The major pitfall of RAID 01 is that if a hard drive of one striped array fails,
it will lead to the loss of the entire array. Although the other striped array
remains, it contains no fault tolerance for protection against the failure of one
of its drives.
RAID level 10 or RAID RAID level 10 is a combination of RAID levels 1 and 0 and can be referred
1+0
to as 1+0 or 0+1. This level requires an even number of disks with a minimum requirement of four hard disks per array. RAID 10 applies RAID 1 rst,
after splitting the eight drives into four sets of two drives each. Now each set
is individually mirrored with duplicate information. RAID 0 is now applied
by individually striping across all four sets.
This level has better fault tolerance than RAID 0+1 because as long as one
drive in a mirrored set remains active, the array still functions properly. Theoretically, up to half the drives can fail before everything is lost, as opposed to
RAID 0+1, where the failure of two drives can lead to the loss of the entire
array.
RAID level 30 or RAID It combines RAID levels 3 and 0. It provides high data transfer rates, along
3+0
with high data reliability. The best way to implement RAID 30 is using two
RAID 3 disk arrays with data striped across both disk arrays.
RAID level 50 or RAID It combines striping independent data disks with distributed parity. It stripes
5+0
data across at least two level 5 arrays. RAID 5+0 offers the same fault tolerance as RAID 3, but with less performance.
RAID level 51 or RAID It employs both redundancy methods by mirroring entire RAID 5 arrays. It
5+1
can be used for critical applications requiring very high fault tolerance, but it
is an uncommon solution because performance and storage efficiency is not as
high as other nested RAID levelsespecially when cost is considered.

Performance Benets and Trade-Off of RAID Levels


RAID is capable of performing multiple independent, simultaneous I/O activity to the
disk drives. The performance improvement of a RAID array trades off to some extent
with the cost of the RAID array. Each RAID level contains unique cost, performance,
and fault tolerance characteristics to meet various storage needs.

92

RAID Level

Redundancy

Read Performance

Write Performance

Data Reconstruction
Performance

RAID 0

Not available

Excellent

Excellent

Not allowed

RAID 1

Excellent

Excellent

Good

Good

RAID 2

Good

Excellent

Good

Good

RAID 3

Good

Sequential: Good
Transactional:
Poor

Sequential: Good
Transactional:
Poor

Average

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 3
Read Performance

Write Performance

Data Reconstruction
Performance

RAID Level

Redundancy

RAID 4

Good

Sequential: Good
Transactional:
Good

Sequential: Good
Transactional:
Poor

Average

RAID 5

Good

Sequential: Good
Transactional:
Good

Average

Poor

RAID 6

Excellent

Good

Poor

Poor

RAID
0+1,RAID
1+0

Excellent

Good

Average

Good

RAID 30

Excellent

Good

Average

Average

RAID 50

Excellent

Good

Average

Average

RAID 51

Excellent

Good

Average

Good

Hardware RAID Controllers


With hardware RAID, you use a dedicated hardware device called a RAID controller to control
the disk array. There are two main types of RAID controllers: Bus-based RAID and External
RAID.

Controller Type

Description

Bus-based RAID

In a bus-based hardware RAID, the RAID controller takes the place of the host bus
adapter that would normally provide the interface between the hard disks and the
system bus.
Some server system boards include integrated, onboard RAID controllers, but if
your system board does not have one of these, you can use a RAID controller card,
which is an expansion board. Bus-based hardware RAID is cheaper and easier to
implement than external RAID controllers.

External RAID

External RAID controllers are considered higher end designs, because they contain
a dedicated processor. An external RAID controller manages the disk array from a
separate enclosure. It presents the logical drives from the array to the server via a
standard interface, and the server interprets the array as one or more hard disks.
Compared to bus-based hardware RAID, external RAID controllers are more exible, offer more features, and tend to be more expandable, but they are also more
expensive.

Hardware RAID Controllers

Software RAID
Software RAID implementations do not require extra hardware other than the disk array. In
this type of implementation, the system processor uses special software routines to take over
the functions handled by a hardware RAID controller. Because array management is a lowlevel activity that must be performed before any other software activity, software RAID is
usually implemented at the operating system level.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

Software RAID

93

LESSON 3
Hot Swapping
Hot swapping is the ability to exchange computer hardware on the y without interrupting the computers service or, at least, minimizing the interruption. It prevents you
from having to power off the system while you switch an old or faulty part for a new
one, which, in turn, enables users to keep working while you are xing the problem.
SSA
The Serial Storage Architecture (SSA) is a high-performance serial interface that is
commonly used to connect disk drives to servers. It can handle up to two 20 Mbps
transmissions at the same time in full duplex mode on a single port.
A typical SSA interface has two ports, so an SSA system has a total bandwidth of 80
Mbps. A single SSA system can support up to 192 hot swappable disk drives and is
mainly employed in server/RAID environments.
Software RAID Benets and Limitations
Software RAID is inexpensive (support comes with the operating system) and is easy
to implement (no extra controller to install, congure, and manage), but these benets
can be offset by the limitations of software RAID.

Server performance can be severely affected, because the CPU does the work of
the server and of the RAID controller. With lower levels like RAID 1, the effect
might not be too noticeable, but when you get to the levels that include striping
and parity, like RAID 5, the performance hit can be substantial.

Because the Network Operating System (NOS) has to be running to enable the
array to operate, the NOS itself cannot reside on the array. A separate partition
must be created for the NOS, which can affect the capacity of the RAID array
unless a separate hard disk is used, and the NOS cannot benet from the performance gains of running on the array.

In addition to limiting the levels of RAID that can be implemented, using software RAID limits the accessibility of the array to only those systems that are
running the same NOS. On single-NOS systems, this is not much of an issue, but
many networks contain a combination of Windows 2000/2003/2008 servers, and
Linux and UNIX servers. On mixed systems such as these, the NOS limitation
can become quite important.

With software RAID solutions, you are also limited in the advanced RAID features you can implement. For instance, software RAID cannot support
hotswapping or hot spares.

Some software utilities, particularly disk partitioning and formatting tools, can
conict with software-based RAID.

LUN Mapping in RAID


LUN Mapping in RAID (2
slides)

While setting up a SAN, the storage administrator needs to ensure that the data stored in the
disks is easily accessed by the hosts. The RAID consisting of multiple disks are split into logical LUNs that are mapped to the front end controllers. LUN mapping in RAID refers to the
mapping of front end ports of the storage array to a specic LUN.
This mapping in turn enables the host to access the LUNs in the same way as they would
access a physical hard disk. The storage array provides more than a single path by mapping
the LUN to multiple front end controllers for ensuring high availability of data to the host.

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LESSON 3

Figure 3-22: Mapping LUNs to the front end ports of a storage array.

Storage Capacity Determination


Determining the storage capacity of a RAID level involves a few calculations.

RAID Level

Calculation

Size of the Smallest Drive * Number of Drives

Size of the Smaller Drive

(Size of the Smallest Drive) * (Number of Drives - 1)

(Size of the Smallest Drive) * (Number of Drives - 1)

0+5

(Size of the Smallest Drive) * (Number of Drives in Each RAID 0 Set) * (Number of
RAID 0 Sets - 1)

5+0

(Size of the Smallest Drive) * (Number of Drives in Each RAID 5 Set - 1) * (Number
of RAID 5 Sets)

1+5 and 5+1

(Size of the Smallest Drive) * ( (Number of Drives / 2) - 1)

0+1 and 1+0

(Size of the Smallest Drive) * (Number of Drives ) / 2

Storage Capacity
Determination

Hot Spares
A hot spare is an extra drive congured on a RAID system. If one of the working disks fails,
you can enable the hot spare by making it online and adding it to the array. The new disk
automatically takes over the data storage, enabling you to x or replace the failed drive at your
convenience.

Hot Spares

RAID Properties
RAID levels each have unique properties.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

RAID Properties (2 slides)

95

LESSON 3
RAID Level

Property

RAID 0

Read and write performance: RAID 0 has equal read and write performance. As
the blocks are striped it has excellent performance.
Failure rate: A single drive failure results in the loss of all data in the array.
Fault tolerance: Due to the single drive failure, there is a loss of whole data, so
RAID level 0 does not have any fault tolerance.
Rebuild times: Raid level 0 has no option for rebuilding because it is not fault
tolerant.
Capacity overhead: It has no redundancy, so its capacity overhead is nil. It
requires a minimum of two disk drives.

RAID 1

Read and write performance: RAID 1 creates a copy (or mirror) of a set of data
on two or more disks. Due to the mirroring feature, the read performance is more
than the write performance.
Failure rate: If there is a single drive failure, then data can be retrieved due to the
presence of a mirrored disk.
Fault tolerance: This type of RAID level can tolerate loss of any single disk.
Rebuild times: In case of a disk failure, a copy of the replacement disk will help
you in retrieving data, so the rebuild time taken in RAID 1 is less.
Capacity overhead: This RAID level has 100% redundancy of data, so its capacity overhead is also 100%. It requires a minimum of two disk drives.

RAID 2

Read and write performance: RAID 2 supports data striping at bit levels and
utilizes hamming code for error correction. The disks are synchronized by the controller to spin at the same angular orientation. Extremely high data transfer rates
are possible. RAID 2 is not used for commercial applications.
Failure rate: It cannot simultaneously withstand multiple disk failures.
Fault tolerance: RAID 2 can automatically recover accurate data from single-bit
corruption in data. Other RAID levels can detect single-bit corruption in data, or
can sometimes reconstruct missing data, but cannot reliably resolve contradictions
between parity bits and data bits without human intervention. Multiple-bit corruption is possible in rare cases. RAID 2 can detect, but not repair, double-bit
corruption.
Rebuild times: RAID 2 supports On the y data error correction.
Capacity overhead: The use of Hamming (7, 4) code (four data bits plus three
parity bits) also permits using seven disks in RAID 2, with four being used for
data storage and three being used for error correction.

RAID 3

96

Read and write performance: Raid 3 supports byte level striping. The parity for
the data blocks is generated and stored in a parity drive. Write performance when
striping with parity is worse than read performance.
Failure rate: When there is a single drive failure, then data can be retrieved due
to the presence of the parity disk.
Fault tolerance: This type of RAID level can tolerate loss of a single disk failure
at a time.
Rebuild times: Data can be rebuilt by parity calculation. The time taken to rebuild
is less. Disk failure has an insignicant impact on throughput.
Capacity overhead: RAID level 3 requires a minimum of three drives to implement i.e. one dedicated parity disk and minimum two data disks.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 3
RAID Level

Property

RAID 4

Read and write performance: RAID 4 has a very high read data transaction rate
with the worst write transaction rate.
Failure rate: If there is a single drive failure, then data can be retrieved due to the
presence of the parity disk.
Fault tolerance: It can tolerate a single disk failure.
Rebuild times: Data rebuilding is complex and inefficient in case of a disk failure.
Capacity overhead: It requires a minimum of three drives to be implemented.
One dedicated parity and minimum two data disks.

RAID 5

Read and write performance: It has high read and write data transfer rate.
Failure rate: The array is not affected by a single drive failure. If there is a drive
failure, then any subsequent reads can be calculated from the distributed parity.
Fault tolerance: RAID 5 has high fault tolerance.
Rebuild times: The rebuild time taken by RAID 5 is more compared to RAID
level 1. This is because if one disk fails then data can be rebuilt by calculating
parity.
Capacity overhead: A capacity equivalent to that of one member disk is used to
hold checksums.

RAID 6

Read and write performance: Read performance is better than the write performance. Controller overhead to compute parity addresses is extremely high, but
write performance can be brought on par with RAID Level 5 for computing ReedSolomon parity.
Failure rate: RAID 6 array continues to operate with up to two failed drives. If
two drives fail, then data can be retrieved by dual parity schemes.
Fault tolerance: RAID 6 provides extremely high fault tolerance and can sustain
multiple disk failures. It protects a single block failure in degraded and non
degraded modes.
Rebuild times: The rebuild time taken for RAID 6 is more because of double parity.
Capacity overhead: Requires N+2 drives to implement because of dual parity
scheme. It requires a minimum of four drives to be implemented.

RAID 10 or
(1+0)

Read and write performance: It has high read and write performance.
Failure rate: As long as there is a single failure per each mirrored pair, the failure
of one or more drives is tolerable.
Fault tolerance: The fault tolerance of RAID 10 is the same as RAID level 1.
Rebuild times: The time taken to rebuild is faster.
Capacity overhead: It has a very high overhead and requires minimum of four
drives to be implemented.

RAID 01 or
(0+1)

Read and write performance: It has high read and write performance.
Failure rate: A single drive failure causes the whole array to behave like RAID 0.
Fault tolerance: RAID 0+1 has the same fault tolerance as RAID level 5.
Rebuild time: The time taken to rebuild is fast.
Capacity overhead: It requires a very high overhead and minimum of four drives
to be implemented.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

97

LESSON 3
Reed-Solomon Codes
Reed-Solomon codes are used for error correction in applications such as digital communications and storage. A Reed-Solomon encoder adds redundant parity bits to the
blocks of data in order to eliminate errors during transmission. On receiving the data
blocks, the Reed-Solomon decoder checks for parity bits, processes each block, and
corrects errors depending upon the parity to recover the original data.

Technical Characteristics of Host-Based RAID vs.


Non-Host-Based RAID
Technical Characteristics of
Host-Based RAID vs. NonHost-Based RAID

A host-based RAID is a RAID system in which the RAID controller resides within the host
system to control RAID functions. It offers high performance because disks can be striped over
multiple channels, increasing data transfer rates.
A non-host-based RAID is a RAID system in which the RAID controller resides in an external
enclosure along with disk drives to control RAID functions. The non-host-based RAID system
is attached to a host adapter in the host system and can easily be transferred to another host in
the event of a host failure.

ACTIVITY 3-6
Examining the RAID System
Scenario:
Your organizations senior management plans to implement a storage network. As a storage
administrator, you will examine the RAID system.

1.

Which RAID level is the most expensive to implement?


a) RAID 0
b) RAID 1
c) RAID 3
d) RAID 5

2.

Which technique is used to split data sequentially across more than one disk?
a) Mirroring
b) Striping
c) Parity

3.

What is the role of a hot spare drive in a RAID configuration after a primary drive has
failed?
a) To continually be idle in the array.
b) To return the system to its normal operational mode.
c) To reconstruct lost data.
d) To assume the role of the failed drive.

98

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LESSON 3
4.

What is the minimum hardware requirement for a hardware-based RAID 5 implementation?


a) Two disks and a RAID controller
b) Three disks and a RAID controller
c) Four disks and a RAID controller
d) Six disks and a RAID controller

Lesson 3 Follow-up
In this lesson, you identied various disk technologies. With emerging new disk technologies,
it has become crucial for organizations to optimize the utilization of their storage assets. The
ability to identify such technologies will enable you to efficiently implement and manage a
suitable storage network for your organization.
1.

Which disk technology is suitable for your organizations storage network? Why?
Answers will vary, but may include: iSCSI because it does not require any special purpose
network for storage implementation. In addition, it enables IP storage over the existing
network.

2.

Which disk technology is suitable for an enterprise level storage network? Why?
Answers will vary, but may include: Fibre Channel, because it enables concurrent communication among workstations, servers, data storage systems, and other peripherals that
use various protocols.

Lesson 3: Examining Disk Technologies

99

NOTES

100

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 4

LESSON 4

Lesson Time
1 hour(s)

Identifying Removable
Media Technologies
In this lesson, you will identify removable media technologies.
You will:

Describe tape technologies.

Describe optical disc and SSD technologies.

Lesson 4: Identifying Removable Media Technologies

101

LESSON 4
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you examined the various types of disk technologies. You also need to
know about technologies that are not under the control of the processing unit. In this lesson,
you will identify the different types of removable media technologies.
Suppose data is lost or corrupted due to some disaster like re or computer-based attack, you
can rely on the data stored in the removable medium. Removable media not only helps you
increase general information security, but also helps you transport data between two computers,
store information that you do not need to access constantly, copy information to give someone
else, and secure information that you dont want anyone else to access.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

1.2 Compare removable media types, components, and features.

Topic B

1.1 Describe disk types, components, and features.

1.2 Compare removable media types, components, and features.

TOPIC A
Describe Tape Technologies
This lesson will cover the different types of removable media. To maintain data security, you
will often need to store data on media that is suitable for backup, archiving, and secure storage
purposes. In this topic, you will explore tape technologies.
Organizations frequently need to backup or archive voluminous data. Such data may also need
to be stored in secure locations away from the work centers of the organization. By using tape
technologies, you can ensure the storage of such voluminous data in normal operations, or
even for backup or archival purposes in your organization.

Tape Drives
Tape Drives (2 slides)

102

Denition:
A tape drive is a type of storage device that stores data on a magnetic tape that is
placed inside a removable cartridge. The storage capacity of tape drives ranges from a
few hundred kilobytes to several gigabytes and even terabytes. Unlike disk drives, tape
drives read and write data sequentially. This makes tape drives unsuitable for generalpurpose storage operations, but makes them suitable for backup, secure storage, and
archiving purposes.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 4
Example:

Figure 4-1: A typical tape drive and cartridge.


Tape Components
A tape drive is made up of ve major components: the tape, head, head guide assembly, cartridge, and take-up reel. The following table describes the features of each
component.

Tape Component

Description

Tape

It is made up of a loop of exible celluloid-like material that can store data


in the form of small magnetic elds that can be read and erased.

Head

It is responsible for reading from and writing content on the tape.

Head guide
assembly

It controls the tape head and positions the head at the exact location of the
tape during data reading and writing.

Cartridge

It encloses the entire tape within an enclosure to protect the tape from
moisture and other disturbances.

Take-up reel

It enables smooth running of the tape during the read and write functions.

Shoe Shining
Tape drives are designed with a minimum threshold level of data transfer rate during
read/write operations. If the data transfer rate falls below that level, a tape drive will
stop the tape, rewind it for a while, restart the tape, position its read/write head back to
the position at which streaming stopped, and resume the read/write operations. This
action is referred to as shoe shining because it resembles shining a shoe with a cloth.
Shoe shining signicantly affects a tape drives attainable data rate and the life of the
tape and the drive.

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LESSON 4
Data Recording Methods in Tapes
Data Recording Methods in
Tapes

In tapes, data can be recorded using two methods: linear/serpentine and helical scan.

Data Recording
Method

Description

Linear/serpentine

The linear method records data in parallel tracks that span the entire length of
the tape. In this method, multiple tape heads simultaneously write parallel tracks
on a single medium. Because of the low data density that this method provides,
the serpentine method is used so that more tracks across the width of the tape
are recorded.
In the serpentine method, data is written on a track or a set of tracks in parallel
along the tape from one end to the other, and then on another track or a set of
tracks from the other end to the beginning of the tape. This will continue until
the full width of the tape is recorded.

Helical scan

In this method, data is recorded in dense tracks diagonally across the tape
medium rather than along the length of the medium. Though this method results
in slow tape speed, it provides more storage capacity than the serpentine method.

Types of Tape Drives


Types of Tape Drives (2 slides)

Several types of tape drives are available on the market.

Tape Drive Type

Specication

Quarter-inch cartridge (QIC)

The QIC technology is among the oldest, most standardized, and most reliable of
the tape technologies. QIC drives are used for backing up servers or small networks. QIC cartridges are available in 60 MB to 4 GB with a data transfer rate of
up to 0.3 Mbps. Most of the drives designed to read the higher capacity cartridges
can also read the lower capacity cartridges. The original width was 0.25-inch, but
the drives are also available in 3.5-inch (Travan) and 5.25-inch cartridges.
Two of the biggest detractions to QIC technology are cost and speed. QIC drives
are inexpensive; however, the cartridges are expensive when cost per megabyte is
considered. Quarter-inch cartridge drives are slow, having about the slowest transfer rates of any of the tape technologies.

4 mm Digital Audio Originally adapted from the audio market, the 4 mm DAT tape format offers
Tape (DAT)
higher storage capacities at a lower cost than does QIC technology. DAT cartridges are about the size of an audio tape, so they are quite small compared with
QIC cartridges, and therefore, are much easier to store and use. Capacities for 4
mm tapes range from 1 GB to 12 GB with a transfer rate of 4 Mbps.
DAT tapes are considered to be less reliable than QIC tapes. They are especially
vulnerable to heat and moisture. Because the tape is pulled out of the cartridge
during operation, to be wrapped around the spinning read/write head, the tapes
wear more quickly than QIC tapes. Due to lack of strict standards, 4 mm tape
drives are not always compatible: tapes from one drive might not be readable in
another drive.
Stationary Digital
Audio Tape (SDAT)

104

The SDAT technology shuttles the tape back and forth over a head that uses several individual tracks. This technology offers a native capacity of 300 GB with a
transfer rate of 36 Mbps.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 4
Tape Drive Type

Specication

Mammoth or 8 mm
tape (Exabyte)

The Mammoth or 8 mm tape format was originally developed by Exabyte, which


continues to be the only manufacturer of 8 mm drives. Many other manufacturers
purchase raw drives from Exabyte and integrate them into internal or external 8
mm tape drives. This arrangement ensures compatibility between 8 mm drives.
When compressed, a cartridge can store 150 GB of data with a data transfer rate
of 62 Mbps. Mammoth tape drives use the helical scan method to record data.
The tape cartridges are only slightly larger than DAT tapes. They are often considered more reliable than 4 mm drives; however, the drives and tapes are more
expensive than 4 mm units. The 8 mm tape drives are popular in the UNIX and
workstation industry.

Advanced Intelligent Tape (AIT)

The AIT drive has been designed and manufactured by Sony since 1996. Though
AIT uses the 8 mm helical scan recording method, the recording format is unique
and incompatible with 8 mm drives. The AIT drive is the rst generation of a
technology family intended to double storage capacity and transfer rates every
two years. The fth generation drive AIT-5 offers a native storage capacity of 400
GB with a native data transfer rate of 24 Mbps.

Digital Linear Tape


(DLT)

DLT was developed by Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC), which sold this
technology to Quantum. DLT records data on half-inch wide tape by using linear
serpentine recording with multiple tracks. There are 128 or 208 linear tracks,
holding 10 to 35 GB of data. The high density storage capacity is realized
through Symmetric Phase Recording (SPR) technique.
DLT tapes are categorized into value line DLT-V drives and performance line
DLT-S. The fourth generation DLT-S4 offers a storage capacity of 800 GB with a
data transfer rate of 60 Mbps and DLT-V4 offers a storage capacity of 160 GB
with a data transfer rate of 10 Mbps. As of 2007, Quantum stopped developing
the fth generation tape drives due to insufficient market acceptance of fourth
generation drives and shifted to Linear Tape Open (LTO).

Super Digital Linear Tape (SDLT)

Super DLT, the next generation DLT tape technology platform, is the current
industry standard for data storage. Data recording on SDLT is based on Laser
Guided Magnetic Recording (LGMR) technology. LGMR uses a unique combination of optical and magnetic technologies for increasing the number of recording
tracks on the media.
The storage capacity of an SDLT-600 drive is 300 GB with a data transfer rate of
36 Mbps. With current DLT formats, SDLT tape drives offer full backward read
compatibility.

Linear Tape Open


(LTO)

LTO combines the features of linear multichannel and bidirectional tape formats
with enhancements in data compression, track layouts, and error correction code
to maximize capacity and performance.
The LTO version 1 offered an uncompressed capacity of 100 GB in a single cartridge with a data transfer speed of 20 Mbps, the LTO version 2 doubled the
capacity to 200 GB and a data transfer speed to 40 Mbps, the LTO version 3
doubled the capacity to 400 GB and a data transfer speed to 80 Mbps, and the
LTO version 4 doubled capacity to 800 GB and increased data transfer speed to
120 Mbps. The LTO version 5, which was released in early 2010, provides an
uncompressed capacity of 1.5 TB with a data transfer speed of 140 Mbps.
Initially, there were two types of LTO: single reel cartridge designed for greater
storage capacity called Ultrium and dual reel cartridge designed for faster access
called Accelis. But, Ultrium is the only commercially available LTO drive on the
market since 2008.

Lesson 4: Identifying Removable Media Technologies

105

LESSON 4
Data Compression
The storage capacity of a tape can be improved by data compression. It is done by
implementing mathematical algorithm in the hardware so that redundant strings of data
are reduced. The compression algorithm eliminates redundancy from data by encoding
patterns of input characters. Data can be compressed either by hardware compression
or by software compression.
Data Encryption
Data is encrypted so that it is not accessed by unauthorized parties. Data is encrypted
by using mathematical calculations and algorithmic schemes that transform plain text
to ciphertext, which cannot be read by unauthorized people.
The encrypted data will have a key to it, using which the authorized person can
decrypt it. Data can be encrypted either by hardware encryption or by software encryption. Encryption must be done after compression of data because once it is encrypted it
cannot be compressed effectively.

Tape Libraries
Tape Libraries (2 slides)

Denition:
A tape library, also referred to as a tape jukebox, is an external storage device that
stores, retrieves, writes, and reads data from multiple magnetic tape cartridges. Tape
libraries incorporate two important hardware components, the tape drive and the
robotic autoloader. The robotic autoloader provides the required tape cartridge by
selecting appropriate tape cartridges from built-in storage racks, loading them into the
drive as required, removing them when data is packed, and storing them until they are
needed.
Although tape library devices are not as fast as online hard disks, they have their data
readily available at all times and are, therefore, referred to as nearline devices. The
storage capacity of tape libraries ranges from 20 terabytes up to more than 366
petabytes of data. Tape libraries are primarily used for data backups and archiving.
Example:

Figure 4-2: Tape libraries incorporate two important hardware components,


the tape drive and the robotic autoloader.

106

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 4
Multiplexing with Tapes
When recording data in a tape drive, a minimum tape transport speed should be maintained for
writing the data. So, a minimum incoming data rate is required to keep the tape drive moving.
When the data rate falls below the minimum level, the tape drive will stop. Every time the
tape stops, it has to be reversed before it is restarted.

Multiplexing with Tapes (2


slides)

To prevent these issues, multiplexing is used to send data from multiple sources to a single
tape drive to keep the tape drive moving. Multiplexing takes place at the hardware level. This
method can be used for low-end clients with slow throughput.

Figure 4-3: Data sent from multiple sources to a single tape drive.

Multistreaming with Tapes


When recording data, if the data comes at a very high speed, multistreaming can be used. Data
coming at a speed that is greater than the tape drive can handle will cause problems.

Multistreaming with Tapes (2


slides)

In such a situation, multistreaming is used to send data from a single client to multiple tape
drives. This method can be used for high-end clients with high throughput. Multistreaming is
done at the software level and all the les are backed up in separate streams on to the tape
drive.

Figure 4-4: Data sent from a single client to multiple tape drives.

Lesson 4: Identifying Removable Media Technologies

107

LESSON 4
NDMP
NDMP

The Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) is an open protocol used to control data
between NAS devices and backup devices. The protocol addresses the need for centralized data
storage management while minimizing network traffic.
It separates the data path from the control path so that data can be backed up locally, but managed from a central location. This remote management will enhance the speed of backup
servers. NDMP allows a backup of critical data using a combination of network attached servers, backup devices, and management applications.

ACTIVITY 4-1
Describing Tape Technologies
Scenario:
In this activity, you will describe tape technologies.

1.

True or False? The helical scan method records data in parallel tracks that span the
entire length of the tape.
True
False

2.

Which tape drive type combines the features of linear multichannel and bidirectional
tape formats with enhancements in data compression, track layouts, and error correction code?
a) SDLT
b) DLT
c) LTO
d) AIT

3.

108

Match the tape drive technology with its characteristic.

QIC

Mammoth tape

AIT

DAT

a.

In this technology, the tape is pulled


out of the cartridge during operation
to be wrapped around the spinning
read/write head.
b. Two of the biggest detractions to this
technology are cost and speed.
c. This is the rst generation of a technology family intended to double
storage capacity and transfer rates
every two years.
d. This technology uses the helical scan
method to record data.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 4
4.

Which LTO version has a capacity of 1.5 TB and a data transfer speed of 140 Mbps?
a) LTO version 1
b) LTO version 2
c) LTO version 3
d) LTO version 4
e) LTO version 5

TOPIC B
Describe Optical Disc and SSD
Technologies
In the previous topic, you described the different types of tape technologies. Similar to tape,
optical disc and SSD are other types of removable media technologies that are used for storage
network solutions. In this topic, you will describe optical disc and SSD technologies.
When you need to back up a limited amount of data and want to physically share and access
the data across various machines on your network, on other networks, or across unconnected
or independent computers, you need a removable media technology that is portable and
enables quick, direct access to the data. By using optical disc and SSD technologies, you can
ensure that your limited data is backed up and shared across computers within or across various networks to enable quick random access to the data stored.

Optical Discs
Denition:
An optical disc is a storage device that stores data optically rather than magnetically.
Removable plastic discs have a reective coating and require an optical drive to read
them. In optical storage, data is written by burning the reective surface of the disc
with a laser to create pits (recessed areas) or lands (raised areas). An optical drive laser
then reads the data off the disc.

Lesson 4: Identifying Removable Media Technologies

Optical Discs (2 slides)

109

LESSON 4
Example:

Figure 4-5: An optical disc uses pits and lands to store data.

Types of Optical Discs


Types of Optical Discs

Several types of optical discs are available on the market.

Optical Disc
Type

110

Description

CD-ROM

Compact Disc Read-Only Memory. Data is permanently burned onto the disc during
its manufacture. The storage capacity is between 650 MB and 900 MB.

CD-R

CD-Recordable. Data can be written only once. The storage capacity is between
650 MB and 700 MB.

CD-RW

CD-Rewritable. Data can be written multiple times. The storage capacity is between
650 MB and 700 MB.

DVD-ROM

Digital Versatile Disc Read-Only Memory. Data is permanently burned onto the
disc during its manufacture. The storage capacity is 4.7 GB.

DVD-R

DVD-Recordable. Data can be written only once. The storage capacity is 4.7 GB.

DVD+R

Another format of DVD Recordable that offers faster writing and support for drag
and drop of desktop les. Data can be written only once. The storage capacity is
4.7 GB.

DVD+R DL

A high capacity double layer format of DVD Recordable Double Layer. Data can
be written only once. The storage capacity is 8.5 GB.

DVD-RW

DVD-Rewritable. Data can be written multiple times. The storage capacity is 4.7
GB.

DVD+RW

Another format of DVD Rewritable. Data can be written multiple times. The storage capacity is 4.7 GB.

DVD-RAM

DVD-Random Access Memory. Data can be written multiple times. The storage
capacity is 9.4 GB.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 4
Optical Disc
Type
BD-ROM

Description
Blu-ray discs are intended for high-density storage of high-denition video as well
as data storage. They use blue laser light to read and store data. The blue laser has
a shorter wavelength than existing CD and DVD laser technologies, which enables
the system to store more data in the same amount of physical space. Current Bluray discs can hold up to 500 GB.

WORM
WORM stands for Write Once Read Many. In a WORM disc, you can write only once
and that information cannot be erased. Data is written on it using a low-powered laser
that makes permanent marks on it, after which the WORM disc behaves like a
CD-ROM. As a result, WORM discs are used by companies for archival purposes.

Optical Disc Drives


Denition:
An optical disc drive is a type of disc drive that uses laser light to read or write data
from or to optical discs, respectively. Some optical disc drives can only read data from
optical discs, while some drives can both read and write data on optical discs. Optical
disc drives are commonly used on computers to read software and other data, and to
write or record optical devices to archive or exchange data.

Optical Disc Drives (2 slides)

Example:

Figure 4-6: A typical optical disc drive.

Optical Jukeboxes
An optical jukebox, also referred to as an optical disc library, is an automated external storage
system that houses many optical discs with multiple read/write drives to store data. Optical
jukebox devices may possess up to 2,000 slots for discs, and a picking device, called the
robotic arm, that traverses the slots and drives.

Optical Jukeboxes (2 slides)

The arrangement of slots and the robotic arm affect the storage and retrieval performance,
which depends on the space between a disc and the robotic arm. The loaded optical disc can
be a CD, a DVD, an Ultra Density Optical disc, or a Blu-ray disc. Jukeboxes are commonly
used in high-storage environments such as medical, imaging, and video applications.

Lesson 4: Identifying Removable Media Technologies

111

LESSON 4

Figure 4-7: An optical jukebox houses many optical discs with multiple read/write
drives to store data.

Seek Time
Seek Time

Seek time is the duration for a hardware device or software to read or write a particular piece
of information from or on a disc drive, respectively. The lower the seek time, the faster the
disc drive. Seek time for a disc drive varies depending on how far the read/write heads destination is from its origin at the time of each instruction.

Latency
Latency

Latency is the time taken by a message to traverse from a source to a destination on a computer. Latency is based on the speed of the transmission media and the delay in the
transmission by various devices along the way. A low latency indicates that the network has
high efficiency and vice versa.
The main contributors to latency are data speed mismatches between the microprocessor and
I/O devices and inadequate data buffers. Possessing varying latency rates, hard disk drives, and
tape drives has a great impact on the functioning of a storage network. However, solid state
disks provide a solution to reduce the latency rate on the storage network.

Solid State Drives


Solid State Drives (2 slides)

Denition:
A Solid State Drive (SSD) is a type of data storage device that uses microchips instead
of magnetic tapes or discs to store data. In contrast to Hard Disk Drives (HDDs),
SSDs do not use moving parts such as spinning disks and movable read/write heads to
store data.
SSDs are extremely faster and more robust under extreme conditions because of the
absence of moving parts. Moreover, the lack of moving parts in an SSD eliminates
seek time, latency, and other electromechanical delays that are common in conventional HDDs.

112

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LESSON 4
Example:

Figure 4-8: A solid state disk stores data in microchips.


EFD
An enterprise ash drive (EFD) is an SSD with a higher set of specications designed
for applications requiring high I/O performance, reliability, and energy efficiency.
Solid State Memory
Solid state memory is computer memory that is stored within a hardware device that
contains no moving parts.
Difference Between Flash Drive and Solid State Drives
A USB ash drive uses low performance NAND ash with one or two channels,
whereas an SSD uses high performance NAND with multiple channels. A USB ash
drive is durable, but slow. In SSDs, the memory controller is much better.

ACTIVITY 4-2
Examining Optical Disc and SSD Technologies
Scenario:
In this activity, you will examine optical disc and SSD technologies.

1.

Which optical disc type enables you to write data only once?
a) CD-RW
b) DVD-RW
c) CD-R
d) DVD-RAM

2.

Which storage system does not involve any moving parts to read and write data?
a) HDD
b) Optical jukebox
c) SSD
d) Tape library

Lesson 4: Identifying Removable Media Technologies

113

LESSON 4
3.

What are true about seek time and latency in a disk drive? (Select all that apply.)
a) The lower the seek time, the faster the disk drive.
b) The higher the seek time, the faster the disk drive.
c) The higher the latency, the higher the disk drive efficiency.
d) The lower the latency, the higher the disk drive efficiency.

4.

What is a solid state drive?


A solid state drive is a type of data storage device that uses microchips instead of magnetic tapes or discs to store data. Unlike HDDs, SSDs do not have moving parts such as
spinning disks and movable read/write heads to store data.

Lesson 4 Follow-up
In this lesson, you examined removable media technologies. Knowledge of removable media
technologies will enable you to increase the general information security of your organization.
1.

Which tape drives will your organization implement on its storage network? Why?
Answers will vary, but may include: LTO third generation tape drives because they offer
high input/output performance, reliability, and energy efficiency.

2.

Which storage technology is extremely fast and robust under extreme conditions?
Why?
SSDs are extremely fast and robust under extreme conditions because of the absence of
moving parts. Moreover, the lack of moving parts in an SSD eliminates seek time, latency,
and other electromechanical delays that are common in conventional HDDs.

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CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 5

LESSON 5

Lesson Time
30 minutes

Describing Modular Storage


Arrays and Disk Enclosures
In this lesson, you will describe modular storage arrays and disk enclosures.
You will:

Describe modular storage arrays.

Describe disk enclosures.

Lesson 5: Describing Modular Storage Arrays and Disk Enclosures

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LESSON 5
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you described removable media technologies. In data storage, arrays
and enclosures are methods of storing data in a specied way, usually on multiple devices. In
this lesson, you will describe modular storage arrays and disk enclosures.
Imagine you are trying to locate a paper in a disorganized desk. It might take a long time
before you nd it or sometimes you may not be able to nd it at all. But if the desk is organized, it becomes a much simpler task. In the same way, when you store data in arrays and
disk enclosures it is more organized, easier to manage, and saves time while enabling storage
on a network.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

1.5 Given a scenario, install and maintain modular storage array components.

Topic B

1.5 Given a scenario, install and maintain modular storage array components.

TOPIC A
Describe Modular Storage Array
Technologies
With the amount of data increasing day-by-day, it is becoming almost impossible to keep track
of all the available data. Storing data in modular storage arrays will help you access the
required data without much effort. In this topic, you will describe modular storage arrays.
Imagine you want to pull out a specic book from the bottom of a stack of books. There is no
way of doing this without dragging along the entire pile. But if the books were arranged in
small piles instead of one huge pile then it would be easy to take what you want without disturbing the rest. Similarly, data also should be arranged in modules so that it will be easy to
retrieve it later. By examining how to manage modular storage arrays, you will be able to
work with data stored in modules.

Modular Storage Arrays


Modular Storage Arrays (2
slides)

Denition:
A modular storage array is a disk storage system that consists of many disk drives
linked together to form a single large drive. It comprises of disk array controllers,
cache memories, disk enclosures, and power supplies. The modular storage array uses
these components to provide increased availability, maintainability, and resiliency.
The array consists of several disk drive trays and is designed to improve speed and
protection against data loss. It organizes data as logical units and they appear to clients
as linear block paces. The logical units supported by these arrays might range from
eight to more than hundreds, depending on the number of disk drives linked in the
array. The most commonly implemented disk array technology is RAID.

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CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 5
Example:

Figure 5-1: A typical modular storage array.

Disk Array Controllers


Denition:
A disk array controller is a controller that manages the disk drives in an array and
presents them as logical units. A disk array controller device contains a processor,
cache memory, and disk controller logic. The back-end interfaces provided by disk
array controllers communicate with controlled disks whereas the front-end interfaces
communicate with the hosts, switches, and other storage devices on the network. They
are good alternatives for expensive hardware used for disk aggregation and can also be
used in low power servers.

Disk Array Controllers (2


slides)

A disk array controller requires special device drivers and management software. The
device driver presents multiple disks as a single virtual disk to the operating system.
When the virtual disk places an I/O request, it goes from the operating system to the
driver on the host. The driver then communicates with the disk array controllers processor. The processor converts the I/O requests to appropriate requests to the physical
disks. The disk array controller carries a cache, which boosts the I/O performance.
The major disadvantage of a disk array controller is that it does not provide protection
against failure of any components. Sometimes it is known as a RAID controller
because it implements the hardware RAID.
Example:

Figure 5-2: A typical disk array controller.

Lesson 5: Describing Modular Storage Arrays and Disk Enclosures

117

LESSON 5
Single Controller Arrays
Single Controller Arrays (2
slides)

In earlier days, modular storage arrays came with only one controller head. A single controller
uses various protocols for back-end and front-end communication. In a SAN infrastructure, the
single controller arrays can connect to one or more switches. While using a single controller in
a RAID array, the RAID controller should have a separate host port for each of the cluster
nodes. Single controller arrays are cost efficient and are typically used in low cost requirements
of storage.
Common applications for a single controller might include:

Enterprise storage

Disk to disk backup

Performance driven HD

Video streaming applications

Security and surveillance

Regulation compliance storage

Disaster recovery storage

Audio and video editing

Fixed content archiving

Figure 5-3: A typical example of a single controller array.

Dual Controller Arrays


Dual Controller Arrays (2
slides)

Nowadays, modular storage arrays come with dual controller heads. These controller heads are
connected using an interface.
The advantages of a dual controller are:

No or limited loss of performance after a controller failure ensures high availability.

118

All drives and cache can be used to service all workloads.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 5
When one of the controller fails in a dual controller, all traffic is routed over to the surviving
controller. The surviving controller temporarily ceases to place writes in the cache, avoiding
the risk of losing cache data in the event of its own failure, because the process of recovery
would be more difficult if the cache is lost. As a result, each write is completed at the physical
disk level. So it takes longer than the fast cache memory to process data. This signicantly
reduces the throughput of the surviving controller.

Figure 5-4: A dual controller array.

Modular Storage Array Grids


Modular storage array grids store data in multiple storage nodes, each of which is interconnected. This enables direct communication between the nodes without having to pass the data
through any centralized switch. On a network, the storage grid connects with the server and
disperses the information across the system, which in turn allows the resources to be shared.
Each separate node contains a storage medium, microprocessor, indexing capability, and management layer.

Modular Storage Array Grids


(2 slides)

Modular storage array grids have higher levels of fault tolerance when compared to traditional
storage grids. They also offer data redundancy so that if there is an interruption in the path
between two nodes the access is rerouted to a redundant node. Thus, the need for online maintenance is reduced. The presence of multiple paths between each pair of nodes ensures that the
storage grids operate at high performance levels at all times. When a new storage node is
added to the grid, it is recognized automatically by the storage grid, thereby eliminating expensive hardware upgrades.

Lesson 5: Describing Modular Storage Arrays and Disk Enclosures

119

LESSON 5

Figure 5-5: A typical modular storage array grid.

Cache
Cache (2 slides)

Denition:
A cache is a component, comprising high speed memory, which stores copies of data
from other storage memory to enable faster access to frequently used data. It can either
be an independent storage device or a part of the main memory. Caching can be of
two types: memory caching and disk caching.
Memory caching makes use of the high-speed static RAM (SRAM) instead of the
slower dynamic RAM (DRAM). Memory cache keeps the frequently accessed data in
the SRAM thereby avoiding the slower DRAM. The internal memory caches that are
built into the architecture of microprocessors are called Level 1 (L1) caches, and the
external memory caches that are placed between the CPU and the DRAM are Level 2
(L2) caches.
A disk cache uses conventional main memory. It stores the recently accessed data in a
memory buffer and when a program needs to access data, it checks the disk cache to
see if it is present there. Accessing data in RAM is much faster than accessing the
same information from the hard disk. When the program nds the data it is searching
for in the cache, it is called a cache hit.
The effectiveness of the cache can be determined from its hit rate. Smart caching technique, used by some cache systems, recognizes the frequently accessed data.
The benets of caching include:

Burst smoothing: Absorb bursts of writes without becoming disk bound.

120

Locality: Merge several writes to the same area into a single operation.

Immediacy: Satisfy user requests without going to the disks.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 5
Example:

Figure 5-6: L1 and L2 cache.

Expansion Adapters
Denition:
An expansion adapter is a printed circuit board that can be inserted into a storage
arrays backplane to add functionality to the storage array. On one end of the expansion card are the contacts or the edge connectors that t exactly into the slot. These
contacts establish electrical contact between the integrated circuits on the card and the
motherboard or the controllers on the disk array. External devices are connected to the
card through connectors or back-end ports mounted on the adapter.

Expansion Adapters (2 slides)

Depending on the form factor of the motherboard or the disk array controller, up to
seven expansion cards can be added to a system. Low prole expansion cards are
slightly shorter than the normal cards and are designed for lower height computer
chassis. The expansion adapters that are used for external connectivity are called input/
output cards (I/O cards).
Example:

Figure 5-7: An expansion adapter.

Lesson 5: Describing Modular Storage Arrays and Disk Enclosures

121

LESSON 5
Array Port Types and Cabling
Array Port Types and Cabling
(4 slides)

122

Array ports serve as an interface between the storage array and the peripheral devices connected to it. There are different types of array ports.

Array Port Type

Description

Front-end ports

The storage array is connected to the hosts or to the SAN switches using the front
end ports. Depending on the type of interface used to connect the initiator to the
target, the front end ports can be connected to FCoE, FC, iSCSI, or Gigabyte
Ethernet (GigE) ports. Usually, you might need two or four Fibre Channel front-end
ports for host connectivity at various speeds. Through these, connections to arbitrated loops or switched fabrics are done.

Back-end ports

The controller heads are connected to the disk array enclosures using the back-end
ports. They are present in expansion card adapters. Two or four Fibre Channel
back-end ports enable connectivity at 1Gb or 2Gb speed.

LAN ports

A LAN port connects a computer to a wired network. It usually enables Ethernet


connectivity to a network.

Serial ports

The null modem that is used for initial conguration of the storage array is connected using serial ports.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 5
FC Switched Storage Array Networks
To create an FC Switched Storage Array Network (FC_SW SAN), the storage array
should be connected to the FC switches via ber-optic cables. Fiber-optic cables have
high bandwidth and carry huge amounts of data. They are less susceptible to interference. Long-wave ber-optic cables can locate servers that are 10 kms away from the
storage disk.
Direct Attached Storage (DAS) Conguration
To have a Direct Attached Storage (DAS) conguration, the storage array is connected
to the array nodes through Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), SCSI, or FC cabling.

ACTIVITY 5-1
Examining Modular Storage Arrays
Scenario:
You want to implement modular storage arrays in your organization so that data storage will
become more efficient. As a rst step, you will examine the concepts of modular storage
arrays.

1.

Which are present in modular storage arrays? (Select all that apply.)
a) Disk array controller
b) Power supplies
c) Expansion adapter
d) Disk enclosure

2.

The storage array is connected to the SAN switches by which port?


a) Serial port
b) Back-end port
c) LAN port
d) Front-end port

Lesson 5: Describing Modular Storage Arrays and Disk Enclosures

123

LESSON 5

TOPIC B
Describe Disk Enclosures
In the previous topic, you described how data is stored in modular arrays for easy access. Further to storing data in arrays, it is also possible to store data in separate disk enclosures. In this
topic, you will describe disk enclosures.
Imagine that an organization needs to store huge amounts of enterprise data in disk drives. In
such cases, powering each of these drives separately becomes a tedious task. In such situations, you can use a disk enclosure to provide power to all these drives and subsequently
allocate separate ports. The application of disk enclosures reduces cost and increases throughput and bandwidth, thereby ensuring high performance.

Disk Enclosures
Disk Enclosures (2 slides)

Denition:
A disk enclosure is a specialized chassis, which houses and powers multiple disk
drives to communicate with the network to which it is connected. Some disk enclosures are capable of handling multiple petabytes of data at great speeds because they
receive data from many disk drives at once. For this reason, disk enclosures are
designed to increase the throughput and the bandwidth. They also have high performance and resilience and support online transaction processing workloads. They are
highly scalable, thereby supporting storage consolidation through tiered storage.
A disk enclosure converts data into a format that suits the external connection to which
the system is connected. The conversion may be simply carrying a signal or may be a
complex conversion that includes retransmission of data over a signal of a different
standard with the help of separate embedded systems.
Advantages of using a disk enclosure are:

Additional storage space.

Adds RAID capabilities to computers that do not have RAID controllers.

Data can be transferred to computers outside the network.

Serves as a removable backup source.

Data recovery is made simpler.

Example:

Figure 5-8: A disk enclosure.

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CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 5
Enclosure Controllers
Enclosure controllers are parts of physically independent enclosures like disk arrays in a SAN
or NAS server. The host communicates with the disks in the enclosure through interfaces like
parallel SCSI, FC-AL, SAS, or SSA. A disk enclosure can contain different types of disks like
FC, SAS, SATA, and SSD. The enclosure controllers should be able to manage these disks.
They also monitor the enclosure for failing disks and takes backup, if necessary, to prevent
data loss and RAID degradation. They manage the physical disk drives and present them as
logical units.

Enclosure Controllers (2
slides)

The advantages and functions of a disk enclosure controller include:

Performing operations without any downtime.

Forming a new RAID set.

Reconstructing a degraded RAID set after a disk failure.

Adding a disk to an online RAID set.

Removing a disk from a RAID set.

Partitioning a RAID set to individual volumes.

Taking snapshots of a system at a particular time.

Setting up Business Continuance Volumes (BCV), which are independently addressable


copies of data volumes.

Monitoring Cards
A monitoring card is a printed circuit board that is plugged onto a node such as a server on a
network to monitor and manage network traffic. A monitoring card does not have a MAC
address and therefore silently listens on a network rather than announcing its presence. It has
two data reception channels, which are used to monitor data ows in a full duplex transmission.

Monitoring Cards

A hardware device called a network tap is used for accessing the data owing from one end of
the network to the other. A monitoring card provides power to this network tap through network monitoring cables. A driver software is designed to allow the monitoring card to receive
the network data into memory for further analysis.

Enclosure Addressing
To conrm the address of an enclosure, you should rst know which bus it is on and the
enclosure number on that bus.

Enclosure Addressing (3
slides)

In Figure 5-9, there is only one back-end bus. Therefore, every enclosure on this storage array
will be on bus 0. The enclosure number starts with 0 and keeps increasing as it goes up. The
rst enclosure of disks is labeled as 0_0 (bus 0 and enclosure 0), the next as 0_1 (bus 0 and
enclosure 1), the next as 0_2 (bus 0 and enclosure 2), and so on.

Lesson 5: Describing Modular Storage Arrays and Disk Enclosures

125

LESSON 5

Figure 5-9: Enclosure addressing for an enclosure with one back-end bus.
In Figure 5-10, there are two back-end buses that alternate enclosures with the buses. The
enclosure of disks will be 0_0, which is similar to the previous one. However, the next enclosure of disks will make use of the other back-end bus, which is Bus 1. Since it is the rst
enclosure of disks on Bus 1, this enclosure is labeled as 1_0 (bus 1 and enclosure 0). Notice
that the third enclosure is going back to bus 0 and therefore labeled 0_1. The enclosures continue to alternate like this until all the supported enclosures are in the storage array. By
alternating enclosures, you will be able to use all the back-end resources that are available for
that storage array.

Figure 5-10: Enclosure addressing for an enclosure with two back-end buses.
The Figure 5-11 indicates a four bus structure. The rst enclosure of disks will be on Bus 0,
the second on Bus 1, the third on Bus 3, and the fourth on Bus 4. The enclosures will be
addressed as 0_0 (bus 0 and enclosure 0), 1_0 (bus 1 and enclosure 0), 2_0 (bus 2 and enclosure 0), 3_0 (bus 3 and enclosure 0), 0_1 (bus 0 and enclosure 1), 1_1 (bus 1 and enclosure
1), 2_1 (bus 2 and enclosure 1), 3_1 (bus 3 and enclosure 1) 0_2 (bus 0 and enclosure 2), and
so on until the storage array is fully populated.

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CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 5

Figure 5-11: Enclosure addressing for an enclosure with four back-end buses.

Cabling in Disk Enclosures


Cables connect with disk enclosures through interface connectors and act as a sender or
receiver of information or both. The interface connectors, then pass these signals to the destination disk in the disk enclosure. The cables used for connecting disk enclosures to storage
arrays can be USB, rewire, or SCSI cables.

Cabling in Disk Enclosures

In the case of USB and rewire, circuitry is used to convert signals into appropriate protocols.
A USB is fast, power efficient, and delivers more power, which charges the enclosure disks at
high speeds. A rewire enables faster data transfer in comparison with a USB. It also has the
ability to support multiple devices on the bus.
The SCSI enclosure cables, on the other hand, can be internal or external cables. Internal SCSI
cables are usually ribbons and can have two or more 50, 68, or 80 pin connectors. External
cables are usually shielded and can have 50 or 69 pin connectors.

Hot Pluggable in Disk Enclosures


Hotplugging in disk enclosures is the process of installing or removing a disk drive to or from
an enclosure while the power is still on. In disk enclosures, the power supplies and cooling
modules of the disk drives are hot pluggable, which allows them to be replaced even when the
disk enclosures in the storage array are up and running. Also, the drive trays in the enclosure
can be hot-pluggable.

Hot Pluggable in Disk


Enclosures

Because RAID-enabled enclosures and iSCSI enclosures hold multiple drives, the high-end,
server-oriented chassis is most often built in hot pluggable drive caddies. A disk enclosure will
not support hot plugging of disk drives when the controller is performing actions such as
building, rebuilding, or migrating RAID volumes on logical drives.

Lesson 5: Describing Modular Storage Arrays and Disk Enclosures

127

LESSON 5

ACTIVITY 5-2
Managing Disk Enclosures
Scenario:
As a storage administrator, you are required to identify the disk enclosures and manage them
efficiently so that data can be stored systematically.

1.

What manages the physical disk drives of an enclosure and presents them as logical
units?
a) Monitoring card
b) Enclosure controller
c) Hot pluggable
d) Disk enclosure

2.

True or False? The interface connectors in cabling pass signals to the sending or
receiving hardware components.
True
False

3.

Anetwork tapis a hardware device that is used for accessing the data flowing from one
end of the network to the other.

4.

True or False? A disk enclosure supports hot plugging of disk drives even when the
controller is performing actions such as building, rebuilding, or migrating RAID volumes
on logical drives.
True
False

Lesson 5 Follow-up
In this lesson, you described modular storage arrays and disk enclosures. Describing arrays and
enclosures in data storage will help you understand how data is stored in a specied way,
which is easier to organize.
1.

How does the knowledge of modular storage arrays help you?


Storing data in modular storage arrays will make data storage more systematic and easy
to organize.

2.

What, according to you, are the benefits of a disk enclosure?


Answers will vary, but may include: disk enclosures can support and power multiple disks
at the same time, thereby reducing storage space. It also has increased throughput and
bandwidth.

128

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 6

LESSON 6

Lesson Time
1 hour(s), 30 minutes

Examining Storage Network


Connectors and Cabling
In this lesson, you will examine storage network connectors and cabling.
You will:

Describe copper cable connectivity.

Describe ber cable connectivity.

Lesson 6: Examining Storage Network Connectors and Cabling

129

LESSON 6
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you identied how to manage modular storage arrays. The data stored
in these arrays is accessed by multiple users. The connectors and cables act as transmission
media on storage networks. In this lesson, you will examine storage network connectors and
cabling.
Nowadays the requirement for quick data access is very high. Connectors and cables act as
physical media to transmit information. By examining storage network connectors and cabling,
you can identify the variety of connectors and cables most suitable for your network requirements so as to enhance the services of your storage network in a cost-effective manner.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

1.3 Given a scenario, install and maintain connectors and cable types (keeping in
mind their properties).

Topic B

1.3 Given a scenario, install and maintain connectors and cable types (keeping in
mind their properties).

TOPIC A
Describe Copper Cable Connectivity
Throughout this lesson, you will be examining storage network connectors and cables. One of
the most popularly used cable is the copper cable. In this topic, you will describe copper cable
connectivity.
As a storage administrator, you should consider the performance and cost of the cabling
medium used on large sized networks. You also need to consider the future performance
requirements when deciding on the type of cable to be used. Common network cabling on networks includes various types of copper cables that support a wide variety of application in the
industry.

Copper Cables
Copper Cables (2 slides)

130

Denition:
A copper cable is a type of bounded media that uses one or more copper conductors
surrounded by an insulated coating. The conductors can be made from a solid wire or
from braided strands of wire. Sometimes shielding, in the form of a braided wire or
foil, is wrapped around one or more conductors to reduce signal interference from
nearby sources of electromagnetic radiation.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 6
One of the advantages of using a copper cable is its energy efficiency. This is because
copper is a very good electrical conductor. Copper cables can be easily bent around
tighter corners. However, these cables are susceptible to corrosion, which leads to loss
of data. In addition, copper cables are expensive because the capital required for installation is higher. Most of the electronic industries avoid using copper cables because of
the shock hazards. However, copper cables require low maintenance and ensure high
performance and reliability.
Example:

Figure 6-1: A type of copper cable.

Types of Copper Cables


During the installation of cables, data transmission can be affected by crosstalk, electromagnetic interference, and attenuation. To overcome such problems, copper cables are categorized
into two types.

Lesson 6: Examining Storage Network Connectors and Cabling

Types of Copper Cables (4


slides)

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LESSON 6

132

Cable Type

Description

Twisted pair

Twisted pair cable is a type of cable in which two conductors or pairs of copper
wires are twisted around each other and covered in a color-coded, protective insulating plastic sheath or jacket to form a pair. The pairs are twisted to eliminate
crosstalk and interference. The number of pairs within a cable will vary depending on the type of twisted pair cable. Twisted pair cables typically use shielding
around pairs of wires. Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and shielded twisted pair
(STP) are the two main types of twisted pair cables.
Twisted pair cables are light in weight and easy to install. These cables are
widely used in applications like telephone cabling and networking due to high
transmission speed.

Coaxial

A coaxial cable, or coax, is a type of copper cable that features a central conducting copper core surrounded by an insulator and braided or foil shielding. The
dielectric insulator separates the conductor and shield and the entire package is
wrapped in an insulating layer called a sheath or jacket. The braided or foil
shielding prevents data from being corrupted due to crosstalk and interference.
The data signal is transmitted over the central conductor. A coaxial cable is so
named because the conductor and shield share the same axis, or center. The
coaxial cables are categorized as thick coax or thicknet and thin coax or thinnet.
Thick coax or thicknet is also called Thick Ethernet or 10BASE5. It is widely
used as a backbone in bus topology and offers speeds up to 10 Mbps with a
maximum length of up to 500 m. It is very heavy and expensive. Thin coax or
thinnet is also called Thin Ethernet or 10BASE2. It is cheaper and more exible,
compared to thicknet. The speed of a thin coax is the same as a thick coax. The
maximum length of thin coax is 185 m to 200 m.
The coaxial cable is widely used in networking, and cable TV and Radio Frequency (RF) signal transmissions.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 6
Ethernet Cable Standards
The Electronic Industries Association (EIA) has developed standards for the various categories
of cables.

Cable Category

Description

Category 3 (CAT 3)

An unshielded twisted pair cable that supports transmission up to 16 MHz. It is


widely used in applications such as Token ring, Asynchronous Transfer Mode
(ATM), 10BASE-T Ethernet, and 100BASE-T4 Fast Ethernet. This type of
cables can transmit voice and data with speeds up to 10 Mbps.

Category 4 (CAT 4)

An unshielded twisted pair cable that supports data transmission with speeds up
to 16 Mbps. The transmission frequency of CAT 4 is 20 MHz. Applications of
CAT 4 include Token ring and Ethernet.

Category 5 (CAT 5)

An unshielded twisted pair cable that supports transmission up to 100 MHz. It


can be used in ATM, Token ring, and Fast Ethernet networks such as
1000Base-T, 100Base-T, and 10Base-T with speeds up to 100 Mbps. Bent radius
of CAT 5 is four times the diameter of the cable. This cable is commonly connected using punch blocks and modular connectors so as to be used for
telephone wiring. The CAT 5 cables are of two varieties namely solid and
stranded. Solid CAT5 cables are used for wiring in buildings. Stranded CAT5
cable are suitable for shorter distances such as patch chords. The maximum
length of CAT 5 is 100 m.

Lesson 6: Examining Storage Network Connectors and Cabling

Ethernet Cable Standards (7


slides)

133

LESSON 6

134

Cable Category

Description

Category 5 enhanced
(CAT 5e)

An unshielded twisted pair cable that utilizes all four wire pairs to support
Gigabit Ethernet with speeds up to 1000 Mbps over short distances. CAT 5e is
backward-compatible with CAT5. CAT-5e cables are generally used with ATM
and gigabit speed products. The enhanced performance of CAT-5e ensures that
the cable supports additional bandwidth requirements. The maximum length of
CAT 5e is 100 m.

Category 6 (CAT 6)

An unshielded twisted pair cable that contains four pairs of twisted wires and
supports Gigabit Ethernet with speeds up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps). CAT 6
enables communications at more than twice the speed of CAT5e. It is suitable
for 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet), 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX
(Gigabit Ethernet), and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet). The electrical characteristics of CAT 6 enable transmission up to 250 MHz.

Category 6 enhanced
(CAT 6e)

An enhanced version of CAT6 that supports up to 10 Gbps speeds. It enables


transmission at 500 MHz.

Category 7 (CAT 7)

A shielded twisted pair cable that supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet. The electrical
characteristics of CAT 7 enable transmission up to 600 MHz.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 6
Serial Cabling
Denition:
A serial cable is a cable that is used for transmitting information between two devices.
The cable supports serial communication by making use of serial ports for transmitting
data. The serial port serializes the byte data into bits and transmits one data bit at a
time. It requires only one wire to transmit the 8 bits. However, the time taken to transmit data is more. Serial cables are generally preferred because they are low in cost.

Serial Cabling (2 slides)

The length of the cable depends on the properties of the serial ports, transmitters and
receivers, baud rate, capacitance, and resistance of the cable. When the cable length is
more, transmission is affected by noise. Due to this, the serial cable has limited transmission distance. The serial cable is compatible with RS 232 ports.
Example:

Figure 6-2: Serial communication using serial cables.

Twinax Cabling
Denition:
A twinax cable is a type of coaxial cable with two inner conductors. A third conductor
surrounds the rst two conductors and they are separated by an insulation layer. This
type of cable is suitable for very-short-range high-speed differential signaling applications due to low cost.

Twinax Cabling

The twinax cable is widely applied in the Small Form Factor Pluggable Plus (SFP+)
directly attached cable type that is categorized as an active or a passive twinax cable.
SFP+ is an enhanced version of Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP). The passive
twinax cable is a straight wire without active components. Passive twinax cables are
less than 5 meters in length and active twinax cables are greater than 5 meters in
length.
Example:

Figure 6-3: Twinax cabling.

Lesson 6: Examining Storage Network Connectors and Cabling

135

LESSON 6
SAS Cabling
SAS Cabling

Denition:
A Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) cable is a type of cable that is a used to transfer data to
or from physical storage components such as hard disk drives. It replaces the SCSI
parallel interface with fast and exible 3 Gbps serial interface. The SAS cabling is reliable on point-to-point serial protocol and utilizes a standard SCSI command set. SAS
is backward compatible with second-generation SATA drives.
Example:

Figure 6-4: SAS cabling.

Copper Cable Connectors


Copper Cable Connectors (5
slides)

136

Copper cable connectors are metal devices that are located at the end of a wire. Coaxial connectors are used to connect video equipment and network nodes in a LAN. Signals ow from
the wire to network devices through connectors. All connectors are metal plated and some of
the metals used are gold, silver, rhodium, nickel, or tin.

Connector Type

Description

A coax connector type used with 75-ohm cables to connect cable TV and FM
antenna cables. It comes in a secure screw-on form or as a non-threaded slip-on
connector.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 6
Connector Type

Description

BNC

A Bayone-Neill-Concelman (BNC) connector consists of a center pin connected to


the center cable conductor. In addition to this, it consists of a metal tube connected
to the shield of the cable. A rotating ring outside the metal tube locks the cable to
the connector. The types of BNC connectors include:
T-connector
Barrel connector
Terminator

RJ 11

The RJ-11 connector is used with Category 1 cable in telephone system connections and is not suitable for network connectivity. However, because RJ-11
connectors are similar in appearance to the RJ-45 connector, they are sometimes
mistaken for each other. RJ-11 connectors are smaller than RJ-45 connectors and
have either four or six pins.

RJ 45

A standardized eight pin connector that is widely used for 10Base-T, 100Base-TX
Ethernet connections, telephone cabling, and network cable connections. The standard pin outs describe the arrangement of wires while connecting connectors to the
cable.

Lesson 6: Examining Storage Network Connectors and Cabling

137

LESSON 6
Connector Type

Description

DB-9

This refers to any one of the D-Subminiature or D-Sub types of connectors. These
connectors follow EIA/TIA 232 serial interface standard and are commonly used
for serial peripheral devices.

SAS Port Speeds


SAS Port Speeds

The rst-generation SAS (SAS 1) link supports a speed of up to 3 Gbps. The SAS interface
can combine multiple links to make connections for achieving measurable bandwidth. The
second-generation SAS (SAS 2) link speed is twice the speed of SAS-1 with a transmission
rate up to 6 Gbps. SAS 2 enables zoning for reliability of resources, security, and congestion
management. SAS 2 is backward compatible with SAS 1.

ACTIVITY 6-1
Examining Copper Cable Connectivity
Scenario:
Your organization plans to implement a storage network. As a storage administrator, you will
examine copper cable connectivity.

1.

Match each cable category with its corresponding transmission frequency.

d
a
c
b
2.

CAT
CAT
CAT
CAT

5
6
6e
7

a. 250
b. 600
c. 500
d. 100

Which connector types are used in telephone connections? (Select all that apply.)
a) RJ 45 connector
b) F connector
c) RJ 11 connector
d) DB 9 connector

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LESSON 6
3.

True or False? The second generation SAS (SAS 2) link supports a speed of 3 Gbps.
True
False

4.

What is the transmission speed of CAT 5?


a) 100 Mbps
b) 1000 Mbps
c) 1 Gbps
d) 10 Gbps

TOPIC B
Describe Fiber Cable Connectivity
In the previous topic, you examined the copper cable connectivity. Another type of cable
which is used to carry data signals is ber cable. In this topic, you will describe ber cable
connectivity.
As a storage network administrator, you will ensure that your storage network services are performed at high speed in addition to large data carrying capacity. Fiber cables have properties
like high speed and high bandwidth, so use of ber cables will enhance the performance of
your storage network.

Fiber Optic Cables


Denition:
A ber optic cable is a type of network cable in which the core is made up of one or
more glass or plastic strands. The core is between 5 and 100 microns thick and is surrounded by cladding, which reects light back to the core in patterns determined by
the transmission mode. A buffer, often made of plastic, surrounds the cladding and
core. To add strength or pull strength to the cable, strands of Kevlar surround the
buffer. An outer jacket, sometimes called armor, wraps and protects the whole assembly.

Fiber Optic Cables (2 slides)

Light pulses from a laser or high intensity light emitting diode (LED) are passed
through the core to carry the signal. The cladding reects the light back into the core,
increasing the distance the signal can travel without being regenerated. The ber optic
cables are very expensive compared to copper cables due to the utilization of laser
light sources. The glass bers are liable to be broken down easily compared to wires,
thus making it less useful for applications requiring high portability. On the other hand,
ber optic cables are noise resistant and have less signal attenuation and higher bandwidth.

Lesson 6: Examining Storage Network Connectors and Cabling

139

LESSON 6
Example:

Figure 6-5: A fiber optic cable.

Fiber Optic Cable Mode Types


Fiber Optic Cable Mode Types
(3 slides)

140

Fiber optic cables come in two modes: multi-mode (shortwave) and single-mode (longwave).

Mode Type

Description

Single-mode ber
(longwave)

Carries a single optical signal. Has a small core of 9 microns, which allows only
a single beam of light to pass. A laser, usually operating in the infrared portion of
the spectrum, is modulated in amplitude (intensity) to transmit the signal through
the ber. It provides bandwidth of up to 30 MHz.

Step-index
multimode ber
(shortwave)

Permits multiple optical signals. Core is typically 50 or 62.5 microns, which


allows multiple beams of light to pass. Light is sent at angles to the ber so that
it reects off the sides of the strand along its length. This is less expensive than
graded index multimode ber.

Graded index
multimode ber
(shortwave)

Permits multiple optical signals. Core is typically 50 or 62.5 microns, which


allows multiple beams of light to pass. Light is sent down each of the multiple
layers inside the core to carry an individual signal, allowing multiple signals to be
sent down a single strand. It has a longer transmission distance than step index
multimode ber, but is more expensive. It provides up to 2 GHz of bandwidth,
which is signicantly more than step-index ber.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 6
Long-Wave Fiber and Short-Wave Fiber
Fiber optic cables come in two wavelengths: 850 nanometer, also called short-wave
ber or multimode, and 1310 nanometer, also called long-wave ber or single-mode.
The short-wave type, which carries signals at the rate of 400 Mbps, is used for Fibre
Channel links of up to 500 m. Meanwhile, the long-wave type, which carries signals at
400 Mbps, is used for long distance Fibre Channel links of up to 10 km.
Electrical Cables vs. Optical Cables
Nowadays, most organizations prefer to use optical ber cables than electrical cables
for high-speed and long-distance data transmission. Electrical cables are normally used
for short distance connectivity. The maximum distance that an electrical cable can
cover is up to 33 m, and for high-speed data transfer, it covers only 8 m.
However, optical cables of different grades and types are available. The original specication, set by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), is that an optical
cable can connect Fibre Channel up to 10 km. However, with the help of transceivers
and multiplexing technologies, it can extend up to 120 km. In addition, optical ber
cables provide lower attenuation and interference than electrical cables.

Industry-Based Connectors
Fiber optic cabling supports two types of industry-based connectors.

Connector

Description

Subscriber Connector
or Standard Connector or Siemens
Connector (SC)

Box-shaped connectors that snap into a receptacle. An SC connector is the most


common optical ber connector used for 1 Gbps Fibre Channel. SC connectors
are often used in a duplex conguration where two bers are terminated into two
SC connectors that are molded together. Older FC devices use SC to plug into
Gigabit Interface Converter (GBICs) to achieve optical signal conversion.

Local Connector or
Lucent Connector
(LC)

LC connectors are commonly used for 2 Gbps, 4 Gbps, and 8 Gbps Fibre Channel with SFPs. LC is a small form factor ceramic ferrule connector for both
single-mode and multimode bers. LC uses an RJ-45 type latching and can be
used to transition installations from twisted pair copper cabling to ber.

Lesson 6: Examining Storage Network Connectors and Cabling

Industry-Based Connectors

141

LESSON 6
GBIC
A Gigabit Interface Converter (GBIC) is a transceiver used to convert electrical signals
into optical signals and vice versa. It is used as an interface for high-speed networking
and upgrading the network, without the need to replace entire boards.
For instance, if different optical technologies are used, GBICs can be used to specically congure that link on the network. Based on the wavelength of laser light
generated within the GBIC generator, GBICs can be categorized into short-wave GBIC
and long-wave GBIC. The short-wave GBIC is used for connecting devices that are
0.5 m to 500 m apart. Meanwhile, the long-wave GBIC is used for connecting devices
which are 2 m to 10 km apart.
SFP
The Small Form Factor Pluggable (SFP) transceiver is most commonly used in 2 Gbps
and 4 Gbps Fibre Channel components. SFPs are similar to GBICs in architecture, but
allow higher port density than GBICs.
Symbology of Industry-Standard Connectors
The symbology and description of industry-standard connectors are listed in the following table.

142

Connector

Description

Straight Tip (ST)

Used to connect multimode ber, ST connectors look like coaxial cable


connectors. They have a straight, ceramic center bin and bayonet lug
lockdown. They are often used in network patch panels. ST connectors
are perhaps the most popular type of ber connectors.

Fiber Distributed
Data Interface
(FDDI)

FDDI connectors are push/pull-type, two-channel snap-t connectors used


for multimode ber optic cables. Also called a Media Interface Connector
(MIC).

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LESSON 6
Connector

Description

Sub Multi Assembly or Sub


Miniature type A
(SMA)

Similar to ST connectors, SMA connectors use a threaded ferrule on the


outside to lock the connector in place. These are typically used where
water or other environmental factors necessitate a waterproof connection,
which would not be possible with a bayonet-style connector.

Face Contact (FC)

Similar to SMA connectors, FC connectors use a heavy duty ferrule in the


center for more mechanical stability than SMA or ST connectors. These
connectors are more popular in industrial settings where greater strength
is required.

Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack


(MT-RJ)

An MT-RJ connector, sometimes called a Fiber Jack connector, is a compact snap-to-lock connector used with multimode ber. MT-RJ is easy to
use and similar in size to the RJ-45 connector. Two strands of ber are
attached with one connector.

Fiber Optic Cable Maintenance


As a storage administrator of a storage network that uses ber optic cables, regular maintenance of the ber optic cables is necessary to ensure that various parts of your network are
effectively connected through these cables. Improper working of ber optic cables would lead
to signal attenuation, breakage of cables, and incorrect or reduced transmission.

Fiber Optic Cable Maintenance

Guidelines:
To ensure proper care of ber optic cables, follow these guidelines:

Lesson 6: Examining Storage Network Connectors and Cabling

143

LESSON 6

At the time of purchasing cables, check whether the manufacturer has specied
the minimum bend radius to which the cable can be bent safely. The manufacturers specify the minimum bend radius for cables under stress, tension, and longterm installation. If the bend radius is unknown, it is safe to maintain a minimum
radius of 20 x the diameter of the cable and not above this limit.

The collection of dust and other nano particles at ber ends may cause signal
loss, which eventually causes a huge impact on the optical connection. For high
performance and better reliability ensure that the ends of the cable and inner optical surfaces are cleaned properly.

Optic coatings on the cable can be cracked easily, so using nger cots or powder
free surgical gloves will help you ensure that the cable is clean. If the cable is
handled without any protective covering on hands then the optical signals are
affected due to interference.

Ensure that you are protected while the device is operating because Laser radiation can be harmful to your eyes.

Verify that the jumper installation and transmitter conguration is accurate.

Sometimes the ends of loose connectors may vibrate, or become dirty. This in
turn weakens the light levels and the ber optic link stops transmission. So,
always ensure that the connectors are correctly installed and attached rmly.

Example:
John Wilkins works as a network administrator in a company. He is assigned the task
of setting up ber optic cables at the companys new office. He veries whether the
manufacturer has specied the minimum bent radius for the cable.
During the installation process, he ensures that the ends of the cable and inner optical
surfaces are cleaned properly. He uses nger cots to ensure cleanliness of the cable.
Finally, he ensures cable setup accuracy by verifying that the jumper installation and
transmitter conguration is proper.

144

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ACTIVITY 6-2

LESSON 6

Examining Fiber Optic Connectivity


Scenario:
In this activity, you will examine ber optic connectivity.

1.

What are the advantages of a fiber optic cable? (Select all that apply.)
a) Noise resistance
b) High portability
c) Higher bandwidth
d) Less signal attenuation

2.

True or False? An LC connector is the most common optical fiber connector used for 1
Gbps Fibre Channel.
True
False

3.

Ryan Edwards is working as a network administrator in an organization. The organization assigns him the task of setting up a fiber optic network. What guidelines will he
follow to ensure cable reliability? (Select all that apply.)
a) He ensures that the ends of the cable and inner optical surfaces are cleaned properly.
b) He bends the fiber cable ends without covering his hands.
c) He verifies the jumper installation and transmitter configuration.
d) He bends the cable above 20 x the diameter of the cable.

Lesson 6 Follow-up
In this lesson, you examined storage network connectors and cabling. Identifying the variety of
connectors and cables that are most suitable for your network requirements will help you
enhance the services of your storage network in a cost-effective manner.
1.

Which cables will you use while implementing a storage network in your organization?
Answers will vary, but may include: copper cables because they can be easily bent around
tighter corners, or fiber optic cables because they transmit data much faster than copper
over longer distances. Fiber cables have a smaller diameter and are light in weight.

2.

If you are using fiber optic cables to develop your storage network, how will you maintain them?
Answers will vary, but may include: specification of the minimum radius by the manufacturer, cleaning cable ends, verifying the jumper installation, and transmitter
configuration.

Lesson 6: Examining Storage Network Connectors and Cabling

145

NOTES

146

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LESSON 7

LESSON 7

Lesson Time
2 hour(s)

Describing Storage
Architectures
In this lesson, you will describe storage architectures.
You will:

Describe the DAS architecture.

Describe the NAS architecture.

Describe the SAN architecture.

Describe content addressable storage.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

147

LESSON 7
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you examined storage network connectors and cabling. In addition to
this, you are familiar with the physical networking hardware and the various disk technologies.
Now, you need to know how all these components work together to form an effective storage
network architecture. In this lesson, you will describe the various storage architectures.
Your background knowledge of various disk technologies would suffice if all you need to do is
classify the technologies and suggest them to various clients with whom you work. However,
to implement a storage network, you should be familiar with various large-scale storage architectures. Storage architectures are important because they differ based on requirements just like
disk technologies.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

Topic B

2.9 Compare and contrast common storage infrastructures.

Topic C

2.9 Compare and contrast common storage infrastructures.

2.9 Compare and contrast common storage infrastructures.

Topic D

2.9 Compare and contrast common storage infrastructures.

3.7 Explain Information Lifecycle Management.

3.8 Explain the various functions and differences of de-duplication and compression.

TOPIC A
Describe the DAS Architecture
This lesson will cover the technical parameters of various storage architectures. Direct attached
storage is one of the simplest and most common of those architectures. In this topic, you will
describe the DAS architecture.
Imagine a storage system that can work both internally and externally to the server with good
scalability and availability. DAS systems have the exibility of being connected to servers
directly so that data can be easily accessed. In addition, a DAS environment provides you with
a chance to implement a storage system without network technologies involved in it.

DAS
DAS (2 slides)

148

Denition:
Direct Attached Storage (DAS) is a type of storage system in which storage devices are
directly connected to a host such as a workstation or server through an HBA. There is
no network involved in between the storage system and the host. Any workstation
from a normal computer network can access data from DAS only through the host.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 7
DAS provides block-level data access and services to clients. DAS is easy to deploy
and is a cost-effective storage solution for small enterprises. However, it can be
improved for high performance usage in enterprise levels.
A host le system is a le system used by the operating system. It is exclusively designed to support
storage devices such as memory sticks, DVDs, and hard disks with capacity more than 100 Gb. It also
offers features such as compression and encryption.

Example:

Figure 7-1: A typical DAS system.

DAS Types
Based on the location of a storage device with respect to a host, DAS can be classied into
internal and external DAS.

DAS Type

DAS Types (2 slides)

Description

Internal DAS

In this type, a storage device is internally connected to a host by a serial or parallel bus. The bus has distance limitations and so high-speed connectivity can
only be sustained over a short distance. In addition, most of the buses support
only a limited number of devices. The devices occupy a large amount of space
inside the host, making maintenance of other components difficult.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

149

LESSON 7
DAS Type

Description

External DAS

In this type, a server is directly connected to an external storage device by a


serial or parallel bus. In most cases, communication between a host and a storage device takes place over the SCSI or FC protocol. Compared to the internal
DAS, the external DAS overcomes distance and device count limitations and
provides centralized management of storage devices.

DAS Protocols
DAS Protocols

A DAS system supports several interfaces such as IDE/ATA, SATA, SAS, SCSI, and FC. DAS
is usually represented by the protocol of the device that is connected to it. Recent DAS systems are equipped with the FC protocol for its versatility and improved speeds.

Strengths and Limitations of DAS


Strengths and Limitations of
DAS

Some of the major strengths of DAS are:

DAS is easy to deploy and it has low cost of deployment due to the lack of networking.

DAS is ideal for storage setups that rely on localized le sharing and have no need for
le transfer over long distances.

DAS can be easily managed with minimal skills because cabling is an integral part of the
cabinet and the host server.

Some of the major limitations of DAS are:

A high percentage of server uptime is critical in DAS because clients can access storage
only through a server. Moreover, the server runs other applications and therefore reduces
data access speed.

150

DAS cannot be used as the only storage medium in an organization because it has limited
storage capacity and poor scalability.

DAS does not provide uptime or security unlike other storage technologies.

Disk consolidation is not feasible in a DAS environment.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

ACTIVITY 7-1

LESSON 7

Examining the DAS Architecture


Scenario:
In this activity, you will examine the DAS architecture.

1.

Which are characteristics of a DAS system? (Select all that apply.)


a) DAS provides block- level data storage and I/O services to clients.
b) DAS provides block- level data storage, but not I/O services to clients.
c) Storage devices are directly connected to a host such as a workstation or server
through an HBA.
d) Any workstation from a normal computer network can access data from DAS only
through the host.

2.

True or False? An internal DAS provides centralized management of storage devices.


True
False

TOPIC B
Describe the NAS Architecture
In the previous topic, you examined the DAS architecture. The DAS architecture can be helpful when you want to store data in a non-networked environment. But, if you want to share
data across an enterprise, you will need to go beyond DAS. NAS is an approach that can help
you achieve this. In this topic, you will describe the NAS architecture.
Network attached storage is a versatile and an efficient system that is an attractive data storage
solution for many medium-size organizations. So, there is a good chance that you will work
with or evaluate a NAS system at some point in your career. NAS systems have specic software, hardware, and conguration requirements that you should understand if you need to
evaluate, implement, or support a NAS in your environment.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

151

LESSON 7
NAS
NAS (2 slides)

Denition:
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a dedicated, le-based device that provides centralized data storage and heterogeneous le sharing to all clients. NAS uses network
protocols such as TCP/IP and HTTP to transport data, and le sharing protocols such
as the Network File System (NFS) and Common Internet File System (CIFS) to provide le-level data access and sharing.
The NAS server contains no mouse, keyboard, or monitor, but contains its own operating system and integrated software and hardware components. In addition, it contains a
variety of storage devices such as large hard disk arrays or tape drives, or simply a
hard disk drive with an Ethernet port.
The NAS server can be accessed over an IP network by clients and servers running
different operating systems. The major advantage of a NAS is that it can be attached to
a network anywhere, with minimum disruption to the network.
Example:

Figure 7-2: A typical NAS system.

NAS Device Components


NAS Device Components (2
slides)

A NAS device is a dedicated, high-speed, high-performance le sharing and storage system. A


NAS device is made up of a NAS head and a storage array.
The NAS head is a host computer that offers le sharing services to clients. It has a CPU,
memory, and one or more NICs, which provide connectivity to the network. The NAS head
also includes subcomponents such as an optimized operating system for managing NAS functionality, NFS and CIFS protocols for stack le sharing, and industry-standard storage
protocols for connecting and managing physical storage resources.
The storage array is made up of standard disk drives such as ATA or SCSI.

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CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 7

Figure 7-3: Components of a NAS device.

NFS
The Network File System (NFS) is a client-server protocol that enables users to access shared
les stored on different types of storage devices and work with those les as if they were
stored locally. The protocol also allows a user to share local les and acts as a le server for
other clients. NFS is independent of computer, network architecture, and transport protocol.
This protocol is used for communication between Unix-based hosts and NAS.

NFS

CIFS
The Common Internet File System (CIFS) is a client-server protocol that is used to provide le
access services to remote clients on a TCP/IP network. In addition, CIFS provides an authenticated inter-process communication mechanism through which a secure data exchange between
multiple applications is realized. This protocol is used for communication between Windowsbased hosts and NAS.

CIFS

NAS OS
A NAS operating system is a specially modied operating system for performing le serving
and storage operations on a NAS system. Some NAS appliances use a custom microkernel
written specically to control storage hardware, while others use modied network operating
systems such as Windows Server 2008 or Linux.

NAS OS

Compared to a traditional le server, the NAS OS offers better performance, better scalability,
enhanced le security, and support for heterogeneous environments.
Microkernels
A microkernel is a type of software that can provide mechanisms, such as low-level
address space management, thread management, and inter-process communication,
needed to implement an operating system. A microkernel permits OS services such as
protocol stacks, le systems, device drivers, and user interface code to run in user
space.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

153

LESSON 7
NAS Implementations
NAS Implementations (2
slides)

NAS can be implemented in two ways: integrated and gateway.

NAS Implementation

Description

Integrated NAS

A self-contained environment in which all components of a NAS are conned


within a single enclosure. The NAS head is responsible for providing network
connectivity and le sharing services. The storage includes a wide range of
disks starting from ATA to high throughput FC disks. The NAS head and storage are managed by specic software.
Gateway NAS

Consists of an independent NAS head, also called a NAS gateway, and one or
more storage arrays. The front-end functions are similar to that of the integrated
NAS, but the storage is shared with other applications that require block-level
I/O. All communication with storage devices inside the NAS device happens
through the NAS head through a SAN environment. Gateway NAS is more
scalable than integrated NAS because NAS heads and storage arrays can be
independently scaled up as required.

Share, Use, and Mount Resources


Share, Use, and Mount
Resources

NAS allows information sharing between disparate operating systems such as Windows and
UNIX. NAS appliances operate in heterogeneous environments in which they use Windows
protocols to communicate with Windows clients and UNIX protocols to communicate with
UNIX clients.
Any machine that is connected to a LAN can use the NFS, CIFS, or HTTP protocol for connecting to a NAS and to share les. The NAS identies data by its le name and byte offsets
and transfers le data or le metadata to its destination. In addition, the NAS mounts resources
by using specic NFS commands so that the resources that are added to the network can
access the NAS device.

Technical Advantages and Disadvantages of


NAS
Technical Advantages and
Disadvantages of NAS

154

Some of the technical advantages of NAS include:

NAS allows users running different machines with different operating systems to share
les through a network.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 7

NAS appliances require minimal level of installation and conguration.

NAS is easily expandable and you can add extra storage to it.

NAS has less administration overhead than other le servers.

Because NAS does not require a le server, any user with access rights can directly
access data.

The use of centralized storage makes NAS easier and cheaper to store, manage, and back
up data.

By separating the data path and the control path, NAS provides fast response time for
users.

Some of the disadvantages of NAS include:

NAS is not suitable for mission-critical operations.

Performance is limited by available network bandwidth because storage traffic must compete with network traffic.

Backup and recovery operations need additional support because the proprietary operating
system does not provide backup services.

NAS Backup and Recovery Risks


Traditional le servers utilize a backup agent for hosting data. The backup agent facilitates
data capture and transfer, and communicates with the central backup engine.

NAS Backup and Recovery


Risks

A NAS device runs a proprietary operating system, which is dedicated to serving les. NAS
does not handle backup components such as backup agent technology that is typically needed
to facilitate le- or application-level backup and recovery. The NAS operating system does not
support APIs and services for backup software agents. Therefore, NDMP provides support for
performing backup operations on the NAS system.
Proxy Backups
One of the simplest methods to back up a NAS environment is to maintain a proxy
backup system on the network where the backup agent is installed. Each NAS volume
requiring a backup can then be mounted through CIFS or NFS sharing protocols to the
server hosting the backup agent. This approach is not so efficient due to excessive use
of network bandwidth to move data between systems, which has the potential to introduce performance degradation for backup operations.
However, NDMP solves backup problems by providing a remote control system for
NAS backup. The protocol provides a proxy driver that is controlled by a backup software over the LAN. This avoids the necessity to equip NAS devices with backup
applications directly.

iSCSI vs. NAS


The major differences between iSCSI and NAS include:

iSCSI enables transport of block I/O data over an IP network, while NAS enables transport of le I/O data over an IP network.

iSCSI uses the SCSI protocol, while NAS uses the NFS, CIFS, or HTTP protocol.

iSCSI uses a separate host server as a target device, while a NAS device itself functions
as a standalone le server.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

iSCSI vs. NAS

155

LESSON 7

iSCSI achieves backup by copying data to a local SCSI disk, while a NAS device uses
NDMP to achieve backup.

ACTIVITY 7-2
Examining the NAS Architecture
Scenario:
In this activity, you will examine the NAS architecture.

1.

Which are components of a NAS device? (Select all that apply.)


a) A backup agent
b) A NAS head
c) A storage array
d) An optimized operating system

2.

True or False? NFS is mainly used by computers that run Microsoft Windows.
True
False

TOPIC C
Describe the SAN Architecture
In the previous topics, you familiarized yourself with the DAS and NAS architectures. There is
another popular storage technology, which uses high-speed networking technology, that you
have to be aware of. In this topic, you will describe the SAN architecture.
Managing data stored in multiple locations can have a lot of problems including data loss and
logistical issues. With massive volumes of data and the need to have a centralized data storage
system, it is essential to have a common storage facility such as a storage area network, or
SAN, that is meant exclusively for data storage. This simplies the infrastructure of the organization, as there is just a centralized storage unit.

156

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 7
SAN
Denition:
A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a high-speed network specially dedicated to data
storage. Its infrastructure includes physical connections with the network and a management layer. The physical connections enable communication among devices, while
the management layer is responsible for organizing the connections and storage elements to provide secure and robust data transfer.

SAN (2 slides)

A SAN usually provides block-level data storage and I/O services rather than le-based
services. It contains one or more servers, which share access to certain data storage
devices like disk arrays, tape drives, and tape libraries. The servers and devices within
the SAN interconnect using a high-speed networking technology such as Fibre Channel
or high-speed Ethernet.
Based on the technologies used, SANs can be classied into Fibre Channel SAN (FC
SAN) and iSCSI SAN. An FC SAN, which employs a Fibre Channel network with the
SCSI command set, uses FC switches to connect storage devices and servers. Meanwhile, an iSCSI SAN, which employs the same SCSI command set over a TCP/IP
network such as Ethernet, uses Ethernet switches to connect storage devices and servers.
Example:

Figure 7-4: A typical SAN dedicated to data storage.


SAN Implementations
When there is a need to have exibility in the placement of storage devices, SANs are
used. Data centers are set up between servers and storage. Alternatively, separation of
distances up to 100 km can be done using custom laser powered, single-mode ber
optic links thereby enabling companies to separate their storage and provide security
from any disasters.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

157

LESSON 7
SANs are the basic parts of clustering and other high availability solutions. A SAN is
the ideal shared data storage solution in a cluster because it can support multiple servers which access the same data and also because, in SAN, data is separate from the
servers. The drives appear local to each separate node in the cluster. When an active
server fails, the passive server takes over and it can access the same data that the
active server was accessing. SAN uses block-mode mechanism between a node and a
DAS device to directly access data on the disk drives.

SAN Building Blocks


SAN Building Blocks

A SAN consists of three major components: storage, SAN connectivity, and servers.

Component

Description

Storage

There are various storage devices available for the SAN, and they are classied
under disk and tape systems.
A disk system consists of physical storage disks kept side-by-side. It has a central
unit which handles all the input and output and simplies the integration with
devices such as disk systems and servers. Disk systems are usually used for online
storage due to their superior performance.
A tape system is similar to a disk system. It is a device that contains the necessary
apparatus to manage the use of tapes for storage. The tapes can only be arranged
serially and cannot be arranged in parallel. Tape systems are ideal for offline, highthroughput storage, due to the lower cost of storage per byte.

SAN connectivity

SAN connectivity comprises the hardware and software components that allow for
the interconnection of storage devices and servers. SAN connectivity components
are classied according to the OSI layers on which they work. These components
are placed in three layers: lower, middle, and higher.
The mode of connectivity used by the lower layers such as the physical, data-link,
and network layers includes Ethernet adapters, FC, and SCSI.
The mode of connectivity used by the middle layers such as the transport and session layers includes FCP and iSCSI.
The mode of connectivity used by the higher layers such as the presentation and
application layers includes the SAS and the NAS.

Servers

There are different types of servers used on a SAN, such as mainframe servers,
UNIX-based servers, and Windows-based servers.
A mainframe server is a multi-processor, high-end computer system that is mainly
used in businesses that require massive storage capabilities.
UNIX-based servers were originally used on computers such as mainframes. However, UNIX operating systems are used today on a wide variety of platforms,
ranging from Linux-based PCs to dedicated large-scale stations. Where there is a
large scale storage requirement, they are used with SANs.
Windows-based servers are the largest base upon which SAN solutions are
deployed. They host many applications such as disk pooling, tape pooling, and
tape sharing that will benet from SANs.

Hardware Components of a SAN


Hardware Components of a
SAN

158

Some of the key hardware components of a SAN include HBAs, hubs, switches, FC routers,
gateways, and SCSI bridges.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 7
Hardware Component

Description

HBA

Servers can connect to a SAN through HBAs, which use either ber optic or
copper cables. In ber optic based devices, HBAs use two main types of lasers:
Optical Fiber Control (OFC) and Non-OFC. OFC devices use a handshaking
method to ensure that they do not transmit a laser pulse if there is no connection
established with the HBA. However, non-OFC devices do not employ such a
handshaking method and will transmit a laser even if a device is not connected.

Hub

Hubs are responsible for connecting FC devices on a storage network that implements only the arbitrated loop topology.

Switch

Switches are responsible for the efficient and high-speed switching of frames
over a storage network. They support numerous point-to-point connections, individual nodes, and arbitrated loops. Switches provide a dedicated bandwidth of
100 Mbps per port, high-speed switching of frames from source to destination
ports, and frame ow control during communication.

FC router

FC routers enable the integration of IP-based hosts with Fibre Channel nodes.
Thus, the use of Fibre Channel routers increases the reach of SANs by allowing
access to remote storage devices over IP WANs.
Many vendors also offer routers that provide FC to SCSI interconnectivity. In
addition, the use of intelligent routers allows the implementation of rewalls that
can play an important role in preventing unauthorized access.

Gateway

A gateway is used to provide compatibility between different protocols and


allows routing between different networks in a SAN. Gateways to the existing
SAN infrastructure will enable it to function as a heterogeneous multi-protocol
storage environment.

SCSI bridge

The SCSI bridge essentially allows SCSI devices to participate on a SAN without a Fibre Channel interface. Also known as the SCSI to Fibre Channel bridge,
it allows SCSI to talk to Fibre Channel and vice versa.

Server Clustering
Server clustering is the process of grouping two or more servers with a high-speed channel to
share the workload among them. Clustering allows servers to work together to provide access,
ensuring minimal data loss from a server failure. Should one of the servers in the cluster fail,
the remaining servers, or server, will assume the responsibilities, but with the possibility of
decreased performance. When the failed server is restored, it will integrate back into the cluster and reinstate full performance.

Server Clustering

Clustering on a SAN
Cluster conguration in a SAN environment requires special attention to some of the factors
because of their complexity.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

Clustering on a SAN

159

LESSON 7
Factor

Description

Hardware
interoperability

If a SAN deploys hardware from multiple vendors, interoperability issues can


cause problems during clustering. For this reason, you need to check the vendors hardware compatibility list of tested hardware congurations known to
work with clustering solutions.
Additionally, you need to ensure that HBA rmware versions are the same for
all hosts on the cluster.

SCSI standards

Depending on whether the SCSI-2 or SCSI-3 protocol is implemented in hardware, the identication and management of devices on the SAN may be
optimal for correctly allocating storage resources for clustering, especially during failover and recovery operations.

SAN standards

SANs were originally designed to support only a few hosts, each built on the
same operating system. Today SANs are expected to support many hosts, often
with different platforms running on them.
In clustering scenarios, server access to storage must be controlled because all
hardware solutions will not correctly implement access control solutions.

Implications and Decision Points of Choosing a


SAN
Implications and Decision
Points of Choosing a SAN

The implications and decision points of choosing a SAN include:

The performance of a SAN does not deteriorate even if more switches are added to it.

It provides a very high performance rate of 100 Mbps full duplex interconnect for storage
devices.

It allows the entire storage to be managed in a uniform way.

It provides maximum capacity utilization of storage.

Servers can be upgraded while the storage is in place.

Storage devices can be added at any time and can be allocated to servers without downtime.

The use of the SCSI-FC bridge enables SCSI components to be attached to the SAN,
ensuring scalability when required.

Though the costs involved in its implementation are high, a SAN provides more redundancy than other storage architectures.

SAN over TCP/IP


SAN Over TCP/IP

SANs can be implemented over TCP/IP using other network transport technologies such as
high-speed Ethernet. This provides a viable lower-cost solution for small- and medium-sized
networks when the extremely high data-transfer speeds of Fibre Channel are not a requirement.
In an organization with a fully routed network, the TCP/IP infrastructure already exists. So a
network storage device can easily be placed at a remote site for a hot backup. Also, separate
servers can be placed in remote offices and still share a common data storage location, which
helps to keep distributed data synchronized.

160

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LESSON 7
Strengths and Limitations of a SAN
Some of the major strengths of a SAN include:

Multiple servers can access the same storage devices at the same time.

Servers and storage devices can scale independently.

The SAN can be used as the shared data storage solution in a cluster.

Storage traffic does not affect network traffic in a LAN because storage traffic is routed
through a separate network.

The SAN provides high availability at all times.

The greater distance between servers and storage devices provides security from local
disasters.

Strengths and Limitations of a


SAN

Some of the major limitations of a SAN include:

Compared to the NAS, the initial implementation cost for the SAN is higher.

The SAN architecture is complex to manage and it requires specic training to manage
multi-vendor appliances.

Interoperability is an issue in heterogeneous environments.

SAN vs. NAS


Some of the major differences between a SAN and a NAS include:

A SAN uses encapsulated SCSI as its main protocol, while a NAS uses CIFS, NFS, or
HTTP protocol.

Any system that has an HBA can be connected to a SAN. Any device that uses the CIFS,
NFS, or HTTP protocol can be connected to a NAS.

In a SAN, Fibre Channel has a distance limit of 10 km, while in a NAS, the use of existing networks means there is no effective distance limit.

In a SAN, the le system is managed by servers, while in a NAS, it is managed by the


storage array.

In a SAN, backups and mirroring happen at block levels, while in a NAS, they are done
at le levels.

SAN vs. NAS

Technical Advantages of SAN over DAS


The factors that make a SAN a better option than a DAS include consolidation, scalability,
reliability, serviceability, high availability, and the total cost of ownership.

Factor

Description

Consolidation

Consolidation of servers and storage is more effective in a SAN than a DAS because
a SAN can extend more distances than a DAS.

Scalability

A SAN is much more scalable than a DAS because the SAN can dynamically allocate storage as required and possesses larger capacity limits.

Reliability

Because of using Fibre Channel technology, most of the modern SAN solutions offer
higher performance and reliability over DAS solutions.

Serviceability

The centralized management of a SAN allows for easier deployment of storage and
serviceability than a DAS.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

Technical Advantages of SAN


over DAS

161

LESSON 7
Factor

Description

High availability

A SAN provides better high availability than a DAS because DAS solutions are
more prone to local failure.

TCO

A SAN provides lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than a DAS. This is because
the SAN allows a many-to-many relationship between the server and the storage.

SAN Applications
SAN Applications

You will have a chance to


discuss the different categories
of backup applications later in
the course.

162

SANs are employed in various applications across different industries.

Application

Description

Backup

SANs provide increased performance for backup and recovery operations in an organization.
Some of the backup applications include LAN free backup, remote backup, and
serverless backup.

Database

SANs offer the enhanced reliability and performance that databases require.
Some of the key database applications that employ SANs include nancial databases,
supply chain management, data warehousing, data mining, Enterprise resource planning (ERP) applications, and Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer
(B2C) web portals.

Imaging

SANs provide the high performance storage I/O that imaging applications require.
Some of the key applications that employ SANs include digital media production,
document imaging and archiving, and medical and scientic imaging.

Content distribution

SANs provide the continuous operation and high bandwidth that content distribution
applications require.
Some of the applications that employ SANs include web and application hosting,
digital broadcasting, and video on demand services.

Audio/video

SANs provide high bandwidth, low latency transmission, and compatibility with all
audio and video standards. The use of the Fibre Channel Audio Video (FC-AV) protocol to map digital audio and video formats onto Fibre Channel enables audio and
video applications to adopt a SAN.
Some of the key applications that employ SANs include media production and editing and distribution and broadcast.

Avionics

Avionics, which stands for aviation and electronics, comprises electronic systems for
use on aircraft, spacecraft, and articial satellites. SANs provide the high speed I/O
bus and high availability that avionics applications require.
Some of the key applications of avionics that employ SANs include avionic command and control, instrumentation and signal processing, and avionic simulation.
The Fibre Channel Avionics Environment (FC-AE) protocol was designed for use in
real-time aircraft control systems.

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ACTIVITY 7-3

LESSON 7

Examining the SAN Architecture


Scenario:
As you continue to expand your knowledge of storage architectures, you decide to examine the
SAN architecture.

1.

Which are strengths of a SAN? (Select all that apply.)


a) Servers and storage devices can scale independently.
b) File sharing is allowed between disparate operating systems.
c) Storage traffic does not affect network traffic in a LAN because storage traffic is
routed through a separate network.
d) Interoperability is not an issue in a SAN.

2.

Which hardware component allows SCSI devices to participate in a SAN without a Fibre
Channel interface?
a) Switch
b) Router
c) Bridge
d) Hub

3.

Which of these are considered to be technical advantages of a SAN over a DAS? (Select
all that apply.)
a) A SAN provides high availability than a DAS.
b) A SAN is much more scalable than a DAS.
c) A SAN provides lower total cost of ownership than a DAS.
d) Because they use Fibre Channel technology, most of the modern DAS solutions offer
higher performance than SAN solutions.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

163

LESSON 7

TOPIC D
Describe Content Addressable
Storage Technologies
So far in this lesson, youve examined three major storage architectures: DAS, NAS, and SAN.
To further describe the storage architectures, you will need to be familiar with the Content
Addressable Storage (CAS) technologies, which allocate data a permanent place on the disk,
based on its content type. In this topic, you will describe content addressable storage technologies.
No matter what type of storage architecture you are using, content addressable storage enables
you to retain long-term content for regulatory purposes and archive a massive amount of data
that rarely changes. Whenever an organization wants to store huge amounts of data, it can opt
for CAS because CAS allows the organization to manage such storage easily.

Fixed Content
Fixed Content

Fixed content refers to any content that does not change over time. It can be retained for a
long period for future reference or business value. This is why xed content is always stored
in write once read many (WORM) tapes, disks, or optical media rather than conventional disk
arrays. Examples of xed content include hand-offs such as medical records, media les such
as images, video, or audio, contract documents, engineering documents, and so on.

CAS
CAS

Content Addressable Storage (CAS), also referred to as Fixed Content Storage (FCS), is an
object-oriented, location-independent system for storing xed content. CAS uses a mechanism
by which information can be retrieved based on its content, rather than its storage location.
Unlike traditional le and data storage, CAS stores user data as objects and assigns a unique
address called a content address (CA) to each object. If an object is created, it cannot be
deleted until the specied retention period has expired. CAS uses disks, rather than tapes to
store data, because disks streamline the process of searching for stored objects. In addition,
CAS provides an optimized storage solution that supports single instance storage (SiS), which
is the ability to keep one copy of data that multiple users can share, in order to eliminate multiple copies of the same data.
Universal Naming Convention (UNC) is a format that species the resource location on LANs. UNC addressable
storage is mainly used to identify shared peripheral devices like printers. It provides a different address for each
shared resource so that it can be identied uniquely.

The CAS Architecture


The CAS Architecture

164

The CAS architecture is made up of storage devices, such as storage nodes, access nodes, and
dual role nodes, a server to which storage devices are connected, and an application programming interface (API) that performs data storage and retrieval functions. A storage node stores
data as objects, while an access node provides connectivity to an application server. A dual
role node performs the functions of both the storage node and the access node.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 7
All these nodes are networked as a cluster using a private LAN and is collectively known as
the Redundant Array of Independent Nodes (RAIN). Clients use a separate LAN to access
CAS.

ACTIVITY 7-4
Examining Content Addressable Storage
Scenario:
In this activity, you will examine Content Addressable Storage.

1.

Which are characteristics of CAS? (Select all that apply.)


a) CAS uses a mechanism using which information can be retrieved based on its content,
rather than its storage location.
b) CAS is an object-oriented, location-independent system for storing fixed content.
c) CAS uses a mechanism using which information can be retrieved based on its storage
location, rather than its content.
d) CAS stores user data as objects and assigns a unique address called a content address
to each object.

2.

True or False? The cluster of all APIs in the CAS architecture is collectively known as
RAIN.
True
False

Lesson 7 Follow-up
In this lesson, you described various storage architectures. Storage architectures are important
because they map your requirements with different technologies. By familiarizing yourself with
various storage architectures, you can differentiate the storage requirements of your organization and act accordingly.
1.

Do you have any NAS or SAN implementations in your environment? If yes, what are
they used for?
Answers will vary, but may include: either a NAS because it provides reliable operation
and easy administration of files, or a SAN because it is a high-speed network dedicated to
data storage and allows interconnection of storage devices and servers.

2.

What network technologies can be used for connectivity in a SAN?


Answers will vary, but may include: Fibre Channel is the de facto standard and is the
fastest medium. SANs can also use existing high-performance TCP/IP implementations
over media such as Ethernet.

Lesson 7: Describing Storage Architectures

165

NOTES

166

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 8

LESSON 8

Lesson Time
1 hour(s), 30 minutes

Describing Ethernet
Network Technologies
In this lesson, you will describe Ethernet network technologies.
You will:

Describe Ethernet networks.

Describe implementing multipathing over Ethernet networks.

Identify protocols on Ethernet networks.

Lesson 8: Describing Ethernet Network Technologies

167

LESSON 8
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you described storage network architectures, which are the basic aspect
of a storage network. Storage network architectures can be well supported on computer networks using Ethernet network technologies. In this lesson, you will describe Ethernet network
technologies.
Ethernet can be used to set up simple ground-level networks. Its installation is less complex
compared to other types of networking. As an effective storage administrator, you need to
know about Ethernet network technologies to use them appropriately.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

2.4 Given a scenario, implement the following Ethernet network technologies.

3.4 Describe general virtualization concepts.

Topic B

2.4 Given a scenario, implement the following Ethernet network technologies.

Topic C

2.4 Given a scenario, implement the following Ethernet network technologies.

TOPIC A
Describe Ethernet Networks
The success and growth of the Internet has been largely due to the standardization of Ethernet
technology. In this topic, you will describe the Ethernet networks that are used in different
situations.
Ethernet network technologies keep evolving everyday to be more effective and scalable.
Therefore, as a storage administrator, knowledge about various Ethernet network technologies
is vital to provide the best suited solution for your organization.

Ethernet Technologies
Ethernet Technologies (3
slides)

The different Ethernet technologies are distinguished depending upon the type of media, connectors, and ports used.

Ethernet Technology

Medium Used

Thin Ethernet

Coaxial cable with a thin diameter (10Base2).

168

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LESSON 8
Ethernet Technology

Medium Used

Thick Ethernet

Coaxial cable with a thick diameter (10Base5).


Standard Ethernet

Twisted pair cable (10Base-T).


Fast Ethernet

Double twisted pair cable or ber optic cable (100Base-TX or -FX).


Gigabit Ethernet

Double twisted pair cable or ber optic cable (1000Base-T or -LX or


-SX).
10 Gigabit Ethernet

Multimode ber optic cable (10GBase-SR or -LX4).

Fast Ethernet
Fast Ethernet is an Ethernet technology that can transmit data at speeds of 100 Mbps. Fast
Ethernet can use either coaxial cables or optical bers. It is used as a backbone network to
interconnect several LANs.

Fast Ethernet

Fast Ethernet Standards


There are several standards and specications for 100 Mbps or Fast Ethernet. In copper, 100Base-TX is the most widely used medium for Fast Ethernet. It uses two pairs
of category 5 cables. 100Base-T2 uses two copper wire pairs. In ber, 100Base-FX
implements Fast Ethernet over optical ber. It uses two strands of the ber, one to
transmit and the other to receive.

Lesson 8: Describing Ethernet Network Technologies

169

LESSON 8
Standard

IEEE Specication

Medium

Distance (m)

100Base-T

802.3u

CAT5 UTP

100

100Base-T4

802.3u

CAT3, 4, or 5 UTP

100

100Base-TX

802.3u

CAT5 UTP

100

100Base-FX

802.3u

Multimode ber,
Single mode ber

412 (half duplex), 2000 (full duplex),


15,00020,000 (full duplex)

Gigabit Ethernet
Gigabit Ethernet

Gigabit Ethernet is an Ethernet technology that can transmit data at speeds of 1000 Mbps and
primarily uses optical bers for transmission. The hardware required for Gigabit Ethernet is
very expensive when compared with other types of Ethernet.
Gigabit Ethernet Standards
There are several standards and specications for 1000 Mbps or Gigabit Ethernet.

Standard

IEEE
Specication
Medium

Distance (m)

1000Base-T

802.3ab

CAT5
CAT6 UTP

100

1000Base-CX

802.3z

Shielded
Balanced coax

25

1000Base-SX

802.3z

Multimode ber
Wavelength: 850 nm

550 in practice (220 per


specication)

1000Base-LX

802.3z

Single mode ber


Wavelength: 1300 nm

5000

1000Base-LX

802.3z

Multimode ber
Wavelength: 1300 nm

550

1000Base-LH

802.3z

Single mode ber


Wavelength: 1300 nm

10,000

1000Base-LH

802.3z

Multimode ber
Wavelength: 1300 nm

550

LAN
LAN (2 slides)

170

Denition:
A Local Area Network (LAN) is a self-contained network that spans a small area, such
as a single building, oor, or room. In a LAN, all nodes and segments are directly connected with cables or short-range wireless technologies. It does not require a leased
telecommunication system to function.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 8
Due to their small size and fewer nodes, LANs provide faster data transfer than other
types of network. Different technologies can be implemented on a LAN depending on
conguration needs and working of the network. Ethernet is the most commonly
implemented LAN technology. Other LAN technologies such as the token ring, the
token bus, and the Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) can also be used on LANs.
Example:

Figure 8-1: A typical LAN.


LAN Administrator Duties
LAN administrators are responsible for managing and maintaining a local network. The
administrators responsibilities not only include maintaining machines and cabling, but
also maintaining network software. LAN administrators may also be required to perform installation and deployment, upgrades, and troubleshooting for different
applications. LAN administrators need to be versatile and adaptable with a broad range
of skills and knowledge of network applications and hardware.

Switched Ethernet
Switched Ethernet is a LAN technology that connects computers using switches. The switch
enables the device to utilize the full bandwidth of the medium. In switched Ethernet, switches
recognize the destination address and route the packet only to the destination node. Thus, a
switch can route multiple packets to different destinations simultaneously.

Switched Ethernet (2 slides)

Figure 8-2: Switches on an Ethernet network.

Lesson 8: Describing Ethernet Network Technologies

171

LESSON 8
Ring-Based Networks
Ring-Based Networks

Token ring and Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) are commonly used ring-based LAN
technologies deployed on Ethernet networks.

Ring-Based Network Type

172

Description

Token ring

Token ring is a type of technology used on ring networks in which computers


pass a special sequence of bits called a token between them. Only the node holding the token can transmit on the network. If it has no more data to transmit, the
node sends the token to the next computer on the network. Standards dictate how
long a node can hold a token and what happens if the token is damaged or lost.
The damaged or lost tokens are renewed automatically every seven seconds.

FDDI

The Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) is a type of technology used on ring
networks which uses single mode or multimode ber to transmit data at the rate
of 100 Mbps. Although FDDI has dual ber rings, only one ring carries data
under normal conditions; the second ring is either idle or carries control signals.
When the second ring is not needed for backup, it can carry data, extending the
carrying capacity to 200 Mbps.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 8
WAN
Denition:
A Wide Area Network (WAN) is a network that spans a large area, often across multiple
geographical locations. WANs typically connect multiple LANs and other networks
using long-range transmission media. WANs use ATM, Frame Relay, and X.25 protocols for connecting over long distances. Such a network scheme facilitates
communication among users and computers in different locations. WANs can be private, such as those built and maintained by large, multinational corporations, or they
can be public, such as the Internet.

WAN (2 slides)

Example:

Figure 8-3: A typical WAN.


WAN Administrator Duties
WAN administrators typically handle more complex technical issues than LAN administrators and focus on resolving network issues rather than user issues. A WAN
administrator performs the following duties.

Designs and maintains the connection scheme between remote segments of a network.

Develops and troubleshoots routing structures.

Works with both voice and data systems.

Develops scripts to automate complex network administrative tasks.

Works on security issues and helps implement recovery schemes.

Plans, tests, and implements hardware and software upgrades.

Lesson 8: Describing Ethernet Network Technologies

173

LESSON 8
MAN
MAN (2 slides)

Denition:
A Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) is a computer network that covers a metropolitan
area. Its network size is between a LAN and a WAN. A MAN is generally established
using ber cables or wireless technologies such as microwave or radio.
In a MAN, sharing of regional resources and connecting to other networks through a
link to a WAN is possible. Technologies such as FDDI, Asynchronous Transfer Mode
(ATM), and Switched Multi-megabit Data Service (SMDS) are used to develop a
MAN.
Example:

Figure 8-4: A typical MAN.


Metro Ethernet
Ethernet technology implemented in a metropolitan area is known as Metro Ethernet. It
is used to connect subscribers to a WAN. It can also be used by businesses to connect
to their intranet and various offices that are separated geographically. Metro Ethernet is
also used to prevent bottlenecks that occur when too many corporate networks are connected to a single MAN. It also reduces the complexity of WAN access, thus reducing
the conguration requirements and allowing easy migration from low to high speeds.

VLAN
VLAN (2 slides)

Denition:
A Virtual LAN (VLAN) is a point-to-point logical network that is created by grouping
selected hosts together, regardless of their physical location. A VLAN uses a switch or
router that decides on which groups of hosts should receive the network broadcasts.
VLANs can provide network security by enabling administrators to segment groups of
hosts within the larger physical network. The biggest advantage of a VLAN is that,
once the physical network is built, it can be recongured for optimal performance by
simply changing the VLANs conguration; the network does not have to be rewired.

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LESSON 8
Example:

Figure 8-5: A typical VLAN.

10Base Standards
10Base standards describe the media type and the speeds at which each type of media operates. The cable standard specication contains three components: a number indicating media
speed, the signal type in baseband or broadband, and a code for either copper or ber media.

10Base Standards (2 slides)

Figure 8-6: Media types and the transmission speeds of the 10Base standard.
10 Mbps Ethernet
There are several standards and specications for 10 Mbps Ethernet.

Standard

IEEE Specication

Medium

Distance (meters)

10Base-2

802.3a

Thinnet coax

185

10Base-5

802.3

Thicknet coax

500

10Base-T

802.3i

CAT5 UTP

100

10Base-F

802.3j

Fiber

2000

Lesson 8: Describing Ethernet Network Technologies

175

LESSON 8
Standard

IEEE Specication

Medium

Distance (meters)

10Base-FB

802.3j

Fiber

2000

10Base-FL

802.3j

Fiber

2000

10Base-FP

802.3j

Fiber

500

Ethernet Frames
Ethernet Frames (3 slides)

An Ethernet frame is a data packet that has been encoded on the Data Link layer for transmission from one node to another on an Ethernet network. The basic Ethernet frame is broken
down into seven elds.

Figure 8-7: A basic Ethernet frame.

Ethernet
Frame Field

176

Description

Preamble
(PRE)

(7 bytes) A pattern of ones and zeros used to signal the start of the frame and provide
synchronization and timing information. The preamble noties all the available nodes
for data to follow.

Start-ofFrame
Delimiter
(SFD)

(1 byte) The SFD identies the beginning of the data eld.

Destination
Address (DA)

(6 bytes) This is the MAC address of the computer to which the frame is being transmitted; it can be a unicast, multicast, or broadcast address.

Source
Address (SA)

(6 bytes) This is the MAC address of the computer transmitting datathe SA is always
a unicast address.

Frame type

(2 bytes) This is the length of the entire Ethernet frame in bytes, or the frame type ID
of the frame. Though this eld can hold a value between 0 and 65,534, the maximum
value is usually less than 1500.

Data

(n bytes) The payload of the frame (or the information being sent). It must be a minimum of 46 bytes and can be a maximum of 1500 bytes. If the length of data is less
than 46 bytes, the data eld must be extended by adding a ller to increase the length
to a minimum of 46 bytes.

Frame Check
Sequence
(FCS)

(4 bytes) The FCS checks the frame using a 32bit Cyclic Redundancy Check (CRC)
value. The FCS allows the receiving device to detect errors in the Ethernet frame and
reject it if it appears damaged.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 8

ACTIVITY 8-1
Describing Ethernet Networks
Scenario:
As a storage administrator, you have to work on Ethernet networks as well. In this activity,
you will review the different types of Ethernet networks.

1.

2.

Match the network with its appropriate description.

LAN

WAN

MAN

VLAN

a.

A computer network covering a metropolitan area.


b. A point-to-point logical network created by grouping selected hosts
together, irrespective of their physical
locations.
c. A data communications network connecting network devices in a small
area.
d. A network that spans a large area,
often across multiple geographical
locations.

Which technology is used on ring networks and uses single mode or multimode fiber for
transmitting data?
a) Switched Ethernet
b) Token ring
c) FDDI
d) Gigabit Ethernet

3.

True or False? The Internet is an example of a LAN.


True
False

4.

Which network provides faster data transfer than other network types?
a) LAN
b) WAN
c) MAN
d) VLAN

Lesson 8: Describing Ethernet Network Technologies

177

LESSON 8

TOPIC B
Multipath over Ethernet Networks
In the previous topic, you described different Ethernet networks. There is a need to ensure continued access to data, even if one of the paths in the Ethernet network fails. Data can be
accessed continuously using multiple physical paths. In this topic, you will describe
multipathing over Ethernet networks.
Organizations need to ensure that in the event of a failure in a storage fabric component, their
networks provide continued access to storage data. Your knowledge of multipathing will enable
the implementation of fault tolerance and performance enhancement over storage network components in your organization.

iSCSI over Ethernet


iSCSI Over Ethernet (2 slides)

iSCSI multipath establishes many routes between a server and the storage devices not only to
maintain constant connection, but also to balance traffic load. The multipathing software passes
all the input and output requests through the best available path. iSCSI multipath has the
failover option, which enables the server to select another path if the current path or its components fail. In addition to path failover, multipathing also load balances the storage loads by
dispersing them among multiple paths either to reduce or eliminate bottlenecks.
iSCSI over Ethernet is used for unifying or converging data center servers. iSCSI SAN is easy
to install and maintain and is economical. It uses standard Ethernet switches, which are already
used by most organizations. iSCSI can be easily managed and integrated and is based on existing infrastructure. With the usage of iSCSI there is no need to buy expensive equipment. With
iSCSI, distance is no longer a constraint for replicating to faraway sites and it also solves the
problem of bandwidth.

MPIO
MPIO (3 slides)

Denition:
Multipath I/O (MPIO) is a fault-tolerance and performance enhancement technique in
which more than one physical path is used between the CPU of a computer system and
various storage devices that are connected to it. MPIO is realized through I/O buses,
controllers, switches, and bridge devices.
For example, you can connect a single disk drive through two controllers to two FC
ports. If one controller or port fails, the operating system can send I/O through the
other controller or port with no changes visible to applications.
MPIO over Ethernet helps to simplify the network design and manage the bandwidth
better. MPIO over Ethernet uses Shortest Path Bridging (SPB), Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL), or Fabric Shortest Path First (FSPF) to nd the
shortest path and to load balance traffic over numerous Ethernet links, which in turn
reduces congestion. It enables better usage of Ethernet, reduces latency and delays, and
provides resilience and fast convergence. It not only aids to atten the network which
reduces the overall cabling, but also has equal capacity both upstream and downstream.

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LESSON 8
Example:

Figure 8-8: MPIO in a storage system.


MPxIO
MPxIO is a multipathing software application for Solaris OS that enables multiple
host controller interfaces to access a storage system through a single OS. The application protects the I/O paths of the storage network by automatically switching controller
interfaces in case of controller failures.
Shortest Path Bridging
Shortest Path Bridging (SPB) is a technology that is used to enable multipath routing
in a data center. Using SPB, you can simplify conguration and creation of carrier,
enterprise, and cloud networks that virtually eliminate human error.
TRILL
TRILL is an acronym that stands for Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links. It
combines the advantages of bridges and routers and is implemented by RBridges or
Routing Bridges.
Fabric Shortest Path First
Fabric Shortest Path First (FSPF) is a routing protocol utilized on Fibre Channel networks. It determines the best path between switches, sets up routes across the fabric,
and determines alternate routes in case of failure or change in topology.

Link Aggregation
Denition:
Link aggregation is a technique for combining multiple network connections in parallel
for increasing throughput and for providing redundancy if any one of the links fail.
Link aggregation is used to bind several physical links together to form a logical link
and to increase the bandwidth of a trunk.

Lesson 8: Describing Ethernet Network Technologies

Link Aggregation (2 slides)

179

LESSON 8
With link aggregation, a group of ports can be linked together to form a Link Aggregation Group (LAG), which optimizes port usage. Link aggregation solves the problems
of lack of resilience and bandwidth limitations in Ethernet connections. When there is
an increase in the demand on the network, one can increase the backbone speed of the
network using link aggregation. This eliminates the need to acquire any new hardware.
Example:

Figure 8-9: A typical link aggregation.

ACTIVITY 8-2
Identifying Multipathing over Ethernet Networks
Scenario:
In this activity, you will identify multipathing over Ethernet networks.

1.

Which technology on Ethernet helps to link a group of ports to optimize port usage?
a) Link aggregation
b) MPIO
c) iSCSI
d) FDDI

2.

True or False? MPIO is used to increase the backbone speed of a network, when there
is an increase in the demand on the network.
True
False

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LESSON 8
3.

Which technology over Ethernet uses SPB, TRILL, and FSPF for finding the shortest
path and for load balancing traffic over numerous Ethernet links?
a) Link aggregation
b) ISCSI
c) MPIO
d) FCoE

TOPIC C
Protocols on Ethernet Networks
In the previous topic, you described multipathing on Ethernet networks. Further to
multipathing, you also need to identify protocols on Ethernet networks. In this topic, you will
identify protocols on Ethernet networks.
At times, you need to implement specic networking protocols on the storage networks within
your organization. Knowledge of the aspects of implementing various protocols will ensure
that you are able to manage these protocols in your organization, when required.

iSCSI Implementation
The advantage of iSCSI over FC is that it communicates over the existing infrastructure that is
used to connect all the computers in the data center. For implementing an iSCSI on Ethernet,
you require an iSCSI initiator for each of the host computers that is also referred to as storage
clients, an iSCSI target for the shared storage array, and a TCP/IP network that interconnects
the initiator and the target.

iSCSI Component

Implementation

iSCSI initiator

For the initiator, there are several choices. iSCSI HBAs are available from vendors and cards are available from Alacritech, Intel, Adaptec, QLogic, and others.
Though the cards are economical compared to Fibre Channel HBAs, they cost
more than a standard Gigabit Ethernet NIC. A good option is to use software
iSCSI initiator implementations. Free download of a software iSCSI initiator for
Windows is available at Microsoft. Software initiators are available for Linux,
HP/UX, NetWare, AIX, Solaris, and Mac OS X. VMWare ESX 3.0.x has an integrated software iSCSI intiator that is utilized for implementing VMotion.

iSCSI target

iSCSI software target solutions are also available, which can be run on standard
x86 servers. With these software solutions, you can utilize the server disk space
as iSCSI volumes for use over the built-in Ethernet ports of the servers. Initiators
and targets are available in two forms: hardware and software. One can use either
the hardware solution or software solution based on the requirement.

Lesson 8: Describing Ethernet Network Technologies

iSCSI Implementation

181

LESSON 8
iSCSI Component

Implementation

TCP/IP network

It is also possible to install an iSCSI SAN on the existing LAN. On the host
computers, you can implement iSCSI SAN with the iSCSI initiators, whereas on
the shared storage array you can implement iSCSI SAN with an iSCSI target.
iSCSI is exible and can be implemented in different ways which allow one to
get the maximum out of network storage in a cost-effective manner.

NFS Implementation
NFS Implementation

NFS is a protocol that is based on Remote Procedure Call (RPC), with a client-server bond
between the computer that has the le system to be distributed and the computer that has the
need to access that le system. The NFS server threads are triggered by an nfsd daemon that
accept calls from the clients. The mountd daemon of NFS servers assist in tackling path name
translation and le system mount requests.
There are two phases in NFS server logging. The kernel performs the rst phase by recording
the RPC requests in a work buffer. The daemon performs the second phase by reading the
work buffer and constructing and writing log records. Each process that uses NFS les
becomes a client of the server. The client system calls that access the NFS mounted les also
send RPC calls to the NFS servers from where the les were mounted. The virtual le system
broadens the operation of system calls like read() and write(), which are very basic.
NFS protocol is stateless; there is no need to maintain any information on the server about the
NFS protocol. There is no information on the server regarding the NFS requests sent previously or about the relationship between the NFS requests, but the client has track of all the
information needed for sending requests to the server. This makes it necessary for NFS RPC
requests to describe completely the operation that should be performed.
Most NFS requests are idempotent, which means that an NFS client can send a request multiple times without any harmful consequences. By choosing a stateless protocol like NFS, one
can minimize the burden of crash recovery.

CIFS Implementation
CIFS Implementation

CIFS is the public version of Server Message Block (SMB) protocol and works by routing
data packets from the client to the server. Each packet is actually a basic request for opening a
le, closing a le, or reading a le. After receiving the packet, the server rst checks whether
the request is legal. The server then carries out the request and sends the response packet to
the client only after ensuring that the client has the required le permissions. The client after
analyzing the response packet ascertains regarding the success of the initial request.
CIFS makes use of name, session, and datagram services of Network Basic Input/Output System (NetBIOS). The NetBIOS naming service is similar to the service of the Domain Name
System (DNS) in a TCP/IP environment. NetBIOS names assigned to the computers on a network are human readable names that allow to map the readable names to an IP address. CIFS
also utilizes the session service for sending and receiving the upper layer commands which
include all le and printer operations. In a CIFS network communication, the rst step is to set
up a NetBIOS session between the client and the server. CIFS implementations use the
NetBIOS datagram service to browse and discover the NetBIOS names of CIFS servers on the
network.

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CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 8
CIFS accesses the resources on a CIFS server after the packets are exchanged in a sequence. A
NetBIOS session is established at rst to transport the message in a proper sequence. After
that, the client and server decide on which CIFS dialect they should communicate. The client
then logs into the server and sends user name and password. Finally, the client gets connected
to the desired resource.
After the establishment of the initial contact, one more packet sequence is exchanged to open
and read the le. The le open request has one packet of each CIFS request and CIFS
response. The read request also has one request and one response packet. First, the le is
opened. Then, the server checks whether the given le name exists. If it does not exist, it
sends an error code to indicate the problem. In case there are no problems, then the server
sends the response packet with a le ID that is used by the subsequent packets for accessing
the le.

ACTIVITY 8-3
Identifying Protocols on Ethernet Networks
Scenario:
As a storage administrator, you need to know about different protocols on Ethernet networks.
In this activity, you will identify different protocols on Ethernet networks.

1.

What is the advantage of having a stateless protocol?


If a protocol is stateless, then it means that there is no necessity to store any information
regarding the protocol on the server. By using a stateless protocol like NFS, one can minimize the burden of crash recovery.

2.

True or False? CIFS is a protocol that is based on RPC.


True
False

Lesson 8 Follow-up
In this lesson, you described Ethernet network technologies. Knowledge of the different
Ethernet network technologies will enable you to use the right one in a given situation and get
the maximum benet out of network storage.
1.

What is the advantage of using a VLAN?


The advantage of using a VLAN is that once the physical network is built, it can be
reconfigured for optimal performance by simply changing the VLANs configuration; the
network does not have to be rewired.

Lesson 8: Describing Ethernet Network Technologies

183

LESSON 8
2.

What are the advantages of using link aggregation?


Answers will vary, but may include: link aggregation increases throughput, provides
redundancy in the event of failure of one of the links, optimizes port usage, and increases
the backbone speed of a network. It also solves the problems of lack of resilience and
bandwidth limitations in Ethernet connections.

184

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LESSON 9

LESSON 9

Lesson Time
2 hour(s), 30 minutes

Describing an FC SAN
In this lesson, you will describe an FC SAN.
You will:

Describe the FC SAN architecture.

Describe zones.

Describe fabric services and extension technologies.

Describe converged storage network technologies.

Describe multipathing issues.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

185

LESSON 9
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you examined the Ethernet network technologies that are used to support storage architectures. Fibre Channel is another technology that is commonly used in the
implementation of storage architectures like SAN. In this lesson, you will describe an FC
SAN.
Even if you establish a fundamentally efficient storage architecture, there is always a need to
add advanced technologies to the infrastructure to satisfy the growing business needs. Because
todays typical business scenario focuses more on online transactions than in the past, there is
a need for online storage and a shared storage among multiple servers. This scheme will in
turn increase the speed of data transfer across the storage network and provide enhanced data
accessibility to applications across the enterprise. Fibre Channel is one such technology that
provides dedicated services to a storage network.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

Topic B

2.3 Given a scenario, implement the following Fibre Channel technologies.

3.4 Describe general virtualization concepts.

Topic C

2.1 Identify common storage networking industry terms.

2.2 Explain the following storage networking industry terms.

2.3 Given a scenario, implement the following Fibre Channel technologies.

2.5 Identify the basics of converged storage network technologies.

Topic D

2.5 Identify the basics of converged storage network technologies.

5.4 Describe network device bandwidth properties and functions.

Topic E

186

2.1 Identify common storage networking industry terms.

2.3 Given a scenario, implement the following Fibre Channel technologies.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

TOPIC A

LESSON 9

Describe the FC SAN Architecture


The most fundamental aspect of a storage system is its architecture, which is a good starting
point for your exploration of an FC SAN. In this topic, you will describe the FC SAN architecture.
What if you want to install a gigabit speed network technology so that data can be transmitted
and stored quickly? The latest technology in storage networking can provide you with avenues
for storing enormous amounts of data in a short amount of time. Youll need to understand
these and other technical issues if you ever support an organization that considers an FC SAN
implementation.

FC SAN
A Fibre Channel Storage Area Network (FC SAN) is a storage area network that uses FCP for
enabling communication between storage devices. Today, an FC SAN is the most favored SAN
technology because it offers compatibility to all common storage devices and database servers
by supporting long-distance ber optic cables. In addition, the FC SAN has a data transmission
speed of 10 Gbps.

FC SAN (2 slides)

The main use of an FC SAN is to provide high availability to clusters in which two servers are
connected to one highly reliable RAID. If one server fails, the other server can mount the
array and continue operations with minimal downtime and data loss. Other features of an FC
SAN include the ability to have servers and disk drives separated by hundreds of miles and to
rapidly mirror data between servers and disk drives.

Figure 9-1: FC SAN uses Fibre Channel technology for data storage.
Media Types in FC SANs
An FC SAN uses several media to realize storage networking. The media types in FC
SANs include copper and ber optic cables, switches, HBAs, and connectors.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

187

LESSON 9
Distance and Speeds Available in an FC SAN
Depending on the cables and adapters used, storage devices in an FC SAN can be connected from a distance of 50 meters up to 10 kilometers. Copper cables limit Fibre
Channel to a maximum distance of 30 meters.
When using ber optic cables, Fibre Channel reaches up to 10 kilometers. In addition,
the extension technologies enable FC to connect devices up to a distance of 250 kilometers. Also, the speeds of FC products decide the speed of the FC SAN. For
example, if the FC SAN is made up of 1 Gbps products, the SAN will function at 1
Gbps. Similarly, 2 Gbps, 4 Gbps, and 10 Gbps FC SANs can be built with the help of
such high-speed FC products.

FC SAN Hardware Components


FC SAN Hardware
Components

FC SAN hardware interconnects storage devices with servers to form an FC fabric, which
comprises the physical layer, interconnect devices, and translation devices.

FC SAN Hardware
Component

Description

The physical layer

Consists of copper and ber-optic cables that carry signals between transceiver
pairs. It uses a cable infrastructure that is similar to that used in other networks
such as a LAN.

Interconnect devices

Consist of devices such as hubs, switched hubs, routers, switches, and directors.
They route data in the form of Fibre Channel frames at gigabit rates.

Translation devices

Consist of devices such as HBAs, gateways, and bridges. They function as intermediaries between a Fibre Channel network and outside networks or devices by
connecting them for high-speed data transmission.

Flow Control in FC
Flow Control in FC

Fibre Channel utilizes a built-in ow control mechanism to synchronize data transmission


between two devices. Before sending data, the devices must log in to establish a credit for
each of them. A credit is the number of frames a device can receive at a time. Therefore, both
devices exchange their respective credits between them so that each device knows how many
frames the other device receives.
After the specic data transmission is over and credits run out, no frames will be sent until the
destination device indicates to the source device that it is ready to receive new frames. By
using this mechanism, Fibre Channel prevents overrun of frames during data transmission.

FC Flow Control Types


FC Flow Control Types

188

Fibre Channel supports two types of ow control: buffer-to-buffer or credit-based and end-toend or retrospective.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 9
Flow Control Type Description
Buffer-to-buffer

Buffer-to-buffer ow control or credit-based ow control is a type of ow control


that occurs only between two directly connected FC ports. This type deals with a
link between an N_port and an F_port or between two N_ports in a fabric. For
each link, both ports exchange their respective credit details between each other
and start data transmission.

End-to-end

End-to-end ow control or retrospective ow control is a type of ow control that


occurs between two indirectly connected FC ports. This type is similar to the
buffer-to-buffer type except that it is concerned with the control of data ow
between source and destination N_ports rather than individual links.

FC Classes of Service
Fibre Channel provides three classes of service for efficient data transmission between devices
on a storage network.

FC Classes of Service

Service Class Description


Class 1

A connection-oriented service that provides dedicated connection between two ports in a


fabric. This class is retained and guaranteed by the fabric after a connection is established. It guarantees maximum bandwidth and thus is the best for sustained, high
throughput transactions.
In this class, frames are received at the destination port in the same order as they are
transmitted from a source port.

Class 2

A packet-oriented, connectionless service in which each frame is routed independently


through a Fibre Channel network. Therefore, a single port can maintain multiple connections at the same time. This class does not guarantee the order of data delivery
because data frames may be delivered out of order.
In this class, a receiver can get an acknowledgement for each frame that is successfully
transmitted. If the delivery is unsuccessful, a busy frame is returned to recognize lost
frames. This class uses both buffer-to-buffer and end-to-end ow control types.

Class 3

This class of service is similar to class 2 except that frames are not acknowledged.
In this class, ow control is managed on the buffer level known as a datagram, which
provides the quickest transmission by not sending conrmation.

Comparison: NAS, iSCSI SAN, and FC SAN


There are some technical differences between the NAS, iSCSI SAN, and FC SAN architectures.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

Comparison: NAS, iSCSI SAN,


and FC SAN

189

LESSON 9

190

Attribute

Description

Protocol used

NAS
NFS in UNIX systems, CIFS in MS Windows systems, and Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) with Apple Macintosh systems
iSCSI SAN
iSCSI (SCSI)
FC SAN
FCP (SCSI)

Type of network

NAS
TCP/IP
iSCSI SAN
TCP/IP
FC SAN
Fibre Channel

Source/target

NAS
Client/NAS server, application server/NAS server
iSCSI SAN
Server/storage device
FC SAN
Server/storage device

Transfer objects

NAS
Files and le fragments
iSCSI SAN
Data blocks
FC SAN
Data blocks

Access through storage devices

NAS
Indirectly through the NAS-internal computer
iSCSI SAN
Directly through iSCSI
FC SAN
Directly through Fibre Channel

Conguration

NAS
Precongured by NAS manufacturers
iSCSI SAN
Done by end users
FC SAN
Done by end users

Embedded le system

NAS
Yes
iSCSI SAN
No
FC SAN
No

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

ACTIVITY 9-1

LESSON 9

Discussing the FC SAN Architecture


Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss the FC SAN architecture.

1.

Which FC service class uses both buffer-to-buffer and end-to-end flow control types?
a) Class 1
b) Class 2
c) Class 3

2.

True or False? Buffer-to-buffer is a type of flow control that occurs between two indirectly connected FC ports.
True
False

3.

For what purpose does Fibre Channel use the flow control mechanism?
To prevent overrun of frames during data transmission so that a high transfer rate can be
achieved.

4.

Which FC SAN hardware component functions as an intermediary between an FC network and other networks?
a) Physical layer devices
b) Translation devices
c) Interconnect devices

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

191

LESSON 9

TOPIC B
Describe Zones
In the previous topic, you described the FC SAN architecture. Within that architecture, you can
employ an additional technology to restrict unauthorized access on your storage network. In
this topic, you will describe FC SAN zone implementation.
As a storage administrator, you might want to restrict storage access among a set of users so
that the stored data is protected in your organization. To do so, you need to create zones within
your FC SAN architecture. The basic knowledge of FC SAN zones and their related technologies will enable you to protect components of the storage network in your organization.

Zoning
Zoning (2 slides)

Denition:
Zoning is a method of grouping hosts and storage nodes within an FC fabric to restrict
interference and increase security in an FC SAN. Zoning enables nodes within the FC
fabric to be logically segmented into groups that can communicate with each other. If
zoning is activated in a fabric, any device that is not a part of an active zone will be a
member of the default zone. Zones not only prevent a host from unauthorized access
of storage assets, but also stop undesired host-to-host communication and fabric-wide
disruptions.
Zoning allows a great deal of exibility in implementing a SAN because a storage
node can be a member of multiple zones. In addition, zoning enables the accommodation of heterogeneous platforms on a single switch so that the same set of resources
can be shared by different departments or functional groups in an organization. Zoning
can be categorized into WWN zoning and port zoning.
WWN zoning is also known as WW name zoning.

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LESSON 9
Example:

Figure 9-2: Zoning in an FC fabric.

WWN Zoning
WWN zoning is a type of zoning that uses WWNs of devices to dene a zone in an FC fabric.
If a zoned device is unplugged from a switch port and moved to another zone, the device still
belongs to the zone to which it was originally associated because the switch checks only the
WWN of the device and not the port to which it has been attached.
In WWN zoning, the switch ports to which the zoned devices are attached can still be accessed
if a user from another zone guesses the right WWNs of the devices in that fabric.

GB_CFG is a zone
conguration or in other
words a zone set which is a
collection of zones. This is an
active zone set/conguration.
There can be only one active
zone set/conguration.

WWN Zoning

Figure 9-3: WWN zoning uses WWNs of the devices to define a zone.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

193

LESSON 9
Port Zoning
Port Zoning (2 slides)

Port zoning is a type of zoning that uses physical ports to dene a zone in an FC fabric. In
port zoning, access to data is determined by the physical switch port to which a node is connected. With port zoning, if a device is unplugged from a switch port and a new device is
plugged in to that port, the new device has access to the zone because the switch checks only
the port and not the WWN of that device.

Figure 9-4: Port zoning uses physical ports to define a zone.


Overlapping Zones
An overlapping zone is a zoning condition in which a switch port or a WWN can be
part of more than one zone.

Soft and Hard Zoning


Soft and Hard Zoning

Zoning can be implemented using two methods: soft zoning and hard zoning. A soft zone is a
zone that is implemented using software, while a hard zone is a zone that is implemented
using hardware. Soft zoning uses a name server to control accessibility among devices within
the zone, while hard zoning uses a routing table to physically block access to the members of
the zone from any device outside of that zone.
Soft zones are more exible and easier to change than hard zones because the name server
stores both port numbers and WWN numbers so that storage administrators can shift devices
among ports without changing the zoning conguration. Meanwhile, hard zones do not consider port numbers and therefore it is hard for administrators to shift devices between ports in
those zones. However, hard zones are more secure than soft zones.

Hybrid Zoning
Hybrid Zoning

194

Hybrid zoning is a combination of WWN zoning and port zoning. It enables a specic port to
be tied to the WWN of a node. However, hybrid zoning restricts you to move attached nodes
by requiring you to redene the port numbers in the zone set.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 9
Zoning Components
Zoning comprises three major components: members, zones, and zone sets.

Zoning Component

Description

Members

Members are nodes within a SAN that can be included in a zone.

Zones

Zones comprise a set of members that have access to one another. A port or
node can be a member of multiple zones.

Zone sets

Zone sets are made up of a group of zones that can be activated or deactivated
as a single entity in a fabric. Zone sets are also referred to as zone congurations. Multiple zone sets may be dened in a fabric, but only one zone set can
be active at a time.

Zoning Components

Zone Aliases
Zone aliases are custom names assigned to switch ports and WWN addresses in a zone. Using
zone aliases, you can easily identify the members of respective zones. By using port IDs and
WWNs, it will be hard for you to gure out which storage port has access to which server
HBA in a zone. With zone aliases, you can rename the addresses of each server HBA and the
storage ports that they are assigned to in the switch in a way that makes more sense to you.

Zone Aliases (2 slides)

For example, instead of using the WWNs of the HBAs for le server 1 in a zone, you can
assign names such as File_1A, File_1B, and so on for all HBAs.

Figure 9-5: Zone aliases in a zone.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

195

LESSON 9
Domain IDs
Domain IDs (2 slides)

Denition:
A Domain ID is a unique 8-bit identier that is used to identify a switch. Every switch
is assigned a specic domain ID before being connected to another switch. The
switches route information among the connected devices using the unique domain IDs
along with the WWN address of the connected devices.
Domain IDs play an important role in detecting the identity of a switch when two or
more switches are connected together. When a switch joins a fabric, the domain ID is
automatically assigned to it. There are certain situations where two or more connected
switches have the same domain ID, causing domain conicts. When there is an error in
setting up a domain ID, the offending switch is enabled or disabled. This method in
turn allows the principal switch to perform an auto assignment.
Certain points need to be considered while assigning domain IDs.

Ensure that the domain IDs and other parameters are set before cabling any
switch into the fabric.

The port zoning entries on the switches should be veried while changing the
domain ID. If the entries exist on the switch, then the affected zones should be
changed to set up the new domain ID.

Ensure that one of the conicting domain IDs is resolved at the time of domain
ID conicts.

Example:

Figure 9-6: Assigning domain IDs for switches.

NPIV
NPIV (2 slides)

196

N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) enables an FC port to appear in the form of multiple distinct
ports. The FC switch assigns a 24-bit N_Port ID for addressing N_Ports. Within a fabric, the
NPIV provides separate port identication for each operating system image behind the port.

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LESSON 9
NPIV helps in assigning virtual addresses without affecting the existing hardware. NPIV
enables single HBA or target port on a storage array to register multiple WWPNs and N_Port
identication numbers. The virtual ports are capable of being registered with all services of the
fabric because the properties of a virtual port are similar to an N_Port. Each NPIV device has
a unique identity on the SAN.

Figure 9-7: Implementing NPIV in a SAN.

SCSI IDs
SCSI IDs are used to identify the devices on a SCSI chain. Originally, eight SCSI devices and
a controller were used to connect to a single 8-bit SCSI bus. The 16-bit SCSI buses support 15
SCSI devices and one controller per bus. SCSI IDs range from 0 to 7 for a narrow SCSI bus,
and 0 to 15 for a wide SCSI bus.

SCSI IDs

All SCSI devices and the controller must be assigned with a unique numeric identier. In an 8
bit narrow SCSI system, a SCSI device with ID 7 has the highest priority and ID 0 has the
lowest priority. In a 15-bit wide SCSI system, SCSI IDs have priority from higher order to
lower order (7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8). When a wide SCSI controller
controls 8-bit devices, it cannot be assigned an ID greater than 7 because the 8-bit devices
cannot recognize the controller. For setting up SCSI IDs, the narrow 8-bit SCSI devices use
three jumpers and the wide 16-bit devices use four jumpers.

Fabric Merges
If you prepare to merge multiple SANs to create a single, large SAN, you need to merge their
fabrics together. You can merge two fabrics only if both fabrics have identical zones and the
same zone conguration. After the merger, the joined fabrics will form a single large fabric
with the same zone conguration.

Fabric Merges

However, you need to merge different zones from various fabrics before fabrics are merged,
because each fabric will maintain its own zone conguration database consisting of zone conguration information. Merging zones is difficult if you fail to identify and correct the main
causes of zone merge failure.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

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LESSON 9
Causes of Zone Merge Failure
Causes of Zone Merge Failure

There are three causes of zone merge failure: conguration mismatch, type mismatch, and content mismatch.

Cause

Merge Failure Occurs If

Conguration mismatch

The conguration of a zone object (any device in a zone) in one fabric is different from that of another fabric. However, if the zone sets in both fabrics
have the same name and their zones have duplicate names, they can be
merged.

Type mismatch

The name of a zone object is used for a different type of zone object in
another zone.

Content mismatch

The denition of a zone object in one fabric is different from that of another
fabric. Zone objects are dened either by their port numbers or WWNs. Even
if zones in both fabrics have the same name but with different members, they
cannot be merged. If you want to merge those two zones, you need to add
members from one zone to the other and vice versa before zone merge.

Common Blocking Problems to Fabric Merges


Common Problems to Fabric
Merges

You may encounter a lot of problems while you merge two or more fabrics in an FC SAN.
Some of the most common problems in fabric merges are:

A host cannot communicate with storage devices.

The operational parameters of the two merged fabrics are different.

Incompatible switch settings.

When two fabrics merge, the principal switch selection process does not determine
which one of the existing switches becomes the principal switch for the merged fabric.

When connecting a single-switch fabric to a multi-switch fabric, the switch with low
priority does not become the principal switch for the merged fabric.

Domain conicts due to duplicate domains that are existing in the fabrics.

When zoning is enabled in both fabrics, the difference in zone conguration of each fabric can cause zone conicts.

The merger of two fabrics results in the database size limitation being exceeded.

Fabric segmentation caused by an incompatible zone database, zoning conicts in logs,


conguration mismatch, and content mismatch.

Best Practices for Zoning


Best Practices for Zoning

There is a set of common practices that a storage administrator should follow while implementing zones in an FC SAN and they include:

The storage administrator should always implement one-to-one zoning to avoid zoning
terminology confusion. A one-to-one zone must contain exactly one initiator, called the
host, and one target.

198

Care should be taken by storage administrators to ensure that the nodes and storage are
able to see and access one another after enabling zone conguration.

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LESSON 9

Storage administrators should use frame-based hardware enforcement on all zones; the
best way to do this is to use hard zones exclusively for all zoning congurations.

Aliases are optionally available with zoning because they tend to force the structure when
dening zones. In addition to this, aliases help the future administrators to gain knowledge about the zoned fabric.

When users need to add a third-party Fibre Channel switch product, storage administrators
just need to perform WWN zoning.

Storage administrators should run a zone analyzer and isolate any possible problems
before implementing a zone.

Care should be taken by storage administrators to ensure that no one issues any I/O in the
zone that is going to enable or congure the fabric.

ACTIVITY 9-2
Describing Zones
Scenario:
In this activity, you will describe zones.

1.

What are the characteristics of a zone? (Select all that apply.)


a) Zoning enables nodes within an FC fabric to be logically segmented into groups that
can communicate with each other.
b) Soft zoning physically blocks access to a zone from any device outside the zone.
c) Zones not only prevent a host from unauthorized access of storage assets, but also
stop undesired host-to-host communication and fabric-wide disruptions.
d) Any device that is not a part of an active zone will be a member of the default zone.

2.

Which statement is true about content mismatch?


a) The configuration of a zone object in one fabric is different from that of another fabric.
b) The name of a zone object is used for a different type of zone object in another
zone.
c) The definition of a zone object in one fabric is different from that of another fabric.

3.

True or False? All zone sets can be active in a fabric at any point in time.
True
False

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LESSON 9

TOPIC C
Describe Fabric Services and
Extension Technologies
In the previous topic, you described zones in an FC SAN architecture. Fibre Channel also provides different kinds of services and extensions. In this topic, you will describe fabric services
and extension technologies.
Even though Fibre Channel carries multiple upper layer protocols, an FC fabric provides various services that underlie all protocols. Additionally, the kind of extension technologies that a
FC fabric provides will enable you to communicate over long distances on an IP network.

Fibre Channel Login Mechanism


Fibre Channel Login
Mechanism

Fibre Channel provides a three-stage login mechanism using which ports can identify one
another so that application processes can exchange data between them.

Login Mechanism

Establishes

Fabric login
(FLOGI)

A session between an N_port and a corresponding F_Port on a Fibre Channel


network. This login is required as an absolute prerequisite for the exchange of
frames. FLOGI takes place after initializing a link. The F_port assigns a dynamic
address to the N_port and negotiates for the buffer-to-buffer credit.
This login is crucial for the point-to-point and switched fabric topologies. It is
optional for the arbitrated loop topology.

N_Port login
(PLOGI)

A session between two N_ports in a fabric. It normally takes place after the fabric login.
This login is an absolute prerequisite for data exchange at the FC-4 layer where
it negotiates for the end-to-end credit. This login is optional for service class 3,
but compulsory for the remaining service classes.

Process login (PRLI)

A session between two FC-4 processes that are originated from two different
N_ports. FC-4 processes can include system processes on Unix systems and system partitions in mainframes.
This login occurs after the N_port login and is an optional one from the FC-2
layers point of view. However, some FC-4 layer protocol mappings call for a
PRLI for the exchange of FC-4-specic service parameters.

FC Addresses
FC Addresses (2 slides)

Denition:
An FC address is a 24-bit address that is dynamically assigned to an N_port during
fabric login. The FC address is assigned only after the node is connected to a switch.
A typical FC address is divided into three equal elds, each 1-byte long, containing
information on the domain ID of the switch, area ID, and port ID or AL_PA.
A domain ID is a unique identier of the fabric to which the switches belong. One
byte allows up to 256 possible addresses, but only 239 addresses are actually available
because some of these are reserved for broadcast purposes.

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LESSON 9
The area ID is the identier of a group of fabric ports and it provides 256 addresses.
The port ID or AL_PA provides 256 addresses for identifying attached N_ports and
NL_ports in the fabric.
Therefore, the total number of available FC addresses on a fabric is 239 * 256 * 256 =
15,663,104. The FC address is used within an FC frame to identify the transmitter and
receiver of the frame.
Example:

Figure 9-8: FC addresses enable 16 million devices to be connected to a fabric.

Fabric Services
The FC fabric provides various services using which you can implement, control, and manage
an FC SAN.

Fabric Service

Description

Name service

Assigns port names and addresses for all devices on a fabric. The fabric uses a
database called a name server that maintains a list of all devices and their
addresses. A host uses the name server to determine which devices are allowed to
communicate within the fabric.

Directory service

Provides a means to discover information about nodes and ports that are attached
to a fabric.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

Fabric Services

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LESSON 9
Fabric Service

Description

Management service

Provides a single management access point within a fabric and covers the following areas:
Fabric Conguration Server: Provides conguration management of a fabric.
Unzoned Name Server: Provides access to name server information that is not
subject to zone constraints.
Fabric Zone Server: Provides access to and control of zoning in a fabric.
Performance Server: Provides performance metrics for a fabric.
Security Policy Server: Provides distribution of security policies in a fabric.
Fabric Device Management Interface: Provides access to data associated
with attached devices in a fabric.

Event service

Provides a registration and notication facility to notify ports and switches of


events such as alarms and event logs within a fabric.

Time service

Provides server time information that is sufficient for managing expiration time.
This service correlates events happening on different parts of a fabric.

Key distribution
service

Provides data security through encryption and is built into the FCP itself.

Zoning alias service

Manages the registration and cancellation of alias IDs of different zones within a
fabric. This service does not involve the routing of frames for any group.

Fabric Enabled Technologies


Fabric services are enabled with the help of fabric enabled technologies such as
authentication, le sharing, replication, extension, Fabric Application Interface Standard
(FAIS), and security. The following table describes the features of each of the fabric
enabled technologies.

202

Fabric Enabled
Technology

Description

Authentication

Establishes the identity of the source of access in a fabric.

File sharing

Enables accessing and storing of les over a fabric.

Replication

Enables data protection to a fabric through backup of the entire data to


maintain business continuity in case of disasters.

Extension

Enables a fabric to extend beyond the storage network over the Internet.

Fabric Application
Interface Standard
(FAIS)

Is a common application programming interface (API) framework that


implements storage application on a storage networking environment.

Security

Provides all kinds of security to a fabric through Virtual Storage Area


Network (VSAN), zoning, and LUN masking.

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LESSON 9
Multiplexing
Denition:
Multiplexing is a process in which a central device combines signals from multiple
nodes and transmits the combined signals across a shared medium. To carry multiple
signals, the medium or channel is separated logically into multiple smaller channels.
Multiplexing relies on a central device called a multiplexer, or mux, to manage the process from the sending end. At the receiving end, a demultiplexer, or demux, separates
the signals back to their original form.

Multiplexing (2 slides)

Multiplexing can be categorized into several types, but FC uses Dense Wavelength
Division Multiplexing (DWDM) and Coarse Wave Division Multiplexing (CWDM) to
extend storage networks to long distances.
Example:

Figure 9-9: Multiplexing combines signals from multiple nodes and transmits
the combined signals.

DWDM
Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM), also known as Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM), is a technology that allows multiple streams of information together on an
optical ber using different wavelengths of laser light to carry different signals. A DWDM system can multiplex up to 80 channels on a single optical ber. In a DWDM system, a
multiplexer is used at the transmitter end to join the signals together and a demultiplexer is
used at the receiver end to split them apart.

DWDM (2 slides)

Transponders are devices that perform optical signal conversion of different wavelengths and
feed them into the multiplexer. One transponder is required for each wavelength because each
transponder operates at a specic wavelength or color of signals. DWDM supports all kinds of
network protocols and transmits data at 400 Gbps up to a distance of 250 km.

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LESSON 9

Figure 9-10: DWDM combines multiple signals with different wavelengths into a
single stream.

DWDM Amplication Components


DWDM Amplication
Components

DWDM uses two specic components to enable optical signals to attain their long distance
data transmission.

Component

Description

Erbium Doped Fiber


Amplier (EDFA)

It is an optical repeater that is used to boost signals on longer spans or to


preamplify signals before they leave the transmitting end. An optical ber is
doped with a rare element called erbium, which allows the ber to absorb light
at one frequency and emit it at another frequency.
When a DWDM optical signal enters the ber, it stimulates the erbium atoms
to emit light at the same wavelength as the incoming DWDM signal. This
action amplies a weak optical signal to a strong signal at the same wavelength.

Optical Add/Drop Mul- It can demultiplex or remultiplex specic wavelengths of a DWDM signal,
tiplexer (OADM)
while allowing other wavelengths to pass through unaffected. If you want to
amplify this signal, you can do it after the signal travels a distance of 80 km.

DWDM Channel Aggregation


DWDM Channel Aggregation

DWDM channel aggregation allows multiple FC channels to be aggregated and carried over a
single DWDM wavelength. With 2 Gbps FC channels and a 10 Gbps DWDM ber, channel
aggregation enables the DWDM ber to pair up four FC channels per wavelength. If the
DWDM ber supports 64 wavelengths, its total signal carrying capacity will be 64 FC channels without channel aggregation, and 256 FC channels with channel aggregation.

CWDM
CWDM (2 slides)

Coarse Wave Division Multiplexing (CWDM), also known as a low-cost version of DWDM,
uses the same methodology of multiplexing different wavelengths on an optical ber, but with
more spacing between each wavelength. In addition, CWDM uses CWDM GBICs and SFPs
instead of transponders for optical signal conversion. CWDM multiplexes up to eight channels
at different wavelengths with a 20 nm spacing between each channel.
CWDM supports signals to cover a distance of 120 km. The major advantage of CWDM is
that it is more cost effective than DWDM, but it is not as scalable as DWDM.

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LESSON 9

Figure 9-11: CWDM in a storage network.

IP SAN
IP SAN refers to using Internet Protocol (IP) in a SAN over Gigabit Ethernet. It helps organizations to extend the geographical reach of their storage infrastructure. IP is positioned as a
storage transport because it offers easy management and supports multi-vendor interoperability.
When block I/O is run over IP, the existing network infrastructure can be leveraged, which is
more economical than investing in new SAN hardware and software.

IP SAN (2 slides)

Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) and Internet Fibre Channel Protocol (iFCP) are the most widely
used connectivity protocols to extend an FC SAN over IP networks.

Figure 9-12: A typical IP SAN.


iSCSI-Based IP SANs
iSCSI is another IP storage solution that encapsulates SCSI data directly over IP packets, but iSCSI is not used for FC to FC extension solutions.

FCIP
Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) is a tunneling protocol that combines the features of FCP and
IP to connect distributed SANs over large distances. By extending the relatively small distances of a Fiber Channel network over an IP network, FCIP creates a unied storage network
between remote locations and long distance fabric links.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

FCIP (2 slides)

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LESSON 9
FCIP is implemented using an FCIP gateway that connects an FC switch to an IP network and
encapsulates FC frames into IP packets. FCIP uses TCP/IP to provide connectivity between
remote SANs and to control congestion on a network.

Figure 9-13: FCIP extends a SAN over an IP network.

iFCP
iFCP (2 slides)

The Internet Fibre Channel Protocol (iFCP) is a gateway-to-gateway network protocol that is
used to implement FC functionality over an IP network. iFCP interconnects Fibre Channel storage devices and implements FC fabric functionality in an IP infrastructure by replacing Fibre
Channel switching and routing elements with IP components and technology. In addition, iFCP
uses TCP to provide segment reordering, ow control, congestion control, and error detection
and recovery on the network.
The main objective of iFCP is to interconnect Fibre Channel devices over an IP network to
create IP storage. iFCP is considered to be a many-to-many architecture because it allows any
device to be connected to any other device on the IP network. Unlike FCIP, iFCP does not
merge FC fabrics.

Figure 9-14: An iFCP-based SAN.

FCIP vs. iFCP


FCIP vs. iFCP

206

A signicant difference between FCIP and iFCP is that FCIP is a loosely coupled architecture.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 9
When two or more sites are connected by FCIP, a change in one site will disrupt all of the
other sites. With iFCP, a disruption in one fabric does not impact other fabrics because iFCP
provides proxy fabric services between connected fabrics.
FCIP simply encapsulates FC data and forwards it over a TCP/IP network as an extension of
the existing FC SAN. However, FCIP is equipped to work only within the FC environment.
Finally, FCIP is a standard that merges fabric, while iFCP does not merge fabrics.

SONET
Synchronous Optical Network (SONET) is a standard for synchronous data transport over ber
optic cables. SONET provides standards for a number of line rates up to a maximum of 9.9
Gbps. The key advantages of SONET are its excellent bandwidth management, built-in fault
recovery features, and support for long distances. A particular advantage to SONET deployments is its interoperability and scalability.

SONET

SONET often uses Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) to transmit signals. It has two specications: the Optical Carrier (OC) standards specication for ber optic cabling and the
Standard Transfer Specication (STS) for copper cabling.
TDM
With TDM, a communication channel is divided into discrete time slots. Each node on
a network is assigned a time slot and each sender is given exclusive access to the
medium for a specic period of time. Nodes have exclusive access to the connection
between themselves and the mux. The mux combines each nodes signal and sends the
resulting combined signal over the primary network medium.
SDH
SONET is dened for use in North America. The Synchronous Digital Hierarchy
(SDH) is the international equivalent of SONET.

FC WAN Connectivity
Large organizations implement DWDM, CWDM, or SONET to extend FC connectivity over
the existing WAN architecture. Implementation of such technologies relies on dark ber, which
means an optical ber infrastructure that is in place, but is not used. If you have access to dark
ber, you can implement either DWDM or CWDM for long distance data transmission over
WAN. However, if dark ber is not available, you can implement SONET for long distance
connectivity over WAN.

FC WAN Connectivity

SAN Islands
Denition:
A SAN island is a SAN that acts as an isolated entity within a large SAN. A typical
SAN island consists of servers, switches, and storage arrays that are physically connected within the same building. In a large SAN, independent SAN islands are
interconnected using the FC architecture so that they can share data among themselves.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

SAN Islands (2 slides)

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LESSON 9
A SAN island can be used for more than one application or by more than one department within an organization. Similarly, multiple SAN islands can be placed in the
same location, but can be used for multiple applications or by separate business units
of the same organization. With the combination of FCIP and DWDM technologies, you
can connect various SAN islands to make a large SAN so that IP storage will be
achieved over long distances.
Example:

Figure 9-15: SAN islands function as separate entities within a large SAN.

FCoE
FCoE (2 slides)

Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is a proposed standard developed by a group of storage
vendors that encapsulates FCP over Ethernet networks. FCoE enables SAN traffic to be transmitted over Ethernet networks, while reducing the number of cables, switches, and NICs on
the network, and power and cost for an organization. FCoE is mainly applied in data centers
because it also offers additional server virtualization applications.
FCoE requires a set of extensions to support the capabilities of Fibre Channel over Ethernet
networks:

Encapsulating native FC frames into Ethernet frames.

Extending Ethernet protocol to an Ethernet fabric in which frames are not routinely lost
during intervals of congestion.

And, mapping between N_port IDs and Ethernet MAC addresses.

The FCoE protocol specication replaces the FC-0 and FC-1 layers of the FCP stack with
Ethernet. In the network protocol stack, FCoE operates directly above Ethernet, while iSCSI
runs on top of TCP and IP. As a consequence, FCoE is not routable at the IP layer and fails to
work across routed IP networks. FCoE when combined with 10 Gigabit Ethernet will provide
organizations with the ability to consolidate their I/O, cables, and adapters and increase the
utilization of their servers. It combines LAN and SAN traffic over a single 10 Gb Ethernet
connection.

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LESSON 9

Figure 9-16: Encapsulation of FC traffic using FCoE.

ACTIVITY 9-3
Discussing Fabric Services and Extension Technologies
Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss fabric services and extension technologies.

1.

Which login mechanism establishes a session between two N_ports in a fabric?


a) FLOGI
b) PRLI
c) PLOGI

2.

Which are components of an FC address? (Select all that apply.)


a) Domain ID
b) Area ID
c) Node ID
d) Port ID

3.

Which factors differentiate DWDM from CWDM? (Select all that apply.)
a) DWDM uses transponders to perform optical signal conversion.
b) DWDM can cover a distance of 120 km.
c) DWDM uses less spacing between different wavelengths.
d) DWDM can multiplex up to 80 channels on a single optical fiber.

4.

Which protocol permits merger of two or more fabrics in a SAN?


a) SONET
b) FCoE
c) FCIP
d) iFCP

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

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LESSON 9
5.

Which technologies are used to connect various SAN islands to make a large SAN?
(Select all that apply.)
a) FCIP
b) CWDM
c) DWDM
d) SDH

6.

True or False? iFCP combines the features of Fibre Channel and Internet Protocol to
connect distributed SANs over large distances.
True
False

TOPIC D
Describe Converged Storage
Network Technologies
In the previous topic, you examined fabric services and extension technologies that enable reliable data communication over long distances on an IP network. Organizations also have a need
to set up an effective data convergence network. In this topic, you will describe converged
storage network technologies.
Most of the business enterprises feel that it is important to implement a converged network for
improving their storage network performance. As a storage network administrator, your knowledge of converged storage network technologies will help you ensure data accuracy and
eliminate the need for re-transmitting data, thus preventing the loss of data due to congestion
in a lossy medium.

10GbE
10GbE

The increasing growth of network traffic forces network managers to switch over to high speed
network technologies. Most network administrators typically use Ethernet as a backbone technology. However, a major requirement on converged networks is high bandwidth. Due to the
limited bandwidth of Ethernet, the 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10 GbE) technology is widely used.
The 10 GbE network supports large bandwidth and satises the need to meet the combined
needs of SANs and server area networks. The increased bandwidth of Ethernet enables fewer
physical links to carry large amounts of data. 10 GbE provides the infrastructure for both NAS
and SAN.
10 GbE offers superior data carrying capacity and so can be used in storage networking technologies. The 10 GbE technology provides a lossless medium, such that there is no data loss
during transmission, eliminating the need for re-transmitting data. This in turn helps in converging LAN and SAN traffic onto a single Ethernet-based network running FCoE. The speed
of 10 GbE, the lossless technology, and FCoE enable IT organizations to maintain their existing FC infrastructure and reduce the amount of components required in a SAN.

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LESSON 9
FCoE in Converged Storage
The FCoE protocol can be used on converged networks to move FC traffic and merge storage
and IP protocols directly over high speed Ethernet. As Ethernet is a lossy medium, FCoE
requires lossless Ethernet fabric to encapsulate FC frames. FCoE can be implemented on a
converged network by using devices such as a lossless Ethernet switch and multifunction
server adapters that support LAN and SAN.

FCoE in Converged Storage (2


slides)

IT organizations use FCoE-based Ethernet switches over the access layer and converged network adapters with an FCoE initiator at the host layer, minimizing the network topology and
providing seamless connectivity to existing storage systems. The lossless 10 GbE switches support FCoE on every port. The FC ports are available for connection to FC storage, FC HBAs,
and FC switches. The CNAs support FCoE and can also function as a LAN network controller
or an NIC. A 10 GbE CNA replaces the need to use multiple adapters per server.

Figure 9-17: FCoE on converged networks.

DCB
Data Center Bridging (DCB) refers to the extension of Ethernet networks for use in data centers. DCB is mainly aimed at allocating enough bandwidth on links and eliminating the loss of
data on a congested network. FCoE uses the DCB architecture to create a lossless Ethernet
environment and ensure the reliability in data transportation.

DCB (6 slides)

The IEEE 802.1 working groups have developed a set of open standard Ethernet extensions
that are applied in designing the DCB architecture. The implementation of DCB enhances
Ethernet networking and management capabilities. DCB converges LANs and SANs to a unied fabric.
The DCB standard uses four new technologies.

Lesson 9: Describing an FC SAN

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LESSON 9
Technology

Description

Priority-based Flow
Control (PFC)

When a link is shared, large bursts of data from one traffic type must not affect
other traffic types, creating a delay in transmission. To eliminate such issues, the
Ethernet pause mechanism is used. PFC is an extension of the pause mechanism.
PFC is a standard that uses the priority or class of service scheme to pause the
traffic on a single link. When a single physical link is subdivided into eight virtual links, the PFC can independently pause the traffic on a single virtual link
without causing any disturbance to the traffic on the other virtual links.
The PFC uses a pause frame called a Per Priority Pause (PPP) frame that species priorities. When the receive queues are full, the network device at the
destination point sends a PPP frame to the device at the source point. On receiving the PPP frames, the source device stops sending bulk traffic and continues to
send low latency traffic. The source device examines the Class of Service (CoS)
elds to determine priorities for pausing the traffic. PFC is also known by the
standard 802.1Qbb.

Enhanced Transmission Selection (ETS)

This standard denes the behavior of traffic classes with strict priority and minimum guaranteed bandwidth capabilities. When a port is not fully utilized, each
priority group can occupy more bandwidth. On the other hand, the ETS stops the
traffic of each priority group if a port is overloaded, thereby ensuring that the
bandwidth is not exceeded. The bandwidth percentage should be specied when
the traffic classes are congured to use the bandwidth-sharing algorithm provided
by ETS.
Traffic class queues are processed in strict priority order. These queues are jitter
sensitive or intolerant and have extremely high-priority network control or management traffic and low-bandwidth/low-latency. When traffic class queues are
empty, the frames are sent from the traffic class assigned with an ETS scheduling
algorithm. ETS is also known by the standard 802.1Qaz.

The gure shows 10 GbE traffic utilization of three traffic classes with different
priorities, where each class is assigned a specied bandwidth percentage.

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LESSON 9
Technology

Description

Quantized Congestion Notication


(QCN)

Congestion Notication is a standard that manages traffic at layer 2 by pushing


congestion to the edge of the network. The traffic is pushed by instructing rate
limiters to shape the traffic causing the congestion. When congestion occurs, rate
limiting or back pressure supports end-to-end ow control.
QCN networks can be supported with PFC mechanism to avoid packet loss. QCN
architecture can be constructed with an aggregation-level switch that forwards
control frames to two access-level switches. On receiving the control frames. the
access-level switches throttle back their traffic, thereby improving the networks
ability to react to congestion. QCN is also known by the standard 802.1Qau.

Data Center Bridging Exchange


(DCBX) Protocol

DCBX is used to discover peers and exchange conguration parameters between


DCB compliant devices. It ensures that both ends of an Ethernet link are congured consistently. When there is a mismatch of conguration at the ends of the
Ethernet link, DCBX can send notications to the appropriate management stations.
DCBX exchange parameters can be categorized into administered and operational.
The network device congurations are considered to be administered parameters,
and the operational parameters describe the operational status of network device
congurations. The DCB devices are capable of specifying the willingness to
accept DCBX parameters from the attached link partner.

Two different terms that describe an enhanced Ethernet are Data Center Ethernet (DCE) and
Converged Enhanced Ethernet (CEE). These are a set of DCB standards that are developed to
extend the Ethernet protocol.

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LESSON 9
DCB Standard

Description

Data Center Ethernet


(DCE)

DCE standard delivers a unied fabric. DCE is widely popular due to its Layer 2
multipathing capabilities and its lossless service behavior. DCE adheres to the
DCB specication and improves the Ethernet management in data centers. This
standard was originally used by Cisco. It enables:
Priority-based ow control
Class of service-based bandwidth management
Congestion management
Layer 2 multipathing
Lossless service

Converged Enhanced
Ethernet (CEE)

This is an augmented interconnect Ethernet technology that converges applications in data centers, such as LAN and SAN to ensure high performance. CEE
ensures high throughput and low-latency communication. It is also termed DCB.
The CEE networks are used as a transport mechanism for Fibre Channels to consolidate network traffic.

LLDP
LLDP (2 slides)

Link Layer Discovery Protocol (LLDP) is an IEEE 802.1AB standard that is used by network
devices to promote information about their conguration to neighboring devices on the network. LLDP enabled network devices transmit the information in the form of Link Layer
Discovery Protocol Data Units (LLDPDUs) that are stored and periodically refreshed by the
receiving devices. This protocol operates above the MAC service layer, so it can be used in
any networking device that utilizes a MAC service.
The LAN switches and routers promote chassis/port IDs to each other. The network devices
save information about each other in a local Management Information Base (MIB) database. A
network management system recovers the information stored by each device that builds a network topology design. LLDP-Media Endpoint Discovery (LLDP-MED) is a set of standards
that enhances the basic LLDP and increases discovery of endpoint devices.

Figure 9-18: Working of LLDP.

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LESSON 9
LLDPDU
The basic LLDPDU consists of a header, followed by TLV (Type-Length-Value). Type refers
to the nature of information that is sent. Length species the length of the information string.
Value refers to the actual information sent. There are four mandatory TLVs followed by
optional TLVs. The four main TLVs are the Chassis ID, Port ID, Time-To-Live (TTL), and end
of LLDPDU.

LLDPDU

The Chassis ID refers to the chassis identication for the device that transmits the LLDP
frame. The Port ID refers to the identication of the specic port that transmits the LLDP
frame. Time-to-Live (TTL) refers to the specic period of time up to which the information
contained in the receive LLDP frame will be valid. End of LLDPDU marks the end of data.
No further processing of TLVs is needed after the end of LLDPDU.

Figure 9-19: The LLDPDU format.

Priority Tagging
When a switch assigns the VLAN identication information to a packet along with an appropriately set priority, it is known as priority tagging. To indicate that a frame is tagged, a unique
2-byte descriptor is inserted into the eld. This tag type eld is followed by a 2-byte tag control information eld, which carries 3 user priority bits, 1 Canonical Format Indicator (CFI)
bit, and 12 VLAN identier bits. The mechanism used to tag packets for prioritization is the
3-bit priority eld of the 802.1P/Q tag.

Priority Tagging (2 slides)

Figure 9-20: Priority tagged frames.


The three bits of the user priority eld enable the network packets to be marked based on priority. The user priority eld offers eight levels of priorities based on which network traffic can
be grouped. When a base network driver implements DCB, it inserts the VLAN tag, including
the priority, before posting the packet to the destination. The priority tag in the VLAN header

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LESSON 9
is utilized by the existing operating system and the network infrastructure. The operating system has the ability to congure the switches in the VLANs and modify the priority tag eld.
The switching policies are in turn modied based on the priority tags. Priority tagging ensures
that the prioritized traffic is routed properly from one switch to another on a congested network, avoiding any frame loss and managing Quality of Service (QoS) traffic prioritization
across switched networks.
IEEE 802.1Q
IEEE 802.1Q is a networking standard that supports VLANs on an Ethernet-based network. When a switch assigns VLAN identication information to a packet, it is known
as tagging. IEEE 802.1Q offers a tagging scheme for identifying packets associated
with a specic VLAN within a network. It consists of 2-byte tag control information
eld, which carries user priority bits, Canonical Format Indicator (CFI) bit and 12
VLAN identier bits.

User Priority: This is a 3-bit eld that offers eight priority levels.

CFI: This refers to a 1-bit eld that is used to indicate ordering of bits within
frames. This bit is set to zero for Ethernet switches. A frame received with CFI
bit 1 at an Ethernet port should not be forwarded as it refers to an untagged port.

VID: VLAN ID refers to the identication of the VLAN. This eld has 12 bits
and can identify 4096 VLANs.

IEEE 802.1P
IEEE 802.1P is an extended version of 802.1Q. It denes traffic classes and signaling
schemes for class of service. 802.1P offers eight traffic classes that are drawn from
priority elds of 802.1Q VLAN tags. Without 802.1P there is no 802.1Q VLAN tagging. The VLAN tag carries 12-bit VLAN ID and 3 priority bits. As the prioritization
eld is not much used in the VLAN standard, you use 802.1P to add priority.
Switches, routers, and other network devices can set these priority bits.

CoS
CoS

Class of Service (CoS) refers to a mechanism of managing network congestion by classifying


similar types of packets and prioritizing each type of packet under one category. A 3-bit eld
within an Ethernet frame header is used to provide class of service during 802.1Q tagging. The
3-bit elds containing priority values ranging from 0 to 7 are used for QoS purposes to differentiate traffic. CoS supports Ethernet at layer 2 of the OSI model.
Though 802.1Q tagging transmits prioritized frames from one switch to another, there are
some switches that utilize CoS for internally classifying traffic for QoS. On a converged storage network, the ability to prioritize packets is an important asset. IEEE 802.1P/Q offers CoS
that enables storage administrators to choose applications that require high-priority transport.
The applications are then assigned to one of the priority levels. CoS ensures that prioritized
frames have high preference across inter-switch links within a multiswitch network.

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LESSON 9
Jumbo Frames
Denition:
Jumbo frames are Ethernet frames that are larger than 1500 bytes. Generally, the traffic
in Ethernet moves in the form of units called frames, where the maximum size of
frames is termed the Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU). Most network devices use
1500 bytes as the default MTU for the received frames because the maximum size of
frames on Ethernet networks is 1500 bytes. There is a need for sending frames larger
than 1500 bytes in order to enhance throughput and reduce CPU load. The jumbo
frame support is designed to send larger payloads per packet.

Jumbo Frames (2 slides)

If there is a need for bulk transfer of data, then the data can be sent in the form of
larger frames to reduce the number of times the CPU can interrupt. By enabling larger
payloads per packet, fewer packets need to be routed, minimizing CPU load and
improving throughput. Jumbo frames can support a maximum payload of up to 9000
bytes. While setting up a network that supports jumbo frames, you need to ensure that
all hardware components such as NICs and switches have jumbo frames enabled.
Example:

Figure 9-21: A jumbo frame.

Baby-Jumbo Frames
When labels are added to a frame whose size is the maximum possible, then the frame
becomes slightly larger than its maximum allowable size. This frame, which exceeds the maximum possible size, is known as a baby-jumbo frame. The size of baby-jumbo frames ranges
between 1518 bytes and 8000 bytes. Jumbo frames start beyond 8000 bytes.

Baby-Jumbo Frames

Jumbo and baby-jumbo frames are also available on layer 2 switches. To support switching of
baby-jumbo and jumbo frames, Ethernet switches need to be congured. In many cases, babyjumbo frames are obtained due to protocol tagging schemes.

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LESSON 9

ACTIVITY 9-4
Discussing Converged Storage Network Technologies
Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss converged storage network technologies.

1.

Which is used by network devices to promote information about their neighboring


devices on a network?
a) Priority tagging
b) LLDP
c) CoS
d) FCoE

2.

Which refers to a mechanism of managing network congestion by classifying similar


types of packets and prioritizing each type of packets under one category?
a) CoS
b) Priority tagging
c) CWDM
d) DWDM

3.

Which technologies refer to the extension of Ethernet networks for use in data centers? (Select all that apply.)
a) DCE
b) DCB
c) FCoE
d) CEE

4.

True or False? Baby-jumbo frames start beyond 8000 bytes.


True
False

5.

Which technology defines the behavior of traffic classes with strict priority and minimum guaranteed bandwidth capabilities?
a) PFC
b) ETS
c) QCN
d) DCBX

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TOPIC E

LESSON 9

Describe Multipathing Issues


In the previous topic, you described converged storage network technologies that play a major
role during the development of a convergence network. During the data communication process, you might face issues relating to various paths on your storage network that need to be
managed. In this topic, you will describe multipathing issues.
When data is transmitted from one network to another, it takes multiple paths to reach a particular destination. In such cases, there is a possibility of losing data or delay in data delivery.
As a network administrator, you can start to overcome these issues by identifying multipathing
problems.

Multipathing in an FC SAN
Multipathing in an FC SAN refers to the phenomenon of communicating data using multiple
physical connections or multiple physical paths from the source to the destination. It supports
traffic ow through multiple network adapters or host bus adapters and provides advantages
such as redundancy, increased bandwidth and throughput.

Multipathing in an FC SAN

When there is failure of storage components along a path, then multipath connectivity provides
redundant access to the storage devices, eliminating single point failure along the SAN.
Multipathing can be implemented at the operating system device driver level. It enables multiple I/O requests to be shared and balanced across all available paths.

Load Balancing
Load balancing refers to the method of distributing load across multiple paths, servers, or processors. The load balancing scheme reduces load from one server to another, and increases
speed and performance, providing high availability to users.

Load Balancing (2 slides)

When clients need to access any data, incoming service requests are received by load balancers
and broadcasted to servers that are capable of handling requests independently. Even if any
server remains inactive due to failure, the load-balancing software detects the failure and redirects requests to the other servers for providing continuous services to clients.
The algorithm for forwarding incoming requests involves:

Forwarding the recent request to the least busy server.

Directing a large number of requests to the server that is capable of handling heavier
loads.

Assigning requests to the servers based on their IP address and processing ability.

Servicing requests based on persistent sessions, that is if information is locally available


only on one server, then the subsequent request sent to other servers might not be able to
nd the required information. In such cases, it is better to continue directing these
requests to the same server.

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LESSON 9

Figure 9-22: Load distributed across multiple paths.


The load balancing policy allows every load balancer on the network to specify the amount of
load it can handle. Based on the load requirement, network administrators can add or remove
the number of nodes, providing high scalability. Each server on the network selects and
handles workload depending upon the specied load.
One of the most commonly used load balancing policies is the Round Robin policy. The term
Round robin refers to the method of performing a specic task by selecting a single service
request from a list of available requests for the purpose of load balancing. Round robin equally
utilizes all the available paths on a network.

Fail Over
Fail Over (2 slides)

Fail over occurs when an individual application on a clustered server fails and the cluster service attempts to restart the application on the same server. If the service cant restart the
application on the original server, it transfers the applications resources to another server in
the cluster and restarts them there. The fail over mechanism protects against a failed processor
within a network. It can be applied when there are multiple connection paths established
between the independent servers on a system, making the systems fault tolerant.
A path fail over occurs when a single active path fails and an alternate path is selected for
directing I/O requests. A path fail over uses redundant I/O channels to redirect I/O requests
when one or more paths are not available. When the path returns to its active state, the I/O
requests are serviced using the recovered path.
A path management tool is used to support path fail over and recovery so that the I/O requests
continue to be serviced without being interrupted. Among the various paths, a failed path can
result due to the failure of any individual component of a path. The fail over mechanism
ensures that connection paths are supported with redundant components, so that the connection
is available even if one or more paths fail. This mechanism in turn enables users to experience
minimal disruption to service.

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LESSON 9

Figure 9-23: Failover mechanism to overcome the failure of an active path.

Number of Paths to Disks


The SAN setup must be designed in an accurate manner to keep the number of paths to disks
at a reasonable level. To understand the number of paths to disk, consider a server with two
FC ports and an additional three FC ports on the storage with a single FC switch. In this kind
of setup, the disks can have up to six paths. The number of paths can be obtained by multiplying the number of host ports to the number of storage ports.

Number of Paths to Disks (2


slides)

Multipathing does not offer a practical limit to the number of paths, but when the multipath
mechanism is used along with the subsystem device driver path control module, the number of
disk paths can be reduced. The path control module offers a maximum of 16 paths per disk.
The requirement for implementing more disk paths increases the memory capacity and affects
the booting of the system, so network designers need to limit the number of disk paths.
LUN masking and SAN zoning can be used to minimize the number of disk paths to a reasonable level. Consider an example where there are 64 paths for each LUN. To limit the number
of paths, network administrators can create two groups of host ports and storage ports. Each
group has four ports. The host ports 1 to 4 can be zoned with storage ports 1 to 4 to form the
rst SAN zone. The second SAN zone is formed by zoning the host ports 5 to 8 with storage
ports 5 to 8. With LUN masking, storage administrators can assign half the LUNs to use storage ports 1-4 and the other half to use storage ports 5-8, resulting in a total of 16 paths per
LUN.

Figure 9-24: Host ports and storage ports defining the number of paths.

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LESSON 9
Interoperability
Interoperability

Interoperability ensures that all products offered by multiple vendors are designed to specic
industry standards that enable different products to be interoperable with each other effectively.
The FC standard guides vendors toward common external FC interfaces.
As it is not mandatory for all vendors to follow the standards in a similar manner, the vendors
make use of interoperability modes, such as a default mode or legacy switch Interop modes.
The interoperability modes turn off advanced or proprietary features and ensure that products
comply to the standards. The FC technology can have compatible components, but the probability of the components to be 100% interoperable with each other is less.
Compatibility ensures that similar products can be replaced with products of other vendors.
When products are interchangeable, the level of compatibility is high. If all devices in a network fabric follow FC standards, then high interoperability can be ensured.

Physical Connections vs. Logical Connections


Physical Connections vs.
Logical Connections (2 slides)

A logical connection is a nonphysical connection that allows exchange of information between


the source and destination devices. The transport layers of the source and destination devices
share a set of commands that perform transport type functions. The actual information has to
be passed through physical layers as there is no direct connection between the transport layers
of the source and destination devices. The devices cannot coordinate their functions without a
logical connection. On the other hand, the physical connection is the direct connection at the
physical layer between the sender and the receiver.
The Fibre Channel environment supports a physical topology and a logical topology. The
physical connections among the multiple storage devices together form a physical topology.
The logical topology describes the logical connections established between the device names
and their associated storage ports and volumes.

Figure 9-25: Physical connections and logical connections.


The physical topology can be dened by the number of tiers. The number of tiers in a fabric is
based on the number of switches that navigate between two far points in the fabric. By
increasing the number of tiers, the distance up to which information must travel also increases.
Further, the increase in the distance affects the time taken for the information to propagate.

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LESSON 9
The logical topology mainly deals with where Fibre Channel components are connected around
the fabric, and the relationships that dene how these components are used together. The number of logical tiers in the topology is also based on the number of switches. If the size of the
logical fabric is large, then the probability of bandwidth being allocated across the tiers is
high. Excess collection of traffic across the tiers causes fabric congestion and increases the
delay in retrieving data. Therefore, it is recommended to limit the path between the storage
and the servers to three hops.

Multipath Protocol Management


By using MPIO, a device can be uniquely detected by one or more physical connections, or
paths. The multipath protocol can be managed by using a path-control module (PCM) that provides path management functions for the multipath protocol. A single MPIO device driver is
capable of being interfaced to several PCMs that control the I/O across the paths to each of the
target devices. The PCM manages multiple paths by:

Checking the multiple paths and determining which of the paths can be used currently for
sending I/O service requests.

Enabling a failed path after the path is recovered from the temporary path fault.

Checking for the currently unused paths that would be used if a failover occurs.

Multipath Protocol
Management

ACTIVITY 9-5
Describing Multipathing Issues
Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss the multipathing issues.

1.

Which of these occur when an individual application fails and the cluster service
attempts to restart the application on a different server?
a) Load balancing
b) Failover
c) Zoning
d) Tagging

2.

Which statements are true about load balancing? (Select all that apply.)
a) The load balancing policy allows every load balancer on a network to specify the
amount of load it can handle.
b) In load balancing, if a single server fails, the client services are disrupted.
c) Load balancing scheme provides high availability to users.
d) Balancing allows administrators to add or remove nodes depending upon the specified load.

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LESSON 9
3.

Which refers to the phenomenon of communicating data using multiple physical connections from a source to the destination?
a) Multiplexing
b) Multipathing
c) Load balancing
d) Zoning

4.

True or False? LUN masking and SAN zoning can be used to minimize the number of
disk paths to a reasonable level.
True
False

Lesson 9 Follow-up
In this lesson, you described an FC SAN. By applying the FC SAN architecture, you can
increase storage speed and enhance data accessibility to applications across your organizations
storage network.
1.

Which FC topology is implemented in your organizations storage network? Why?


Answers will vary, but may include: a switched fabric because it is the most flexible and
scalable Fibre Channel topology for any SAN.

2.

What precautionary measures will you take before merging fabrics on a storage network?
Answers will vary, but may include: by maintaining the same operational parameters for
the fabrics to be merged, avoiding duplicate domains, and preventing zone conflicts in
the fabrics.

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LESSON 10

LESSON 10

Lesson Time
1 hour(s), 30 minutes

Describing Storage
Management
In this lesson, you will describe storage management.
You will:

Execute storage provisioning.

Describe volume management.

Monitor storage networks.

Describe storage de-duplication and compression.

Examine management protocols and interfaces.

Examine Information Lifecycle Management.

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LESSON 10
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you described Ethernet network technologies. To efficiently manage a
storage network, you need to be familiar with the tools, processes, and policies that are used
for storage network management. In this lesson, you will describe storage management.
Managing stored data is one of the biggest IT issues today because data is the most valuable
asset of any organization. As the amount of data steadily grows, so does the size of the les
stored. This results in a growing need to search, secure, archive, and recover data according to
the needs of an organization. By examining storage management, you will become familiar
with all these needs.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

Topic B

3.3 Explain volume management concepts.

3.4 Describe general virtualization concepts.

Topic C

3.8 Explain the various functions and differences of de-duplication and compression.

Topic E

3.5 Given a scenario, implement monitoring, alerting, and reporting.

Topic D

3.2 Given a scenario, execute storage provisioning techniques.

3.6 Explain management protocols, interfaces, and associated purpose.

Topic F

3.7 Explain Information Lifecycle Management concepts.

TOPIC A
Execute Storage Provisioning
Any organization would want to optimize the performance of its Storage Area Network. Storage provisioning is used for this purpose. In this topic, you will describe how to execute
storage provisioning.
On a storage network, storage is provisioned, or in other words, it is assigned such that the
overall performance of the SAN is optimized. By examining the storage provisioning concepts,
you will be able to make the best use of your SAN performance.

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LESSON 10
LUN Provisioning
The method of assigning storage in the form of disk drive space is called storage provisioning.
This is usually done to optimize the SAN performance. Even though the physical disk drives
are the foundation of data storage, operating systems cannot use them directly. The physical
disk drives platters, heads, tracks, and sectors should be translated into a logical space, which
in turn creates a logical entity that allows the operating system to read or write les. These
partitioned logical entities are called Logical Unit Numbers (LUNs).

LUN Provisioning

These LUNs have to be provisioned so that the host servers can access the SAN storage. With
LUN provisioning, it is also possible to share LUNs between multiple servers. For instance, if
a LUN is shared between an active server and a standby server, the standby server can immediately take over if the active server fails.

LUN IDs
A LUN can be identied by its LUN ID number or LUN name. The LUN names are changeable and do not provide any restriction for duplicate names. For this reason, any software
usually uses LUN IDs rather than LUN names. The array LUN IDs may range from zero to
maximum, where maximum depends on the array model. The two types of LUN IDs are user
LUNs and private LUNs.

LUN IDs

User LUN IDs are automatically assigned to User LUNs, created through the software manager. The ID starts from zero and keeps incrementing by one for each LUN created. It is also
possible for users to manually select and assign an available unused user LUN ID even at the
time of creation. The highest available number in the LUN ID range is assigned to private
LUNs at the time of creation. Private LUNs support user-related LUN data. Users cannot
manually assign private LUN IDs.

LUN Masking and Sharing


LUNs enable LUN masking and sharing that help you improve performance and reliability.

LUN Method

Description

LUN masking

A process that makes the same LUN available to certain hosts, but unavailable to others. LUN masking makes it possible to attach a single LUN to a single host
connection. The other host connections cannot access the LUNs that are not assigned
to them. In other words, the LUN allocation is made by hiding the devices that are
not assigned.
LUN masking improves performance and reliability by building reasonably sized le
systems. It is implemented at the Host Bus Adapter (HBA) level.

LUN sharing

A process in which a LUN can be shared between two or more servers. For example,
sharing a LUN between an active server and a standby server is useful while dealing
with a fail-over situation.
When multiple systems attempt to share a LUN, they will interfere with each other
and corrupt the data. To overcome this, LUN sharing is done by using software where
a single LUN can be shared with multiple hosts usually if they are part of the same
cluster.

Lesson 10: Describing Storage Management

LUN Masking and Sharing

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LESSON 10
Host-Based vs. Storage-Based Disks and Tapes
Host-Based vs. Storage-Based
Disks and Tapes

LUNs that are presented to host systems are handled by a physical device driver. Host-based
disks and tapes support any kind of storage. They maximize storage utilization without any
thin provisioning restrictions. However, storage utilization optimization is done on a per host
basis. Replication and data migration is restricted to that particular host. Moreover, syncing the
host instances with other instances is a tedious task and it is not possible to recover data in
case of a system crash.
Storage device-based LUN masking does not need any additional hardware requirements. Replication and data migration is possible only for devices of the same vendor. It supports load
balancing, which is a method for distributing workload across multiple computers on a network to avoid overloading. Load balancing is usually provided by a dedicated hardware or
software such as a multi-layer switch or a Domain Name Server (DNS).

Thin Provisioning
Thin Provisioning

Thin provisioning is the process of giving the appearance of more physical storage space than
what is actually present. For example, with thin provisioning, you can create a 1 TB LUN,
even though only 100 GB of physical storage is available. It allows maximum utilization of
the available storage space.
Unlike traditional provisioning, which allocates the block up front, thin provisioning allocates
data blocks depending on demand. This makes sure that there is no wasted space. It allows
organizations to purchase less storage capacity, thereby reducing operating costs.
Thin provisioning also enables overallocation or oversubscription, which is a mechanism that
lets the server to view more storage space than what is available. Thin reclamation allows the
volume manager to interact with the thin provisioned storage system.
For example, when a user deletes a le, thin reclamation provides capabilities for the storage
array to understand this deleted le as an unutilized block, which can be taken back into the
available storage pool.

Best Practices for Disk Provisioning


Best Practices for Disk
Provisioning

228

The aim of disk provisioning is to optimize the performance and reliability of a hardware
setup. Certain best practices must be kept in mind while provisioning a disk.

As a rst step, it is necessary to plan ahead, keeping in mind the long-term storage needs.

Because all disks are not the same, data has to be tiered accordingly. In other words, data
has to be put on the right type of disk. Tiering also helps in controlling the cost.

The metadata overhead should be considered before provisioning the disk.

While performing disk provisioning, it is recommended to store the user data and the system data on two separate fault tolerant disks.

At least two disks should be provisioned for a two-node failover cluster. Here, one of the
disks is provisioned as a witness disk, which holds a copy of the cluster conguration
database, and all the other disks are provisioned such that they support high availability
le servers.

Create point-in-time copies of data because they will be useful if the le is lost, corrupted, or deleted by mistake while provisioning.

Finally, data has to be secured. Authorization has to be set to allow access to only permitted users.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

ACTIVITY 10-1

LESSON 10

Examining Storage Provisioning


Scenario:
To manage storage efficiently, you need to examine the storage provisioning techniques.

1.

True or False? Users can manually assign a private LUN ID.


True
False

2.

The mechanism that provides capabilities for storage arrays to understand the deleted
files as unutilized blocks is known as:
a) Thin provisioning.
b) LUN provisioning.
c) Thin reclamation.
d) LUN masking.

3.

Which makes it possible to attach a single LUN to a single host connection?


a) LUN masking
b) Thin provisioning
c) Thin reclamation
d) LUN provisioning

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LESSON 10

TOPIC B
Describe Volume Management
In the previous topic, you executed storage provisioning. A system administrator needs exibility in allocating storage to applications and users. In this topic, you will describe volume
management.
As an organization expands, its data storage requirements also increase. Managing a large disk
is a time-consuming job and also balancing the storage requirements of various users can be
very tedious. These problems can be handled with volume management.

File-Level vs. Block-Level Architecture


File-Level vs. Block-Level
Architecture

230

Volume management can be done in two types of architectures to provide exibility while allocating storage.

Architecture

Description

File-level architecture

Is useful when there is a need to dump raw les. The storage devices used in the
le-level architecture are usually Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices and
they provide a lot of space at a lower cost. File-level architecture is also less
complex than the block-level architecture. In le-level architecture, les and
folders are handled by storage devices including user access controls and permission assignments.
However, le-level storage devices require special handling while taking backups
because they might run nonstandard operating systems. The setup process for
le-level devices can be as simple as a walkthrough through a short conguration tool.

Block-level architecture

Is most commonly used in Storage Area Networks (SANs). Servers that use
industry standard Fibre Channel and iSCSI connectivity mechanisms can make
use of block-level storage. Block-level storage offers high levels of exibility.
Block-level storage devices can be congured for performance and capability.
Raw storage volumes are rst created and then the server-based operating system
connects to these raw volumes and treats them as individual hard drives. As a
result of this, block-level storage can be used for almost all applications such as
le storage, databases, Virtual Machine File System (VMFS), and more. File
sharing also becomes easy while using block-level storage. It is to be noted that
a block-based volume is typically a blank hard drive. Therefore, there is no need
to take special back up steps in order to take backups of the workload.
However, block-level storage is considered to be more complex in comparison
with le-level storage. Block-level storage administrators must manage and
administer storage on a per server basis. Care should be taken to manage protection levels and the device performance should be carefully monitored to ensure
that the performance meets the server and application needs.

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LESSON 10
The Conguration Layer
The conguration layer, present between the operating system and the physical hard drives, is
the Logical Volume Manager or the LVM. This simply means that the physical hard drives and
their partitions are no longer tied to the hard drives and partitions on which they reside. Alternatively, the hard drives and partitions are considered as multiple, separate hard drives that are
pooled together in a software RAID.

The Conguration Layer

To manage and understand LVM congurations, you need to be familiar with the GUI tools
and the command line tools. The command line tools can be especially useful while managing
the LVM on a server, which does not support the GUI tools. The commands used in LVM are
preceded by pv (physical volume), lv (logical volume), or vg (volume group). The physical
volume commands are used for adding or removing hard drives in volume groups. Logical
volume commands are used for presenting volume groups as partitions. Finally, the volume
group commands are used for changing the abstracted set of physical partitions on the operating system as logical volumes.

Logical Volumes
A logical volume is a storage medium associated with logical disks. A layer of abstraction created over the physical storage medium enables the creation of logical volumes. Logical
volumes offer more exibility when compared to the traditional physical storage. They do not
restrict you to the physical disk sizes. The hardware storage conguration is hidden from the
software and therefore it can be moved and resized without stopping other applications,
thereby reducing operational costs.

Logical Volumes (2 slides)

The advantages of using logical volumes are:

Logical volumes are resizeable meaning that they can be extended or reduced in size
without disturbing the underlying disk devices.

Logical storage volumes can be managed in user-dened groups.

Logical volumes allow multiple disks to be aggregated into a single logical volume.

Logical volumes offer increased throughput by stripping data across two or more disks.

Logical volumes let you to take snapshots of devices that are used as consistent backups.

Logical volumes provide a convenient way to congure a mirror for the data.

Some common commands are used for logical volume administration.

Command

Description

lvcreate

To create a logical volume.

lvreduce

To reduce the size of a logical volume.

lvextend

To increase the size of a logical volume.

lvchange

To change the parameters of a logical volume.

lvrename

To rename a logical volume.

lvremove

To remove an inactive logical volume.

lvdisplay

To display the properties of a logical volume.

lvscan

To scan and list all the logical volumes on a system.

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LESSON 10
Volume Groups
Volume Groups (2 slides)

A volume group is a collection of physical volumes that can be of varying types and sizes.
While assigning a physical volume to a volume group, the physical blocks of storage media
are partitioned. The size of these partitions can be specied by users when creating a volume
group.
The disk space in a volume group can be divided into xed size units called extents, which are
the smallest units of space that can be allocated. Extents within physical volumes are referred
to as physical extents and those within logical volumes are referred to as logical extents. Both
the physical extents and the logical extents are of the same size. The volume group maps the
logical extents to the physical extents.
There are some common commands used for volume group administration.

Command

Description

vgcreate

To create a volume group.

vgextend

To increase the capacity of a volume group by adding one or more physical


volumes.

vgreduce

To remove all unused physical volumes from a volume group.

vgchange

To activate or deactivate volume groups.

vgsplit

To split the physical volumes of a volume group.

vgmerge

To combine two volume groups into a single volume group.

vgrename

To rename a volume group.

vgdisplay

To display the volume group properties.

vgscan

To scan a system and list all the volume groups present on that system.

vgremove

To remove a volume group.

File Systems
File Systems (2 slides)

Denition:
In technical terms, a le system is a database that is maintained by an operating system
on a storage medium for storage and retrieval of data. It can be thought of as an index
containing the location of every piece of data on a storage device.
However, the main objective of a le system is to organize data in a way that it is
easy for the operating system to search and access it. This dependency shows that the
operating system often inuences the choice of a le system.

232

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LESSON 10
Example:

Figure 10-1: The file system structure.

LVM
Denition:
A Logical Volume Manager (LVM) is a logical storage component that allows operating systems to consider all separate disks as one single physical storage device. In
traditional disk management, an operating system rst looks for disks, such as hard
disks and DVD drives, attached to it. Then it looks at the partitions available on those
disks. Partitions are divisions of a hard disk into multiple logical storage units.

LVM (2 slides)

For example, the operating system might identify the C, D, and E partitions on the
hard disk and the G partition on the DVD drive. The LVM introduces an additional
logical layer between the operating system and the physical storage device. By doing
so, the operating systems will consider all disks as one storage device and see all partitions on the same disk. In that case, the LVM will see all partitions, C, D, E, and G,
on a single device and never know that these partitions exist on two different storage
devices. This feature helps in dynamically resizing existing disks and creating new
disks and partitions on a storage system.

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LESSON 10
Example:

Figure 10-2: The components of a Logical Volume Manager.

Mount Points
Mount Points

A mount point can be a directory or le where new le systems, directories, and les are made
accessible. To mount a le system or directory, the mount point should be a directory.
Whereas, if you want to mount a le, the mount point should be a le. A mount point becomes
the root directory for a le system once a new le system is added to it. The data present in
the le or directory, which acts as the mount point, is not accessible while it is already
mounted over by another le or directory. Only when this mountover is undone, the data in the
mount point becomes accessible. The mount command is used for mounting a le or directory and the unmount command is used for unmounting a le or directory.
Mount points can be used for increasing the size of drives without disturbing them. For
example, a mount point on a d: drive can be created as c:\documents, which appears to
increase the size of the c: drive.

234

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ACTIVITY 10-2

LESSON 10

Examining Volume Management


Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss how to manage data by storing it in volumes on a network.

1.

Thevgmergecommand is used to combine two volume groups into a single volume


group.

2.

Which is a database maintained by an operating system for storage and retrieval of


data?
a) File system
b) Volume group
c) Logical volume
d) Mount point

3.

ALogical Volume Manageris a logical storage component that allows operating systems
to consider all disks as one physical storage device.

TOPIC C
Monitor Storage Networks
In the previous topic, you described volume management. Further, it is also necessary to monitor the storage networks for efficient storage management. In this topic, you will examine how
to monitor storage networks.
Imagine your storage network has a failed component and because of that the entire network
crashes. To avoid such problems, you can implement a monitoring system to constantly keep
track of your storage network and its performance. By monitoring storage networks, you will
be able to identify any complications on your network almost immediately.

Thresholds
A threshold is a limit that can be set for monitoring a specic metric. When this limit is
exceeded, the threshold is crossed and the Threshold Notication dialog box appears. This
dialog box provides you with the detailed information.

Thresholds

When a threshold is crossed, an event is logged and the performance manager runs a command. It is also possible to create your own commands. These commands can simply warn you
by sending an email or alert you to take steps to x the problem.
The Threshold Notication dialog box offers three action buttons.

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LESSON 10
Action Button

Description

Back

Returns to the previous threshold.

Next

Moves to the next threshold.

Display

Switches to the display mode and displays the thresholds.

Setting Thresholds
Setting Thresholds

A threshold is set to alert you in case any application exceeds its utilization limit. For example,
if the CPU utilization crosses the 70% level, an alert is generated, which triggers an event and
runs a command.
Performance alerts can be used for identifying a performance problem. A high performance
alert threshold can be set at the beginning and then lowered over time to a more accurate
value. This is done to avoid too many alerts at the beginning.
Setting up a threshold involves ve steps.
1.

Select a node or cluster in the main windows node area.

2.

Click the Threshold button in the work area.

3.

Select a metric category.

4.

Select the particular metric from the list.

5.

Set a value for the threshold.

Trending
Trending

Trending keeps a record of all problems that have ever occurred on a network previously,
thereby giving a clearer picture of the network to the administrator. Trending aids administrators to decide what is normal for a network. It provides baselines for collecting and storing
network traffic data over a long period of time. It also helps in continuously monitoring a network and recognizing problems, if they exist.
A trend analysis may be performed periodically to improve the performance of a SAN. Trending is used for streamlining the functional testing process on a project, which has a tight
budget or tight schedule. With trending, you can prevent a problem from recurring.

Forecasting and Capacity Planning


Forecasting and Capacity
Planning

As organizations expand in size, the amount of data to be stored increases day-by-day. Therefore, it is necessary for organizations to forecast and plan capacity for data. Forecasting and
capacity planning can be useful in the future when there is a need for extra storage space.
Certain steps should be kept in mind while developing a process for forecasting storage capacities.

Communicate with the senior management about the values of forecasting and get them to
sponsor the initiative. This will encourage the key stakeholders to participate actively.

236

Develop forecasting metrics, which are meaningful to the concerned parties. Meaningful
metrics will help in strengthening the value of the forecasting initiative. When there is no
accuracy in the metrics, it can undermine the credibility.

Communicate the necessity of capacity to the vendors.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 10
Follow a capacity-on-demand buying process where the vendor installs the maximum
capacity, but charges only for what is being used. This technique builds exibility into a
resource plan.

Recording Baselines
Baselining is used for analyzing network performance. This method is carried out by comparing the current performance of a network with a previously recorded metric or a baseline.
Recording baselines include testing and reporting physical connectivity, network utilization,
throughput of the network, and protocol usage. Baselining enables network administrators to
notice changes on a network.

Recording Baselines

Baselining can use performance management tasks such as monitoring the network traffic on a
regular basis, measuring the trends on network performance and checking whether the current
performance meets the necessary requirements. Using baselines, you can also determine the
future upgrades that the network requires and also make sure that the current network performance is optimized.

Setting Alerts
Alerting is an important part of network monitoring. Conditions that impact the availability of
services should be brought to the administrators attention immediately. When a problem is
encountered, either an alert is sent to the administrator, or a script, which attempts to initiate a
corrective action is triggered, depending on its severity level.

Setting Alerts

Alerts can be classied as information alerts, warning alerts, and fatal alerts.

Information alerts provide information about the encountered condition and they do not
require any administrator intervention.

Warning alerts need to be contained before they affect the accessibility of other applications and therefore needs the attention of the administrator to decide if the disk has to be
replaced.

Fatal alerts are alerts that require the immediate attention of the administrator because
they may affect the overall performance of the network.

Continuous monitoring and alerting helps administrators to always keep track of the network
performance and respond quickly if the need arises.

Auditing Log Files


Auditing log les refers to accounting all events and operations that take place in a data center.
It also keeps track of all the activities of the administrator. Regular auditing is necessary to
ensure proper functioning of the administrative controls. An accountability service maintains a
log of events that can be audited later. Regular auditing is enabled by logging events on
devices. Care should be taken to protect this event logging from unauthorized users.

Auditing Log Files

For example, consider two workgroups where data of one workgroup should not be accessible
by another. A user from one workgroup can try to make a copy of the other workgroups data.
If this action is not monitored, it will not be possible to track this violation. Alternatively, if
the action is monitored, a warning message, which prompts a corrective action, can be sent.

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LESSON 10
Alerting Methods
Alerting Methods

Storage managers send alerts for conditions like a storage array component failure or an occurrence of an adverse environmental condition on the storage array which requires your
immediate attention. All the critical components of a storage system should be continuously
monitored.
Early detection and instant alerts ensure the protection of these critical assets. Some storage
arrays are capable of self diagnosis and repair. They automatically detect and repair the corrupted objects before alerting the administrator of any potential problem. These problems can
be at an object level or a node level, but are not visible to users who access the archives. The
different types of notication services may include email, Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) traps, and SMSs.
Different types of alerts can be set such as Short Message Service (SMS)/text alerts, email
alerts, SNMP alerts, and call home.

Type of Alert

Description

SMS/Text alerts

Text alerts that can be received on cell phones or pagers are very efficient for
getting alerts on the go.

Email alerts

Email alerts can be received as standard email. To congure email alerts, click
the Tools tab and then click Set up email alerts. In the setup email alerts
option, enter:
Sender email address: The email address of the sender. For example, email
address of the network administrator.
Mail (SMTP) server: The name of the Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
gateway from which the email alerts will be sent.
Recipient email address: The email address of the recipient.
Select a type of information to be sent from the following.
Event only: The alert email contains only the event information. This is the
default alert type.
Event + Prole: The alert email contains the event information and the storage array prole.
Event + Support: The alert email contains the event information and also a
compressed le that contains the complete support information for the storage
array that has generated the alert.
To set the frequency at which you wish to receive alerts, select one of the following.
Every event: Sends an email whenever an event occurs. This is the default
option.
Every x hours: Sends an email at the specied interval if an event occurs during that period.

SNMP alerts

238

SNMP alerts you to inform that a problem has occurred in your storage array. It
allows communication between the SNMP managers and agents over a network.
To enable SNMP alerts, you have to install and congure the SNMP manager.
An SNMP sends an alert when a problem log entry is generated. You can resolve
the problem easily by following the instructions given in the log entry. The log
entry usually closes automatically once the problem is resolved.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 10
Type of Alert

Description

Call Home

Call home refers to the email-based notications. Different types of message formats, which offer compatibility with pager services, standard email, or XMLbased applications are available. The call home feature also provides message
throttling capabilities.

ACTIVITY 10-3
Monitoring Storage Networks
Scenario:
As a storage administrator, you need to keep a constant track of your network so that any
complications can be identied almost immediately.

1.

Auditing log filesrefers to accounting all the events and operations that take place in a
data center.

2.

Which is an email-based notification that offers compatibility with pager services, standard email, and XML-based applications?
a) Text alerts
b) Email alerts
c) SNMP alerts
d) Call home

3.

Creating a LUN or zone is an example of aninformationalert.

4.

True or False? You can determine the future upgrades for a network using baselines.
True
False

5.

What happens when a threshold is crossed?


When a threshold is crossed, an event is logged and the performance manager runs a command.

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LESSON 10

TOPIC D
Describe Storage De-duplication
and Compression
In the previous topic, you described storage network monitoring. Further, it is also necessary to
ensure that data is not repeated in different locations or occupying excessive storage space. In
this topic, you will describe storage de-duplication and compression.
Every organization is facing the growing need for a large storage space. Therefore, storing
redundant data takes up more space which could otherwise be used to store more data. Good
use of de-duplication and compression will help you avoid storage of redundant data and optimize storage space.

Storage De-Duplication
Storage De-Duplication

Storage de-duplication is a method that refers to the elimination of redundant data. If there is
redundant data, the duplicate is deleted, thereby leaving just one copy of the data to be stored.
De-duplication considerably reduces the amount of storage space needed. It is effectively used
in applications where similar or identical copies of data are stored on a single disk or in case
of data backups where most of the data has not changed since the previous backup. Storage
de-duplication can be done by comparing two les and deleting the older one or the le that is
not needed.
Commercial de-duplication solutions involve complex methods to nd the duplicate data. Most
commercial de-duplication standards use data encryption techniques to create a unique hash.
This hash can be compared with any other hash to determine if the data is unique or redundant.
The advantages of storage de-duplication are:

Reduced hardware cost.

Reduced backup cost.

Reduced disaster recovery cost.

Increased efficiency of storage.

Increased bandwidth.

De-duplication occurs inline (as the data is being written) or post-process (after it has been
written).

De-duplication Technique
Description
Inline de-duplication

240

A method of de-duplicating data before it is written onto the disk, thereby, signicantly increasing the capacity of the raw disk. Inline de-duplication is cost
effective and also very efficient. However, inline de-duplication has the disadvantage of slowing down the entire data backup process.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 10
De-duplication Technique
Description
Post-process
de-duplication

A method that waits for the data to be written onto the disk before it initiates
the de-duplication process. Therefore, the raw disk capacity required for postprocess de-duplication is greater when compared to inline de-duplication. Postprocess de-duplication requires large storage disk arrays, thereby, increasing
cost implications.

De-duplication Methods
Storage de-duplication involves updating tracking information, storing unique data, and omitting any duplicate data. The methods for de-duplication can be categorized as hash based
de-duplication, delta based de-duplication, spatial data de-duplication, and temporal data
de-duplication.

De-duplication
Method

De-duplication Methods (2
slides)

Description

Hash based
de-duplication

Uses hash functions to identify segments of data and provides a mechanism to


nd data that is duplicated, thereby eliminating redundancy. This method is also
called the block level data de-duplication method because the segments of data
identied by the hash are also called blocks. As the size of the segment
increases, the ratio of data de-duplication decreases.

Delta based
de-duplication

Stores data in the form of differences from a baseline copy. The baseline is the
exact copy of data at a particular time and is used to re-create various other versions of that data.

Spatial
de-duplication

Detects and reduces data redundancy across various les. It supports data
de-duplication for les that reside within a single system as well as les across
multiple le systems.

Temporal
de-duplication

Detects and reduces data redundancy within the same le at different points in
time. As the amount of data and the number of les increase, data redundancy
also increases. It is more efficient to de-duplicate redundant data in different
points in time rather than de-duplicating between different les.

Appliance based
de-duplication

Offers quick deployment and integrates with the existing backup software. As the
capacity requirements increase, there is a constant need for additional hardware
appliances, thereby increasing the complexity levels. In appliance based
de-duplication, the de-duplication is limited to separate appliances. Flexibility
and scalability are also limited. This method is a popular approach to
de-duplicate data in disk-to-disk backup environments.

Software based
de-duplication

Virtualizes the disk storage, thereby, making the disk capacity more exible.
Unlike appliance based de-duplication, where de-duplication is limited to separate appliances, the software based de-duplication covers a larger set of data. The
de-duplication processing is distributed across multiple clients and servers to
optimize performance.

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LESSON 10
Compression
Compression

Compression is the process of encoding data to reduce its storage requirements. Data that is
de-duplicated can also be compressed. Compression reduces the consumption of resources such
as hard disk space or transmission bandwidth. However, the compressed data should be
decompressed before it can be used. This proves to be a major disadvantage because some
applications may require expensive hardware for decompressing and the decompressed data
may also require additional storage space. Compression can be of two types: lossless and lossy.
Lossless data compression is a data compression technique in which no data is lost. This technique can reduce the storage space needed only by about 50%. It is used in cases where it is
necessary for the decompressed data to be identical to the original data. For example, executable les, source code, and text documents.
Lossy data compression is a data compression technique where some amount of data is lost.
This technique attempts at eliminating redundant data to minimize the amount of data. Lossy
data compression is commonly used in compressing multimedia content such as audio, video,
and images.

Single Instance Storage


Single Instance Storage

Single instance storage is the process of replacing duplicate les with reference to a shared
copy. It enables the system to keep one copy of the content that is shared by multiple users or
computers, replacing the other le with links, which direct to the single store. It is not necessary for the les to be in the same folder or have the same name to be treated as identical
les, but they should be in the same volume, have the same size, and the contents of both les
need to match.
When single instance storage is enabled on a volume, a common folder is created on that volume to store all the single copies of the les with an SIS extension. It is commonly
implemented in le systems, backups, and storage related solutions. The primary benet of
single instance storage is not to reduce disk space, but to enhance efficiency. While taking
backups of les, single instance storage avoids storing duplicate copies of same les.

Storage Performance and Capacity Implications


Storage Performance and
Capacity Implications

Data de-duplication and compression play a major role in optimizing storage performance and
capacity implications by reducing the consumption of space required. Optimizing storage provides an efficient infrastructure, which responds effectively to the dynamic business
requirements. The benets of optimizing capacity using de-duplication include saving cost,
reducing risk, and improving performance.
Storage equipment and capital expenditures can also be reduced. As a result, the expenses for
power, cooling, and labor can also be simultaneously reduced. Optimizing storage performance
and capacity requirements help in removing constraints on data growth and improving their
service levels.

Reduction Ratios vs. Data Types


Reduction Ratios vs. Data
Types

242

The reduction ratio for data de-duplication is the number of bytes input to a de-duplication
process divided by the number of bytes output from the same process. In other words, Reduction ratio = Bytes in/Bytes out. It is depicted as ratio:1 or ratio X. Ratios can be compared
only under similar assumptions. Lower the space reduction ratio, the more space it saves.

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LESSON 10
In the data type compression, xed data types are converted to variable data types. This compression reduces size by removing the extra bytes. For example, consider a table with a
column CHAR(50). In a xed data type, this column will use all the 50 characters irrespective
of the actual value it stores. Therefore, if you store the word hello, it will take up a space of
50 characters. However, when it is stored in a variable data type, it uses up only ve characters. This reduces size by almost 95%.

ACTIVITY 10-4
Discussing De-duplication and Compression
Techniques
Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss how to de-duplicate data to avoid redundancy and also examine the compression techniques for optimizing storage space.

1.

Single instance storageis the process of replacing duplicate files with reference to a
shared copy.

2.

True or False? Lossy data compression attempts at eliminating redundant data.


True
False

3.

True or False? The primary benefit of single instance storage is to reduce disk space.
True
False

4.

What are the advantages of storage de-duplication? (Select all that apply.)
a) Reduced disaster recovery cost
b) Increased bandwidth
c) Increased storage efficiency
d) Takes backups of files

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LESSON 10

TOPIC E
Describe Management Protocols
and Interfaces
In the previous topic, you described storage de-duplication and compression. Additionally, you
should have certain standardized network management protocols and interfaces to efficiently
manage storage. In this topic, you will describe the management protocols and interfaces.
When the scope of your computing network extends beyond a single LAN and a few PCs,
effective network management is possible only with a set of network-management tools. To
deal with this type of installation, you need a network-management system that is based on
standardized network-management protocols and interfaces.

Storage Management Protocols


Storage Management
Protocols

244

Certain storage management protocols enable a storage administrator to manage a storage network efficiently.

Protocol

Description

SNMP

The very common system management infrastructure is based on Simple Network


Management Protocol. The SNMP protocol is based on the manager/agent model. It
comprises an SNMP manager and agent, management information, SNMP devices,
and other network protocols.
The primary objective of the SNMP manager is to provide an interface between the
user and the management system. The SNMP agent, on the other hand, provides an
interface between the manager and the physical devices that are to be managed. The
ve basic messages used by the SNMP protocol to communicate between the manager and the agent are GetRequest, GetNextRequest, SetRequest, GetResponse, and
Trap.
As time went on, SNMP became the accepted standard for monitoring network status. However, network technology has evolved and storage resources have become
more distributed. Despite attempts to expand its capabilities, SNMP can no longer
fulll these demands.

CIM

The Common Information Model (CIM) is an open standard that denes how in an
IT environment, managed elements are represented as a common set of objects and
relationships between them. This allows consistent management of managed elements
irrespective of their provider. The CIM standard includes CIM Infrastructure Specication and CIM Schema.
CIM Infrastructure Specication: This denes the architecture and concepts of
CIM. The CIM architecture is object oriented. The managed elements are CIM
classes and the relationships between them are CIM associations.
CIM Schema: The CIM has a conceptual schema that denes the common base for
the managed elements represented by a specic set of objects and the relationships
between them. The CIM schema includes elements such as operating systems, networks, storage, and middleware.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 10
Protocol

Description

WBEM

Web Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) is a set of system management technologies used for combining the management of distributed computing environments.
The features of WBEM include:

SMI-S

Management of applications.
Management of several instances of an application as a single unit.
Standard interface for application management in different platforms.
Decoupling of application management from clients.
Publishing of key information about an application.

Storage Management Initiative Specication (SMI-S) is an interface standard, developed by the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA) in 2002 to provide
interoperability between storage products of multiple vendors which are used in a
SAN environment. It provides common protocols and data models to ensure end user
manageability.
SMI-S denes the common attributes of each of the components in a SAN environment thereby making it platform independent. SMI-S also enables addition of new
devices with less difficulty. It provides features such as security, performance,
virtualization, and fault reporting.
The SMI-S entities can be classied into two divisions.
ClientsManagement applications that reside within a network. They have a
communication link with the providers.
ServersServers can be disk arrays, host bus adaptors, switches, tape drives, and
other such devices under management.

Storage Administration Interfaces


Storage administration interfaces are used to dene the storage management protocols.

Interface

Description

CLI

A command line interface is an interface that allows you to interact with a computer
by typing commands to perform specic tasks. The system waits for the user to submit
a command by typing the text and pressing Enter. The simple command line interpreter receives and executes the user command. Then the command returns the output
in the form of text lines on the CLI. Whereas, an advanced CLI will validate, interpret,
and expand the command line before executing the command.

Telnet

A telnet program connects a computer to the server on a network. The commands


entered will be executed as if on a server console. This lets you to control and communicate with the server. Before starting a telnet session, you must rst log in to the
server.

SSH

The Secure Shell program enables you to log in to another system on your network so
that you can execute commands in a remote machine and move your les to another
computer. It provides authentication and secure communication over a network. It
secures a network from IP spoong, DNS spoong, and IP source routing.
When using the SSH login, the entire login session is encrypted making it impossible
for outsiders to track passwords.

Lesson 10: Describing Storage Management

Storage Administration
Interfaces

245

LESSON 10
Interface

Description

HTTP/S

The Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTP/S) is a combination of Hypertext


Transfer Protocol (HTTP) and Secure Socket Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security
(TLS) protocol. The major goal of HTTP/S is to create a secure communication channel over an insecure network which allows encrypted communication. This feature also
differentiates it from HTTP which is not secure.
When a user tries to access a web page through HTTP/S, the website encrypts that
session with a digital certicate. Some websites display a padlock icon near the
address bar to indicate that the websites are secure.

GUI

The Graphical User Interface uses the computers graphic capabilities to make the programs easier to use. GUIs are much easier to use than the complex command line
interfaces. The basic components featured by GUI are:
Pointer: An onscreen symbol that you can move to select objects. The pointer usually appears as a small arrow.
Pointing Device: A device that lets you select objects. Example: mouse, trackball.
Icons: Small pictures that represent commands and les.
Desktop: The area where the icons are grouped.

Serial

The serial interface is used to transfer bits of data serially. This interface transmits 8
bits of data at a time.

In-Band vs. Out-of-Band Management


In-Band vs. Out-of-Band
Management

246

In-band and out-of-band management integrate with the storage management software, thereby
creating better management capabilities. They also support multiple heterogeneous hosts and
provide increased scalability and reliability.

Management Type

Description

In-band management

The management access and processing is done by the host system. The storage
array is not directly connected to the storage arrays management server. Management requests, functions, and responses are all processed by the operating
system.
The advantage of in-band management is that no additional processing environment, network, or hardware is required. The disadvantage of this is that if the
network is not operational, then the remote management will not be available
either. In-band management may use resources that are already being over utilized, thereby having a negative impact on the system.

Out-of-band management

The storage array is directly connected to the storage arrays management server.
It assists network administrators to access remote network devices even when
the primary network is unavailable. Even though it consists of a terminal server
residing on a secondary maintenance network, it is able to contact network
devices on the primary network through cable connections. It reduces repair cost
and creates a more effective business model.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

ACTIVITY 10-5

LESSON 10

Examining Management Protocols and Interfaces


Scenario:
To efficiently manage your network, you will need to have knowledge of some standard protocols and interfaces.

1.

Which storage administration interface allows you to log in to another computer on a


network?
a) Telnet
b) SSH
c) CLI
d) GUI

2.

Which protocol provides interoperability between storage products of different vendors in a SAN environment?
a) CIM
b) SNMP
c) SMI-S
d) WBEM

3.

TheSimple Network Management Protocolis based on the manager/agent model.

TOPIC F
Examine ILM
In the previous topic, you examined the various management protocols and interfaces. Data has
to be managed from the time it is created, throughout its life cycle, until it is discarded. In this
topic, you will describe ILM.
Data and information need to be managed on the storage network over their entire life cycle
within your organization. Your knowledge of the Information Lifecycle Management will
enable you to determine the management requirements of your storage network.

ILM
Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is, as the name suggests, the management of information from the cradle to its grave. It consists of policies, practices, tools, and processes that
are used to align the value of information with cost-effective IT infrastructure.

Lesson 10: Describing Storage Management

ILM (2 slides)

247

LESSON 10
Management policies and service levels are taken into consideration while aligning information. ILM deals with all data aspects and not just automating storage procedures. A more
complex criteria, rather than just frequency of access and data age for storage management, is
also enabled. Data is organized into separate tiers based on specic policies. All data that is
accessed frequently is stored on a faster, but expensive storage media while less critical data is
stored on a slower, cheaper media. However, the importance of data does not entirely depend
on its frequency of access.
The stored information is then archived so that it can be searched and retrieved when required.
The retrieved information can be updated or reviewed and then be archived again. Finally, the
information is destroyed in a secure manner.
Some advantages of ILM are:

ConsistencyInformation is managed in a consistent way irrespective of the system by


which it was created.

InclusivenessIt is useful in including transient information and raw data as and when
required, regardless of the format (electronic or hard copy).

Pro-activenessILM follows a futuristic approach. It helps you look ahead, plan accordingly, and avoid unpleasant surprises.

ProportionalityIt lets the user to decide which elements are relevant thereby avoiding a
heavy management burden where it is not necessary.

FlexibilityILM is not dependent on any particular technology. Even though new technologies may emerge, the approach of ILM will still be valid.

Figure 10-3: Information Lifecycle Management.

Data Migration Strategies


Data Migration Strategies

248

Data migration refers to the process of transferring or migrating data between different storage
types or formats. It is particularly useful in situations where organizations upgrade their systems. The strategies followed for data migration may depend on four categories: storage
migration, database migration, application migration, and business process migration.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 10
Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) is a data storage technique that migrates data
between high cost and low cost storage media devices. Although it would be an advantage to
have all data on high speed devices at all times, it becomes very expensive. To overcome this,
HSM stores data on slower devices and copies them onto faster devices when required. A data
le on a disk drive is migrated to a tape device if it is not used for a certain period of time.
When this le is reused, it is automatically moved back to the disk.

Storage Tiers
Tiered storage refers to assigning data to different storage media depending on its category to
reduce total storage cost. Performance requirements, frequency of access, levels of protection
needed, and other considerations will determine which category the data will fall into. Because
assigning different data to different media is a tedious and complex activity, some vendors provide software, which automatically manages the process based on the company policy.

Storage Tiers

In tier 1 data, critical or frequently accessed data might be stored on expensive, high quality
media such as double parity RAIDs. In tier 2 data, seldom used or classied data might be
stored on less expensive media. As the tier number increases, the media used for storage will
become cheaper. Thus, in a 3 tiered architecture, the third tier might contain data on recordable
compact discs (CDs) or tapes.

Data Archiving
Data, which is no longer actively used, will be moved to a separate storage device for long
term retention. This is called data archiving. Data archives contain old data as well as data that
is retained for regulatory compliance. These archives are indexed so that les can be easily
found and retrieved when required.

Data Archiving

Data archives should not be confused with data backups. Data backups are nothing but copies
of data. They are used to restore data in case it is destroyed or corrupted. Data archives, on the
other hand, protect old information, which might not be needed for everyday operations, but
are required for future reference.
Data archiving process begins by determining how much time will be needed to store it and
how often it should be retrieved. The main purpose of data archives is to keep data secure at
every stage of its collection and storage. Care should be taken to regularly check archives for
viruses. Storing data in an encrypted format will also help to protect it. Data vaults should
have strict control on users who access the data archives. A complete log of who accesses the
archives must be maintained.

Data Purging
Data purging is the process of permanently removing all unwanted and old data. Purging is
different from deleting because it is possible to get back deleted les, but when data is purged
it is gone for good. In short, purging refers to the removal of sensitive data from a computer
or any storage device so that it cannot be reconstructed by any technique. Purging is routinely
done to make way for newer data.

Data Purging

However, purging can be highly risky for data quality. There is always the risk that you might
purge some important data by mistake. If the data structure is changed since the last purging, it
might accidentally purge the wrong data.

Lesson 10: Describing Storage Management

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LESSON 10
Compliance Requirements
Compliance Requirements

Compliance requirements are a series of laws and regulations. Data storage in any organization
is greatly inuenced by compliance requirements. Compliance requirements aim at ensuring
long term availability and integrity of data. Although there are over 10000 regulations that
inuence data storage, some of the major regulations are the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and
Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Even though the regulations
vary, the typical focus is on three areas which include retention, integrity, and security.
Retention states how long the data can be kept in storage. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act states that
all data including electronic records must be saved for not less than ve years. The consequence for violating the compliance are nes, imprisonment, or sometimes even both.
Integrity, also known as immutability, makes sure that data has not been lost or modied due
to corruption. CDs and DVDs are the common examples of immutable media devices.
Security, as the name suggests, provides security to the data and also prevents unauthorized
users from accessing sensitive data.

Data Preservation
Data Preservation

Long term retention of data is called data preservation. For how long data needs to be preserved depends on the compliance requirements and availability of storage space. Data
preservation involves management practices and long term care of data.
To preserve data efficiently, you need to transfer les to a preservation device (usually tapes),
index the les, take backups, and implement security procedures, both physically and technically. Not all data needs to be preserved, but only those important information that might
prove useful for future reference. Data preservation should make sure that all data continues to
be reliable, authentic, and usable and also maintain its integrity.

Object Oriented Storage


Object Oriented Storage

In object based storage, storage devices are treated as objects and not as blocks or les. Lowlevel storage management tasks like mapping les to storage blocks and managing le
attributes and metadata which are usually handled by the operating system are offloaded by the
intelligence and added to the storage device. It enables cross platform SANs, which is an
added advantage. Higher levels of storage abstraction enables data security while sharing data
across different platforms.

Value of Data
Value of Data

Data can be anythingfrom lling out a drivers license form to ordering a product online.
Data management is very important. The success or failure of an organization may depend on
how data is received, stored, processed, and made available for future use. Data is valued by
what purpose it serves. The value of data depends heavily on the users ability to access and
make use of it.
The true value of data can only be realized when it is properly organized, stored, analyzed, and
put to use. The rapid growth of technology increases the value of data day-by-day to such an
extent that it threatens to overwhelm the IT budget. This issue can be solved by efficiently
storing and managing data.

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ACTIVITY 10-6

LESSON 10

Examining Information Lifecycle Management


Scenario:
In this activity, you will test your knowledge of ILM.

1.

What is the process of moving data which is no longer active into a separate storage for
long term retention called?
a) Data purging
b) Data preservation
c) Data migration
d) Data archiving

2.

On which of these does compliance regulations focus on?


a) Retention
b) Consistency
c) Integrity
d) Security

3.

TheSarbanes-Oxley Actstates that all data should be saved for not less than five years.

Lesson 10 Follow-up
In this lesson, you examined the different techniques used for storage management. Having a
basic knowledge of storage management is essential for you to be a good storage administrator.
1.

As a storage administrator, how will you improve the performance of your SAN?
Answers will vary, but may include: forecasting the future needs and planning data capacity accordingly and implementing proper de-duplication techniques to eliminate
redundancy.

2.

How will you monitor the storage network in your organization?


Answers will vary, but may include: setting up thresholds and alerts to indicate the storage network administrator in case a problem is encountered.

Lesson 10: Describing Storage Management

251

NOTES

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LESSON 11

LESSON 11

Lesson Time
2 hour(s)

Describing Storage Network


Implementation
In this lesson, you will describe storage network implementation.
You will:

Identify implementation parameters of SAS/SATA.

Describe storage networks that use switch technology.

Describe storage networks that use HBA technology.

Describe storage layouts.

Examine storage network implementation environmental concerns.

Examine implementation and maintenance factors of storage equipment.

Lesson 11: Describing Storage Network Implementation

253

LESSON 11
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you described storage management. You need to set up a completely
functional storage network system in your organization. In this lesson, you will describe storage network implementation.
Implementing a storage network system is similar to constructing a skyscraper. Just like factors
such as soil strength and wind speeds may inuence the skyscrapers maximum height, there
are several factors and parameters that affect a storage network systems complexity. By identifying the various issues and technical factors involved in a storage network implementation,
you can build an efficient storage network for your organization.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

Topic C

3.2 Given a scenario, execute storage provisioning techniques.

Topic E

1.4 Describe the use of physical networking hardware.

Topic D

1.1 Describe disk types, components, and features.

1.6 Identify the following environmental concerns and their associated impacts.

Topic F

1.7 Use appropriate safety techniques during installation and maintenance of storage
equipment.

TOPIC A
Identify Implementation Parameters
of SAS/SATA
In this lesson, you will describe various aspects of storage network implementation. The rst
step you need to do is to choose the technology that you will deploy based on the characteristics needed in your environment. In this topic, you will identify the implementation parameters
of SAS and SATA storage systems.
As a network administrator, you should ensure that the storage system in your organization
provides superior performance to your storage network. You should be able to identify basic
parameters such as the conguration, compatibility, and performance of relevant storage solutions at hand. Identifying the implementation parameters of technologies such as SAS and
SATA will enable you to choose the right technology for your organization.

Conguration Characteristics of SAS/SATA


Conguration Characteristics
of SAS/SATA

254

All the things that make SCSI drives a better choice than PATA drives for an enterprise also
make SAS a better choice than SATA for the same enterprise. Some of the differences between
the conguration characteristics of SAS and SATA include:
CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 11

SAS interfaces use the full duplex communication system, while SATA interfaces use the
half duplex communication system.

Systems identify SAS devices by their WWNs and SATA devices by their port numbers
connected to the HBA.

SAS supports multiple initiators, while SATA has no such analogous provision.

SAS devices use tagged command queueing, while SATA devices use native command
queueing.

SAS uses the SCSI command set, while SATA uses the ATA command set.

SAS provides the multipath I/O feature to achieve port expansion, while SATA makes use
of port multipliers to expand ports.

SAS can extend cables up to 10 meters, while SATA can extend cables up to one meter
only.

Compatibility Characteristics of SAS/SATA


Some of the differences between compatibility characteristics of SAS and SATA include:

Though SAS and SATA possess identical physical and electrical interfaces, they differ
from their primary usage model. SAS is mainly designed for servers and enclosures, while
SATA is designed for desktop computers and disk array enclosures.

SAS backplanes support both SAS hard drives and SATA hard drives. However, SATA
backplanes support only SATA hard drives.

SAS uses higher signaling voltage than SATA and this feature makes SAS more suitable
for use in server backplanes.

Compatibility Characteristics
of SAS/SATA

Performance Characteristics of SAS/SATA


Some of the differences between performance characteristics of SAS and SATA include:

On a SAS system, data ow between a disk system and a computer is handled by a dedicated controller. However, on a SATA system, the CPU has to assume the responsibility
of transferring data.

SAS drives operate at 10,000 rpm with a seek time of 3.5 milliseconds and 15,000 rpm
with a seek time of 3.9 milliseconds, while SATA drives operate at 7,200 rpm with a seek
time of 9.5 milliseconds.

The maximum storage capacity of a SAS drive is 600 GB, but for a SATA drive, it is 1
TB.

SAS allows connection of more than 65,000 devices on one shared channel, whereas
SATA allows only one device per channel.

SAS uses SCSI commands for error recovery and error reporting, providing it with more
functionality than SATA, which uses ATA SMART commands.

SAS devices are designed to support mission-critical applications, while SATA devices are
designed for low cost environments.

Performance Characteristics of
SAS/SATA

SMART
SMART, which stands for Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology, is a
HDD monitoring system that detects and warns of impending drive failures.

Lesson 11: Describing Storage Network Implementation

255

LESSON 11

ACTIVITY 11-1
Identifying Implementation Parameters of SAS/SATA
Scenario:
As a storage administrator, you need to identify the implementation parameters of SAS/SATA.

1.

Which statement is true about SAS/SATA compatibility?


a) SAS devices can plug into SATA backplanes.
b) SATA devices cannot plug into SAS backplanes.
c) Both SATA and SAS devices can plug into SAS backplanes.
d) Both SATA and SAS devices can plug into SATA backplanes.

2.

Which statements are true about configuration characteristics of SATA? (Select all that
apply.)
a) SATA uses the full duplex communication system.
b) SATA uses the half duplex communication system.
c) SATA supports multiple initiators.
d) SATA makes use of port multipliers to expand ports.

3.

Which statements are true about performance characteristics of SAS? (Select all that
apply.)
a) SAS drives operate at 10,000 rpm with a seek time of 3.5 milliseconds.
b) The maximum storage capacity of a SAS driver is 1 TB.
c) SAS allows connections of more than 65,000 devices on one shared channel.
d) SAS drives operate at 15,000 rpm with a seek time of 3.9 milliseconds.

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TOPIC B

LESSON 11

Describe Storage Networks That Use


Switch Technology
In the previous topic, you identied the implementation parameters of SAS/SATA. In addition
to using SAS/SATA technology, storage networks can be implemented using switches. In this
topic, you will describe a storage network that uses the switch technology.
Implementing a storage network with switch technology is much simpler and more cost effective than other devices such as hubs. Switches enable you to expand your storage network. To
implement a storage network using the switch technology, you should be aware of the components that are required to set it up. By identifying the technologies involved in switch-based
storage networks, you can enforce the highest-performing storage technologies in your organization.

Cascaded Topologies
Denition:
A cascaded topology is a type of fabric infrastructure in which switches are connected
in a linear format, with each switch directly connected to a switch next to it, but the
switches at both ends are not connected together. The cascaded topology is inexpensive
and easy to deploy and expand, but it has low reliability and limited scalability. This
kind of topology is appropriate for localized traffic in which ISLs are primarily used
for traffic management or low bandwidth SAN applications.

Cascaded Topologies (2
slides)

Example:

Figure 11-1: A cascaded topology connects switches in a linear format.

Lesson 11: Describing Storage Network Implementation

257

LESSON 11
Mesh Topologies
Mesh Topologies (2 slides)

Denition:
A mesh topology is a type of fabric infrastructure in which each switch is directly connected to every other switch in the fabric. This topology is extremely reliable, because
no switch can ever be isolated from the network. In case of a link failure or switch
failure, all remaining switches can communicate with each other and form a fully functional fabric. You can use a full mesh or a partial mesh.
In the full mesh topology, all switches are connected together with the help of ISLs,
while in the partial mesh topology, some of the ISLs are removed. The partial mesh
topology is more scalable than the full mesh topology.
Example:

Figure 11-2: A mesh topology interconnects all switches.

Core/Edge Topologies
Core/Edge Topologies (2
slides)

Denition:
A core/edge topology is a type of fabric infrastructure in which a central connectivity
device, such as a core switch, connects every other switch in the fabric. This topology
is similar to the star topology that is employed in an Ethernet LAN. Edge switches
may have several hops that separate them from the core switch.
The core/edge topology is the most exible fabric infrastructure that provides a diverse
set of requirements such as connectivity, performance, scalability, locality, data integrity, and security. Because this topology uses the Fibre Channel Shortest Path First
(FSPF) protocol, which distributes load across all paths equally, its fabrics tend to provide very good performance.

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LESSON 11
Example:

Figure 11-3: A typical core/edge topology in a fabric.

ISL Trunking
ISL trunking is one or more parallel, point-to-point links that connect two ISLs together to create a single logical link. ISL trunking optimizes bandwidth utilization and enables load
balancing of traffic at the frame level to simplify the network design and reduce the cost of
storage management. A single ISL trunk can merge up to four ISLs and aggregate their bandwidth so that the speed of ISLs between the switches in a fabric is increased.

ISL Trunking (2 slides)

For example, after merging four 2 Gbps ISLs, the ISL trunk will provide a bandwidth of 8
Gbps.
ISL trunking eliminates congestion in a core/edge topology by evenly distributing frame traffic
across available ISLs while preserving the on time delivery of frames to the destination
devices in the fabric.

Figure 11-4: ISL trunking enables bandwidth aggregation in a fabric.

Lesson 11: Describing Storage Network Implementation

259

LESSON 11
ISL Oversubscription
ISL Oversubscription (3
slides)

ISL oversubscription is the ratio of the number of ports that send I/O between switches to the
number of ISLs over which traffic could occur in an FC SAN. The main aim of ISL oversubscription is to make devices potentially contend for greater use of a given resource such as an
ISL and to analyze the workload of each device. ISL oversubscription is mainly applied in the
core/edge topology.
The subscription rate for a sample fabric is calculated based on the speed of ports and ISLs in
use. If all ports operate at the same speed, then ISL oversubscription is calculated by using the
formula
ISL oversubscription = Number of ports : Number of ISLs.
For example, if twelve 1 Gbps ports are connected to an edge switch and four 1 Gbps ISLs are
connected to a core switch, then ISL oversubscription will be 3:1. It means that three ports are
contending for one ISL.

Figure 11-5: ISL oversubscription of ports that operate at the same speed.
If the ports operate at mixed speeds, then the formula used to calculate ISL oversubscription is
ISL oversubscription = ((Average of port speeds/ISL speed) x
Number of ports) : Number of ISLs.
For example, if six 1 Gbps ports and six 2 Gbps ports are connected to the edge switch and
four 2 Gbps ISLs are connected to the core switch, then the ISL oversubscription will be
2.25:1. It means that 2.25 ports are contending for one ISL.

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LESSON 11

Figure 11-6: ISL oversubscription of ports that operate at mixed speeds.

Advantages and Disadvantages of ISL


Oversubscription
ISL oversubscription provides technical and nancial benets to an organization. Dedicating
one device for each switch port is not the best way to use the available bandwidth of switches.
ISL oversubscription improves a switch ports utilization by fanning multiple devices into it.
This convergence saves money for the organization and also reduces the number of switch
ports that need to be congured.

Advantages and Disadvantages


of ISL Oversubscription

The major disadvantage to ISL oversubscription is that multiple devices may contend for the
single switch ports bandwidth, resulting in poor response time. Therefore, before applying
oversubscription, you need to know the bandwidth, I/O, and response time required for each
storage device.

The Fan-In Ratio


The fan-in ratio refers to the ratio of number of host ports to storage ports in a Fibre Channel
fabric. The fan-in ratio depends on the requirements of the application and host. For example,
if there are 5 hosts and 1 storage port, then the fan-in ratio is 5:1. The typical fan-in ratios
range from 6:1 to 12:1.

The Fan-In Ratio

The Fan-Out Ratio


The fan-out ratio is the ratio of the number of storage ports to the host ports in a Fibre Channel fabric. For example, if there are 2 storage ports and 1 host port, then the fan-out ratio is
2:1. The fan-out ratio also depends on the requirements of the application and host.

Lesson 11: Describing Storage Network Implementation

The Fan-Out Ratio

261

LESSON 11
Dual Independent Fabrics
Dual Independent Fabrics (2
slides)

Denition:
A dual independent fabric is a set of fabrics that share hosts and storage arrays, but in
which two sets of switches are completely segregated. There is no ISL between
switches and the two fabrics form independent naming domains. All hosts and storage
controllers must be attached to both fabrics to ensure redundancy. The process for
keeping them independent will be done by adding separate servers for the fabrics.
The major technical benet of dual independent fabrics is that they provide maximum
availability because one fabric can be shut for planned or unplanned reasons without
disturbing the other fabric.
Example:

Figure 11-7: A dual independent fabric with independent switches.

NIC Teaming
NIC Teaming (2 slides)

NIC teaming is the process of grouping multiple physical NICs into a single logical NIC to
provide fault tolerance and load balancing on a network. By doing so, NIC teaming enables
the maximization of high availability within the network.
In NIC teaming, even if one of the NICs fails, the network connection does not cease,
enabling continuous operation on other NICs. This method also greatly increases fault tolerance of the network. NIC teaming also allows load balancing amongst its members so that
network traffic is routed among all available paths.

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LESSON 11

Figure 11-8: NIC teaming provides fault tolerance and load balancing on a network.

ACTIVITY 11-2
Examining Storage Networks That Use Switch
Technology
Scenario:
In this activity, you will examine storage networks that use switch technology.

1.

In which fabric topology are switches at both ends not connected together?
a) Mesh
b) Cascaded
c) Core/edge
d) Ring

2.

True or False? Fan-in ratio is the number of storage ports to the host ports.
True
False

Lesson 11: Describing Storage Network Implementation

263

LESSON 11

TOPIC C
Describe Storage Networks That Use
HBA Technology
In the previous topic, you described a storage network that uses switch technology. Another
important component besides the switch that plays a major role in the implementation of storage networks is the HBA. In this topic, you will describe a storage network that uses HBA
technology.
Extracting the best out of storage systems is possible only through an optimal setup. This
means making use of some of the latest technologies such as HBAs that can perform I/O interface functions between the host and the storage device directly, relieving the CPU of additional
I/O processing workload in the process. By identifying the technical importance of HBAs, you
can prevent conguration and compatibility issues in a SAN.

End-To-End Solution of Storage Provisions Using


HBA
End-To-End Solution of
Storage Provisions Using HBA

Steps to create an end-to-end solution of storage provisions using HBA are:


1. Install the HBA, update drivers and rmware, and congure the HBA.
2.

Connect the host HBA and storage devices to SAN fabrics. This involves fabric port allocation by a SAN administrator and physically laying cables in the data center between
nodes and fabrics.

3.

Create zones in fabrics.

4.

Provide storage provisioning in the storage array.

5.

a.

Select hard drives, which will be used to create a RAID group.

b.

Create a RAID group.

c.

Create logical volumes that are commonly referenced by LUN IDs.

d.

Use LUN mapping, which allows specic front-end ports of the storage array to
access LUNs.

e.

Use LUN masking, which allows specic hosts to access specic LUNs.

Save and activate the zone set.

HBA Usage
HBA Usage

An FC HBA is functionally similar to a SCSI HBA or a NIC. Its mission is to provide the
interface and the bus to deliver data from external storage devices to the host bus. An FC
HBA supports either the entire FCP stack or its subset. For example, the FC HBA may support
FC-AL, but not the FC-SW functionality.
Besides topology support, the HBA provides the device driver needed by host operating systems. Many HBAs utilize highly integrated Fibre Channel Application Specic Integrated
Circuits (ASICs) for processing the FCP and to manage I/O buffering with the host.

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LESSON 11
HBA Conguration Parameters
Conguration parameters vary among HBAs because vendors use value-added features to distinguish their products from others in the market. However, some conguration settings are
common among all HBAs.

Conguration Setting

HBA Conguration Parameters

Description

Frame size

Restricts the maximum size of frames to avoid fabric segmentation. It is also


important to connect across IP WAN links on a network.

HBA BIOS

Allows you to select a boot device and enable it to boot from a SAN.

Queue depth

Allows you to set the maximum number of outstanding I/O commands per
device in a queue. Usually storage and HBA vendors provide documents that
describe how to adjust and measure the value with high performance.

Execution throttle

Allows you to specify the maximum number of I/O commands to be allowed to


execute on an HBA port. If a ports execution throttle is reached, no new commands are executed until the current commands are executed.

Sign up delay

Provides enough time to scan disks. It is more important for directly attached FC
disk drives than storage subsystems.

HBA Conguration Methods


HBAs are congured based on the type of lasers they are using. There are two types of lasers
available in todays HBAs: Optical Fiber Control (OFC) and non-OFC. OFC devices use a
handshaking method to ensure that they transmit a less intensive laser pulse if no devices are
connected to an HBA.

HBA Conguration Methods

However, non-OFC devices do not employ handshaking and will transmit a laser pulse even if
a device is not connected to them. Non-OFC devices are quite common in the storage networking industry because of their low cost.

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LESSON 11

ACTIVITY 11-3
Examining Storage Networks That Use HBA Technology
Scenario:
In this activity, you will examine storage networks that use HBA technology.

1.

Which HBA configuration setting allows you to specify the maximum number of I/O
commands to be allowed to execute on an HBA port?
a) HBA BIOS
b) Queue depth
c) Execution throttle
d) Frame size

2.

True or False? OFC devices do not use the handshaking method to ensure that devices
are connected to an HBA.
True
False

TOPIC D
Describe Storage Layouts
So far, you are familiar with the implementation of storage networks using different technologies. As part of administering a storage network, you want to create its layout so that all
functions of the storage network are administered properly. In this topic, you will describe
storage layouts.
Creating a storage layout is the most essential and fundamental aspect of the successful implementation of a storage network in an organization. By understanding the importance of layouts
and their components, you can choose the right tools and methodologies that are required to
manage your storage network.

Storage Layouts in a SAN


Storage Layouts in a SAN

266

There is no standardized storage layout of a SAN environment because the storage layout
largely depends on the SAN environment and storage architecture. However, there are certain
guidelines using which you can create a suitable storage layout for your storage network.
Some of the guidelines include:

Use disk drives that have small spindles with the highest RPM because disk drives with
large spindles will have slower speeds and higher latencies.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 11

Identify potential bottlenecks and load balance around the HBA, database, spindle, and
host system.

Use the expected database size to decide on the LUN size.

Perform data separation or partitioning to improve data protection and data management.

Identify the workload prole of applications or databases to enable you to understand the
nature of I/O, count, and expected service time.

Measure I/O metrics such as service time and latency.

Data Partitioning
Denition:
Data partitioning is the process of physically or logically dividing data into various
segments so that they can be easily maintained and accessed. In a storage server or
data warehouse, partitioning data will enable you to manage the data quickly and efficiently while maintaining the integrity of the entire storage system. Partitioned data
also facilitates easy and quick data movement across a storage network.

Data Partitioning (2 slides)

Example:

Figure 11-9: Partitioning of data in a database.


Uses of Partitioning
Data partitioning is mainly applied in data centers because they use large volumes of
data. Data partitioning, along with storage layouts, will provide an organization with
protected data and security.

Access Control
Access control is a security technique that provides the right to access data in a shared storage
environment. It is based on authentication, authorization, and data protection. Authentication is
used to determine the identity of the source of access; authorization grants or refuses access to
the stored information; and data protection ensures that the required information can be
accessed only by authorized persons.

Access Control

Access control mechanisms use a form of secure channel between the data on a storage device
and the source of access. However, access control can also be achieved by complicated cryptographic procedures to secure storage against external attacks.

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Storage Security
Storage Security

On a storage network, the access control mechanism is applied at various points.

Access Control
Point

Description

Host

Security at the host level is achieved through authorization, authentication, and


encryption. Database systems and le systems are also protected in this manner.

Storage network

Security within a storage network is achieved by zoning and Virtual Storage Networks (VSAN) and on Ethernet-based storage networks by Virtual LANs
(VLANs). These are always subdivisions of a network that permit communication
between host ports and storage device ports.

Storage devices

The normal access control procedure on a SAN is LUN masking, in which the
LUNs that are visible to a host are restricted. However, in a NAS, the NAS head
provides access control to various clients.

LUN Masking
LUN Masking (2 slides)

LUN masking is an access control mechanism that allows a specic LUN to be assigned to one
or more host connections, making it unavailable to other hosts. In a SAN, LUN masking is
primarily implemented at the HBA level and also in storage arrays, servers, or any device
through which all of the I/O passes. LUN masking, which is an FC-4 layer activity, is often
referred to as LUN-based zoning.

Figure 11-10: LUN masking assigns specific LUNs to servers in a fabric.

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LESSON 11
LUN Masking vs. Zoning
LUN masking is performed at the storage controller level, while zoning is implemented at the
node or port level. LUN masking provides more security to a SAN than zoning, because LUN
enforces access policies to storage devices. In addition, LUN masking completely isolates servers and storage from events such as resets. This is not the case with zoning. However, LUN
masking and zoning, when used concurrently, provide authorized and authenticated access to
LUNs by appropriate hosts so that inconsistency of data saved in the LUNs is avoided.

LUN Masking vs. Zoning

Faults and Conditions in a SAN


SAN faces a lot of problems in its components. As a storage administrator, you need to isolate
the faults and conditions in a SAN system so that you can troubleshoot them appropriately.
Some of the problem areas in a SAN include broken components, faulty components, volumes
of disks not visible, multipathing not being functional, and disk corruption.

Problem Area

Description

Broken components

The performance of a SAN is severely affected by physically broken components


such as cables, HBAs, switches, and disk arrays. A good monitoring system
involving various software tools from different vendors for all such products will
enable you to maintain consistent performance of a SAN.

Faulty components

In a SAN, one of the main components that make SAN function properly is the
HBA. A faulty HBA can cause link failure between servers and switches in a
SAN. Faults in an HBA are mainly due to the incompatibility between the HBA
driver and rmware.
Most of the faults in an HBA are sorted out with the latest rmware and driver
updates. Any port failure in an HBA can be detected using vendor-specic and
multipathing tools.

Disk volumes not


visible

Improper mapping of logical units to hosts can lead to this problem. You can use
specic software applications to map logical units and verify their linkage within
the storage system.

Multipathing not
functional

It happens when the devices attached to a SAN are not discovered by


multipathing software.

Disk corruption

It happens to hard disks and severely affects their performance. The major cause
of disk corruption is due to incompatibility issues.

Lesson 11: Describing Storage Network Implementation

Faults and Conditions in a


SAN

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LESSON 11

ACTIVITY 11-4
Examining Storage Layouts
Scenario:
In this activity, you will examine storage layouts.

1.

Which are true about LUN masking? (Select all that apply.)
a) LUN masking is primarily implemented at the HBA level.
b) It is the process of creating a storage resource and defining its external access paths
by configuring a logical unit from a disk arrays logical disk volumes.
c) It is an access control mechanism that allows a specific LUN to be assigned to one or
more host connections, making it unavailable to other hosts.
d) LUN masking is often referred to as LUN based zoning.

2.

Do you think data partitioning plays an important role in the management of a storage
network? How?
Yes, because data partitioning will enable you to manage data quickly and efficiently
while maintaining the integrity of the entire storage system.

3.

Which component of an access control mechanism determines the identity of the


source of access?
a) Authorization
b) Authentication
c) Data protection

4.

What is the main aim of LUN mapping?


To provide alternate paths for nonstop data availability in a SAN.

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TOPIC E

LESSON 11

Examine Storage Network


Implementation Environmental
Concerns
In the previous topic, you examined storage layouts. While implementing storage networks in
your organization, you might want to ensure that the implementation meets various environmental concerns that need to be considered. In this topic, you will examine the storage
network implementation environmental concerns.
As a network administrator, you need to ensure that the storage network takes care of the various environmental factors and concerns that need to be considered for an efficient and
successful implementation. By examining the implementation environmental concerns you can
achieve success in implementing a highly effective storage network that meets necessary environmental requirements.

HVAC
Denition:
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) is an environment control system
which regulates temperature and air circulation in indoor and outdoor environments.
HVAC systems are used to cool the servers and other networking devices in data storage centers by diffusing hotspots and keeping temperatures low and constant. Hotspots
are created when the environmental inputs to the server and other networking devices
are high in temperature or low in moisture content than the recommended temperature.
Diffusion of hot spots avoids the exhaust from one cluster of servers from affecting the
neighboring devices.

HVAC (2 slides)

The servers in data centers can have better functionality and faster speeds due to low
temperature and low electrical resistance. To achieve this, the temperature in data centers is typically maintained between 18.3 and 23.9 Celsius. Another consideration in
data centers is constant temperature. The servers and networking devices are prone to
temperature uctuations. To overcome this, it is necessary to maintain constant temperatures. Fluctuations more than 5.5 Celsius can cause adverse impact on the
equipment or even reduce the life span of the equipment.

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LESSON 11
Example:

Figure 11-11: An HVAC system.

Improper Cooling in HVAC


Improper Cooling in HVAC (2
slides)

As the amount of power consumed by a device is converted to the amount of heat generated
by the device, there should be enough cooling to cut down the heat. Improper cooling in a data
center reduces server performance and results in drive failures. This in turn increases system
downtime and investment costs.
Proper cooling reduces the chance of static discharge due to higher temperatures, controlling
the temperature and humidity. A chilled liquid system is used to satisfy the demands of cooling
in data centers.
Air handlers, chiller units, and cooling towers are some of the equipment used in the cooling
process. The air circulation in data centers is done by air handlers which intake warm air and
discharge cold air. The air cooling process involves passing air over air handler coils that are
maintained at a temperature of 6.1 or 6.7 Celsius. Chiller units ensure that the air handler
coils remain cold. These units are composed of an evaporator, a compressor, and a condenser.
The evaporator cools the water circulating within the air handlers and converts liquid refrigerants into gas. This gas is further transformed into vapor by the compressor. The condenser
converts this vapor back into liquid and then returns the liquid refrigerant back to the evaporator. The required number of chiller units depends on the size and thermal density of data
centers. The processes that occur within the chiller units generate heat that is disposed out by
cooling towers to keep the chiller cool.

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LESSON 11

Figure 11-12: The cooling system in HVAC.

Adequate Humidity Control in HVAC


Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in air. One of the major considerations in data
centers is to control humidity. Humidity control is good practice even if servers and networking devices function effectively at humidity levels ranging between 20 and 80 percent.

Adequate Humidity Control in


HVAC

High humidity levels should be avoided because condensation may occur within the device,
promoting corrosion. High humidity levels can also have an effect on tapes and paper media.
The operating humidity levels are specied by the manufacturers. It is always necessary to
follow the operating procedures/guidelines specied by the manufacturers. As long as there is
no condensation, the systems can operate at high humidity without any problem. Low humidity
levels can cause dangerous ElectroStatic Discharge (ESD).
Controlling the humidity levels can be achieved by a good moisture barrier in a data center
environment. Humidiers increase the humidity levels at extremely low temperatures and
dehumidiers reduce the humidity levels at extremely high temperatures. Accordingly, the
humidity systems can be engaged to establish levels of sensitivity.

Fire Suppression
Fire in a data center has a serious impact on IT and business. Such accidents generally occur
due to power problems, lightning, or thunder. Best practices should be adopted in data centers
for re prevention, detection, and suppression. When it comes to re detection, there are a
wide variety of re detecting mechanisms such as smoke, heat, and ame detectors.

Fire Suppression

However, re suppression involves using appropriate suppressants that eliminate the oxygen
from re. There are certain points to remember while using such suppressants. Firstly, the
suppressants used to extinguish re must not be toxic or harmful to people in a server environment. Secondly, the suppressants should not damage sensitive equipment and cause data loss.
Finally, the suppressants must be eco friendly.
Some of the gaseous suppressants that are widely used in server environments are Inergen or
IG-45 and Argonite or IG-55. These suppressants remove or reduce oxygen content in air and
avoid the environmental risk due to ozone depletion or global warming. Therefore, these are
not toxic to the environment.
FM-200 and HFC-227 consist of heptauoropropane and are used in server environments
around the world. However, FM-200 and HFC-227 are toxic because they break down under
intense heat and produce toxic hydroouric acid which increases the risk of global warming.
For this reason, these two products are prohibited in some countries.

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LESSON 11
On the other hand, FE13 or HFC-23 is also widely used to absorb heat from re until combustion can no longer occur.

Floor and Rack Loading


Floor and Rack Loading

Loading determines how many devices can be installed in a server environment. This is an
important factor because the devices in data centers generate heat depending upon the device
load.
Data center space needs to be taken into account when eliminating the problems related to
loading. The data center space denes the number of racks and other equipment that need to
be installed for servers. Floor loading is affected after the racks are overpopulated with equipment. Proper planning is necessary to ensure that the oor load remains unaffected.
The oor load planning involves managing certain loading factors.

Loading Factor

Description

Floor load

A factor that needs to be considered for weight consideration in data centers is


total weight of the entire oor load. Calculating the weight of the racks and other
storage equipment will help you manage the oor load. Considering the weight of
racks, cabinets, and other storage equipment is important when the data center is
not constructed on the ground oor of the building. The maximum weight capacity
is determined by considering the design of the whole building design.
Raised oor can also create loading problems. In such cases, you can remove and
replace its oor grid components with those capable of supporting heavier loads.

Tile load capacity

Load capacity of the tile is another factor to balance weight issues. Often data centers use tiles with varying load ratings. The load bearing capacity of the tile should
be more than the weight placed upon it.
The single point loading capacity should be considered for racks with casters. The
single point load refers to weight of the rack with one of the casters. Sometimes
two casters from two different racks can have the possibility of being located on
the same tile. In such cases, you need to double the single point load to satisfy the
tile load capacity requirements. The weight bearing capacity of the selected tile
should be more than half the weight of the heaviest rack.

Power Requirements
Power Requirements

Power is an important source for most of the cooling devices, servers, and elevators in a data
center. The power usage is dependent upon the computational load of the equipment in the
server environment. A best practice would be to separate power sources for devices that consume more power. Protecting the electrical system in a server environment from being
vulnerable to single point of failure increases the reliability of data centers. Power redundancy
for critical functions and standby power systems help in reducing power interruptions.
The designed power systems include necessary components such as power distribution units
(PDUs) to support the desired amount of power redundancy. One of the commonly used PDUs
is a rack PDU that is designed to supply AC power to multiple IT devices within the rack.
These power systems provide protection against failures and other electrical problems by
addressing power redundancy requirements.

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LESSON 11
Rightsizing of Power
The operating cost of power keeps increasing as per the growing demands. Data center operators need to provide sufficient power capacity and make use of existing power resources to cut
down expenses. Right sizing is done to ensure that all the equipment gets adequate power supply. Proper understanding of power elements such as Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS),
cooling systems, and computational hardware is essential for right sizing.

Rightsizing of Power

Data centers with undersized power have insufficient power capacity for managing heavy
loads. This in turn results in system shutdown and a delay in the expansion for future growth.
On the other hand, data centers with oversized power waste money on maintenance of power
resources which remain unused. A right sized data center is more efficient than a data center
with unused capacity. Right sizing ensures high efficiency and provides sufficient capacity for
managing high power demands.

Sufficient Power Capacity


One of the most important requirements in data centers is sufficient capacity. Setting up a system capacity plan ensures that there is sufficient power and cooling capacity to manage peak
loads in data centers. The primary goal of this plan is to provide enough capacity by supporting maximum anticipated loads at any point in time, but this can be wasteful because it results
in overbuilding and unused capacity. Due to excess capacity, the IT loads occupy less than half
of the capacity built in data centers.

Sufcient Power Capacity (2


slides)

A stepped approach minimizes the risks of unused capacity, saves cost and allows capacity to
match the IT load during the growth stage. A margin of extra capacity is added to power and
cool the current load. The stepped approach provides stopping points for re-examining the sufcient capacity if the future load is uncertain. At every stepped phase, IT organizations can
monitor the amount of power consumed by equipment. Depending on the uncertainty of loads,
the steps can be larger or smaller. In certain cases, the steps can be completely stopped if the
future load is certain.

Figure 11-13: Scaling data centers with sufficient power capacity.

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LESSON 11
Scalable UPS Systems
Scalable UPS Systems

Scalability in designing Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) systems has shown to be a signicant benet. Consider an example where an IT manager plans to cover a total capacity of 240
kW by assuming that the load growth would occur at 80 kW. If the manager follows a conventional approach, then he would install three 80 kW UPS systems and an additional redundant
80 kW UPS to support an N+1 conguration. Redundancy is required to take up one of the
power modules offline for maintenance. The nal conguration includes a four module paralleled system. This approach offers better scalability, but it is practically not benecial because
the cost of installing the full-size paralleling equipment is high. To overcome these issues, a
scaled UPS system is used.
Scaled UPS systems are low in cost and eliminate the need to purchase a large-scale paralleling system cabinet. Now, considering the same example, when the IT manager uses a scalable
approach, he would purchase an 80 kW UPS to support the initial 80 kW load. The scalable
UPS system has redundant built-in 10 kW power modules to support N+1 conguration, thus
eliminating the need for a redundant 80 kW unit. Once the load exceeds 80 kW, a second UPS
with internal N+1 redundancy is used. The same thing happens when the load exceeds 160
kW. The nal conguration to cover the total capacity of 240 kW includes three UPS systems
without any need for a fourth redundant module.
Scalable UPS systems mitigate the risk of overbuilding, while ensuring sufficient capacity.
Such systems can simplify the planned expansion of data centers and avoid downtime of
resources. The use of the stepped approach and deployment of scalable UPS systems enable
organizations to set up scalable data centers.

Adequate Division of Circuits


Adequate Division of Circuits
(3 slides)

Designing the power infrastructure of a data center includes using components such as PDUs,
circuit breaker panels, electrical conduits, and wiring congurations. Power feeds send electricity to transformers from a single power grid. The transformers transmit this electricity to PDUs
containing multiple circuit breakers, power cables, and power outlets. The PDUs are used to
power several racks and server equipment.
In most of the data centers, all small equipment use single-phase supply and all large equipment use three-phase supply. Both single and three-phase supplies use different breakers,
wiring, and outlets. In smaller data centers, power is directly divided from PDUs to the equipment by using electrical conduits or whips. This conguration works better with a limited
number of electrical conduits in small centers rather than large data centers.
One of the issues faced by using electrical conduits is that running each of the conduits
directly from the source to the destination requires a pool of conduits to cross over each other.
This in turn adds on further problems while relocating the conduits.

Figure 11-14: Power conduits running directly from PDUs to a server row.

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LESSON 11
To overcome the problems of whips, a better design would be to install electrical substations at
ends of the rows in the form of circuit panels. In this case, the power conduits run from PDUs
to circuit panels and then from panels to cabinet locations. This conguration enables the use
of shorter electrical conduits, reduces risk factors, and ensures easy management with low
installation cost. Most of the damages caused by a heavier object is reduced in a data center
room due to power division because fewer conduits overlap one another in a given area.
Another method that can be used to divide power among the electrical infrastructure is by
using busbars or common conductors that connect multiple circuits. This conguration is quick
and inexpensive.

Figure 11-15: Power conduits running from PDUs to circuit panels and then from panels to cabinet locations.

Power Capping
Care should be taken while designing PDUs. This is because power outlets connected to circuit
breakers can be tripped due to overloading, short circuit, or grounding. Circuit breakers and
switches must be protected to avoid power tripping. Power tripping can be prevented by power
capping.

Power Capping

Power capping is a technique in which server power utilization is maintained at a predetermined cap value. Capping avoids a system from violating the power budget. The basic power
capping does not respond quickly to the sudden increase in power consumption.
On the other hand, dynamic power capping can quickly bring back a server to its power cap
value upon identifying a sudden increase in power consumption. Dynamic power capping operates faster than basic power capping. Capping prevents the power demand from tripping a
circuit breaker and exceeding the desired power cap value.
Branched Circuit Protection
A PDU with branch circuit protection is free from overloading and hence avoids problems of circuit tripping. A branch circuit is formed by dividing a circuit and limiting
the current with a fuse or a circuit breaker. Generally the power from a PDU is
divided into multiple segments.
When there is an overload to an outlet on a PDU, then the overload is carried back to
the fuse or the circuit breaker. The presence of a single branch circuit affects all the
outlets of the PDU. This is because the PDU with a single branch circuit has only one
circuit breaker.
On the other hand, the presence of multiple branch circuits affects only those outlets
that are associated with one of the branch circuits. The outlets on the other branch circuits are protected and remain unaffected.

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LESSON 11
Grounding
Grounding

In addition to supplying power to data center equipment, it is necessary to save the infrastructure and people in the server environment from excess electrical charges. Such charges can be
generated by faulty circuits, static charges, or lightening strikes. Installing a grounding system
will solve these issues. Grounding provides a desirable path for the electric charges to go back
to earth instead of going through a person or piece of equipment.
To achieve a grounding effect, copper cables are installed below the raised oor of a data center and connected to the buildings reinforcing steel. This in turn improves the conductive path
to earth. These cables are then linked to a copper rod that is pressed deep into the ground. The
depth of the copper rod depends on the moisture level of the soil. Always ensure that data center equipment that is capable of being potentially charged by an electrical current, including all
power sources and metal cabinets, is all linked to the grounding system.

ACTIVITY 11-5
Examining Storage Network Implementation
Environmental Concerns
Scenario:
In this activity, you will examine storage network implementation environmental concerns.

1.

Which gaseous suppressants can turn out to be toxic?


a) IG-45
b) IG-55
c) FM-200
d) HFC-227

2.

True or False? The air handler coils are cooled by cooling towers.
True
False

3.

Which is the result of low humidity levels?


a) Condensation
b) Corrosion
c) Hotspots
d) Static discharge

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TOPIC F

LESSON 11

Examine Implementation and


Maintenance Factors of Storage
Equipment
In the previous topic, you examined storage network implementation environmental concerns.
You might additionally require to maintain storage equipment for the effective functioning of a
network. In this topic, you will examine the implementation and maintenance factors of storage
equipment.
The huge growth in data outside a data center means that business-critical information is
everywhere and the traditional infrastructure of an IT organization must change and adapt to
the new environment. Examining implementation and maintenance of storage equipment provide the key to meet the requirements of the growing enterprise.

Lifting Techniques
Certain lifting techniques are used to carry server equipment within an organization or during
shipment.

Lifting Technique
Server lifts

Lifting Techniques (5 slides)

Description
Most of the organizations specically have IT departments that manage IT services
from hardware and software to networks. These organizations have their system
administrators who install and maintain servers to satisfy the requirements of the
Internet and company networks. These administrators ensure that the servers are
organized and easy in accessing.
In certain cases, the technicians might need to carry the faulty servers to the IT
rooms. All organizations with an IT room should have a server lifter. Server lifters
are used to move and organize servers from one place to another within the organization. In addition to lifting servers, server lifters provide storage safety and space
management.

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LESSON 11
Lifting Technique

280

Description

Loading dock

Often the server equipment tend to be shaken while being dragged or rolled under
uneven ground conditions. The equipment in data centers can be protected from any
damage by having a loading dock close to the data center. It enables the equipment
to be rolled at a short distance directly into the server room. The loading dock
avoids the equipment from being offloaded from an elevated truck bed and carried
over a longer distance.

Freight elevator

Freight elevators are used to lift or freight goods rather than people. The freight
elevator should be capable of housing all equipment right from tall server cabinets to
wide pallets of equipment. To do so, it should be designed at least 8 feet (2.4
meters) high and 4 feet (1.2 meters) wide. In addition to this, the freight elevator
should have enough load-bearing capacity to carry fully loaded server cabinets.

Equipment lift

An equipment lift is provided with a shelf that is placed under a heavy object and
lifted by a hand crank. This lift can easily t between server rows and enable a person to elevate a heavy server or networking device into a cabinet.

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LESSON 11
Lifting Technique
Raised oor tile
lifters

Description
These lifters can be used for lifting access oor panel at short distances with minimum effort. It is difficult for certain people to bend or kneel down to lift oor tiles
because of back or arm strain. With the assistance of an standup oor tile puller, the
lifting of oor tiles is made easier. The oor lifter is light in weight, simple to use,
and portable.

Weight Considerations
An important issue that has a large impact on data center design is the weight of equipment.
Care should be taken to ensure that server cabinets and pallets of materials are free from being
damaged or crashed through the oor during transportation.

Weight Considerations

Weight issues can also be reduced by identifying the structural capacity of the building and
weight bearing capacity of the oor. In addition to these, it is essential to shed out unwanted
weight and set up server cabinets that are light in weight. Doors and panels in cabinets consume more space, so you can remove doors that do not need to lock and secure servers.
Shedding weight from cabinets has a measurable impact over an entire server row. The next
thing you can do is to remove unused cabinet components and limit the weights on the cabinet
and racks within a data center. During the purchase of server equipment, you must rst obtain
accurate weight information from the manufacturers. This helps to solve weight issues.
To add on more to this, you can manage load by placing heavy equipment along structural
columns. This is because the load bearing ability of a oor is more along the steel beams of a
building. Loading problems can also be eliminated by distributing servers over a larger area.
This in turn disrupts hot spots and balances load on the oor and racks.

Antistatic Devices
Denition:
An antistatic device is a physical device that minimizes the effect of static charges on
people or equipment in a server environment. Static electricity control and static protection is necessary in data centers to eliminate the issues of ESD that can cause
catastrophic impact on computer peripherals. When your body has high potential, the
electrons are transferred to the components you touch.

Lesson 11: Describing Storage Network Implementation

Antistatic Devices (5 slides)

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LESSON 11
To prevent any damage to the equipment in the server environment, it is necessary to
balance the charge between a persons body and the components touched. Grounding
will work to certain extent, but you can ensure better safety by using antistatic materials such as antistatic bags, antistatic agents, antistatic oor mats, and antistatic wrist
or ankle straps.
Example:

Figure 11-16: Person using an antistatic device.

Antistatic
Device

282

Description

Antistatic bags

These are plastic bags that come in distinctive colors like silver, pink, or
black. These bags are used for carrying electronic components that are sensitive to electrostatic discharge. It is always better to store Personal Computer
(PC) cards and peripheral components in these bags during shipment.

Antistatic wrist
or ankle straps

These are devices that drain the static charges from a persons body to the
ground. These straps contain ber strands woven over a fabric band. The
bers are made of a conductive material such as carbon. The strap is
bounded with a stainless steel plate. These straps wrap around the wrist or
ankle with an elastic strap attached to a grounding wire.

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LESSON 11
Antistatic
Device

Description

Antistatic oor
mats

These mats discharge the static charges when a person stands on it. These
mats are combined with a conductive material that collects the static
charges. These mats are used in conjunction with wrist straps.

Antistatic agent

It is a chemical compound that is added to the material surfaces for minimizing static electricity.

Rack Stabilization
Most of the capital investment is done in populating data centers with servers, desktops, and
other networking equipment that are housed within rack units. The deployment of rack units
ensures safety and security of individual devices and establishes control over the capital investment. Maintenance of these racks plays an important role in data center operation.
Manufacturers offer you several choices to tailor the rack design for meeting the specic
requirements of your server environment.

Rack Stabilization (4 slides)

Rack designs can be stabilized by using certain rack stabilization methods.

Rack Stabilization
Method

Description

Resolving weight
issues

The best way to maintain racks is to follow the weight specication of the
rack. Weights can be distributed on the racks according to the load specied
by the manufacturer.

Rack shelving

In most data centers, there is a requirement for having abundant storage space.
Manufacturers allow you to rearrange racks in such a way that the storage
space is more. Selecting a server rack with a depth of 6 inches less than the
actual depth will help you in expanding the storage space of the racks.

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LESSON 11
Rack Stabilization
Method
Using bolts and
anchoring systems

Description
Bolts can be attached to racks to ensure that they are tightened to rack manufacturer specications. This prevents loose or rusted bolts and avoids racks
from being collapsed.
Rack stabilization can also be done with an anchoring system that bolts racks
to the oor. A platform between the rack and the raised oor absorbs motion
and protects the equipment during seismic activity.

Introducing rack panels Including side and top panels to racks will offer security and protect the server
equipment from dust and other foreign materials.
Adding adjustable
shelf rails

In general, most racks are manufactured with two sets of mounting rails. Additional sets of rails can be added to simplify loading in racks. Manufacturers
give you a chance to choose the type of rails.

Rack cleaning

A major factor that affects rack stability is rusting. Humidity levels need to be
monitored in data centers to prevent moisture that leads to rust.
Periodic inspection of the infrastructure should be done to check signs of leakage. Leak detection systems can be used to overcome leakage problems onto
the racks.
Rack cleaning can be done using vacuum. If the racks are clean, then they are
prevented from becoming rusted.

Installing stabilizing
feet on racks

The feet installed below the racks can stabilize heavy loaded racks, casters,
and levelers. Casters at the bottom of the server cabinets help in moving the
racks. Implementation of casters necessitates the use of levelers for maintaining the level of the rack while moving the racks from one place to another.

ACTIVITY 11-6
Examining the Implementation and Maintenance
Factors of Storage Equipment
Scenario:
As a network administrator, you need to examine the implementation and maintenance factors
of storage equipment.

1.

Which are used to minimize ESD? (Select all that apply.)


a) Antistatic agents
b) Humidifiers
c) Gaseous suppressors
d) Grounded flooring

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LESSON 11
2.

Which statements are true about managing weights on racks? (Select all that apply.)
a) Heavier weights should be placed at the bottom of the rack and lighter weights can
be placed on top part of the rack.
b) Additional sets of rails can be added to simplify loading in racks.
c) Bolts can be attached to racks to ensure that they are tightened to rack manufacturer specifications.
d) Including side and top panels to racks will have serious impact on the rack making it
unstable.

3.

True or False? If you are using an antistatic floor mat, you do not need any other ESD
safety equipment.
True
False

Lesson 11 Follow-up
In this lesson, you examined how to implement a storage network. Organizations using numerous applications for communication, accounting, and management have to deal with large
volumes of data. They require a highly reliable and secure storage environment to ensure that
their data is accessible at all times. Implementing a storage network will help you in solving
these issues.
1.

Based on your experience, how will you determine the performance characteristics of
various storage systems in your organization?
Answers will vary, but may include: by comparing the features and benefits of various
storage systems.

2.

Which fabric topology is employed in your organizations storage network? Why?


Answers will vary, but may include: the mesh topology because it allows a fabric to function even if a link or switch fails.

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NOTES

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LESSON 12

LESSON 12

Lesson Time
1 hour(s), 15 minutes

Introducing Storage
Virtualization
In this lesson, you will identify storage virtualization concepts, technologies, and techniques.
You will:

Describe storage virtualization.

Describe storage virtualization implementation.

Describe the SNIA Shared Storage Model.

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LESSON 12
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you described storage network implementation. However, setting up a
complete physical network storage system and administering it directly is a thing of the past.
The concept of storage virtualization is gaining popularity among larger organizations, forcing
traditional physical network storage systems to take a backseat. In this lesson, you will examine storage virtualization.
Most organizations invest a lot of money in the deployment and operation of the storage network infrastructure for ensuring maximum productivity. Storage network systems are the
backbone of any IT organizations information management system and therefore, optimizing
these devices to their full capacity is an essential part of the resource consolidation process.
Virtualization is one such technique using which you can build a cost-effective and secure storage network for your organization.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

Topic B

3.4 Describe general virtualization concepts.


3.4 Describe general virtualization concepts.

Topic C

3.3 Explain volume management concepts.

TOPIC A
Describe Storage Virtualization
In this lesson, you will have the opportunity to identify all the concepts and technologies that
go into a storage virtualization solution. To start with, it helps to understand exactly what storage virtualization is and what it can do for your organization. In this topic, you will describe
storage virtualization.
Users expect servers to provide access to data any time, often from any location, with a minimum amount of management. With virtualization, users no longer need to know which
physical devices contain what data. Virtualization provides numerous benets at various levels
of technology. By applying virtualization to your IT infrastructure, you can reduce hardware
and operating costs, while greatly simplifying the management of independent systems.

Virtualization
Virtualization (2 slides)

288

Denition:
Virtualization is a technique of masking or abstracting physical resources into a logical
view, which simplies the infrastructure and accommodates the rapid pace of business
and technological changes. It increases the utilization and capability of IT resources,
such as servers, networks, or storage devices beyond their physical limits. It simplies
resource management by pooling and sharing resources for maximum utilization and
makes them appear as logical resources with enhanced capabilities. It signicantly
reduces planned and unplanned downtime.
CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 12
Example:

Figure 12-1: Virtualization enables multiple operating systems to run on one


computer.

Storage Virtualization
Denition:
Storage virtualization is the logical, abstracted view of physical storage devices. Users
and applications have access to the storage device irrespective of its location and how
it is managed physically. Storage virtualization allows physical storage to be shared
across multiple application servers and physical devices to be viewed and managed as
if they were one storage pool without any physical boundaries.

Storage Virtualization (2
slides)

To achieve this, virtualization applications create a layer of transparency between


physical devices and their view from the applications. Virtualization appliances cache
frequent data requests, often providing improved I/O performance. Abstraction of
physical devices provides the ability to mask data volumes from servers that are not
authorized to access them, providing an added level of security. In a SAN, storage
virtualization is implemented using three types: host-based, device-based, and networkbased.
Storage virtualization or virtual storage can be established by software or a device that
then becomes a common disk manager in a virtual environment. The virtualization
software or device creates logical disks (vdisks) that are mapped to the required host
or server in order to provide a common place or way to manage all volumes in the
environment. A virtual tape library imitates tape. You can complete backups quickly by
going directly to a virtual tape library.

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LESSON 12
Example:

Figure 12-2: A virtualized storage network.


Storage Pooling
Storage pooling is a storage virtualization method in which physical storage resources
are aggregated into a pool from which logical storage volumes are created. This process simplies storage allocation by eliminating the need to manage partitioned space
on physical storage resources.

The Need for Storage Virtualization


The Need for Storage
Virtualization

290

Some of the factors that inuence the implementation of storage virtualization are:

It addresses the increasing complexity of managing a storage network and reduces associated costs.

It ensures high availability and improved performance.

It enables the ability to choose multi-vendor storage components independent of the functionality.

It is not limited by capacity, speed, or reliability of physical devices.

It provides the ability to change and upgrade hardware without disrupting data.

It provides more storage to a host operating system, eliminating the need to provision the
host frequently with additional capacity.

And, it cuts down on the amount of idle storage devices in the array, reducing power and
cooling costs.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 12
Host-Based Storage Virtualization
Denition:
Host-based storage virtualization is a storage virtualization technique in which a host
operating system acts as the interface implementing the virtualization of multiple hard
disks. The host operating system introduces a logical interface between le systems
and storage device drivers. Disk volume management features of the operating system
are used to congure the host to identify several drives as a single resource, which can
then be logically partitioned between different virtual machines or applications as
needed.

Host-Based Storage
Virtualization (2 slides)

Example:

Figure 12-3: Host-based virtualization on a SAN.

Device-Based Storage Virtualization


Denition:
Device-based storage virtualization is a storage virtualization technique in which a
storage controller device associated with the storage media acts as the interface, providing disk virtualization services to applications.

Device-Based Storage
Virtualization (2 slides)

In case of multiple storage media, the storage controller of a single medium is


assigned as the primary interface; it also interfaces with the storage controllers of other
physical storage media. The primary controller is responsible for providing data pooling and metadata management services to applications. However, providing such
services is possible only if all storage controllers are from the same vendor.

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LESSON 12
Example:

Figure 12-4: Device-based virtualization on a SAN.

Network-Based Storage Virtualization


Network-Based Storage
Virtualization (2 slides)

Denition:
Network-based storage virtualization is a storage virtualization technique that is implemented within a network using dedicated appliances such as routers, gateways, or
intelligent switches. These appliances act as an interface between applications and storage devices, and provide the mapping of the datas physical location.
Example:

Figure 12-5: Network-based virtualization on a SAN.

Methodologies of Network-Based Storage


Virtualization
Methodologies of NetworkBased Storage Virtualization

292

Network-based storage virtualization uses two methodologies.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 12
Methodology

Description

In-band virtualization

In this methodology, virtualization devices are located in the data path between
the host and storage devices. Hosts transfer input/output tasks to the interfacing appliance, such as a SAN, which, in turn, transfers tasks to storage
devices. This methodology is called in-band because both the actual data and
the metadata, or control information, travel in the same path.

Out-of-band
virtualization

In this methodology, virtualization devices perform only the mapping of the


datas physical location and do not handle the input/output tasks directly. In
this methodology, a virtualization server is connected to hosts through an
Ethernet LAN. Whenever the server receives requests, it will query the
metadata manager to determine the location of data. Then, the server stores or
retrieves data directly across the SAN. This methodology is called out-of-band
because the metadata travels on the LAN and the actual data travels on the
SAN.

Address Space Remapping


Address space remapping is the mapping of logical addresses in storage virtualization to actual
physical storage. The virtualization system handles the process of mapping a logical address to
an actual physical location and presents the user with a logical space for data storage. The way
in which mapping is done depends not only on the type of mapping chosen to be implemented,
but also on the level of granularity to which the mapping is to be done. Mapping may be done
to the level of the hard disk. However, there may be times where it is mapped to the megabyte
or gigabyte level.

Address Space Remapping

Block-Level and File-Level Storage Virtualization


On a storage network, virtualization can be implemented at two levels of data storage.

Virtualization
Level

Block-Level and File-Level


Storage Virtualization

Description

Block-level

This level of virtualization is associated with an FC SAN. At this level, storage


capacity is made available to an operating system and other applications in the form
of virtual disks. Data blocks are mapped to one or more virtual disks or disk systems
and the addresses of blocks are distributed throughout multiple storage arrays.

File-level

This level of virtualization is associated with a NAS. At this level, storage capacity
is made available to the operating system and other applications in the form of les
and directories. Multiple les or directories are made to appear as a single le system with a common namespace associated with it.

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LESSON 12
Block Aggregation
Block Aggregation (2 slides)

Denition:
Block aggregation is a storage virtualization technique in which physical blocks of a
storage environment are converted into logical blocks. Using block aggregation, you
can aggregate two or more physical disks to form a single virtual disk. Block aggregation can be realized on a host, a storage device, or a storage network.
On a host, block aggregation is implemented using logical volume manager software.
On a storage device, block aggregation can be realized in the form of RAID or volume
manager functionality. And, on a storage network, block aggregation is realized in connection devices or in specialized servers on the network. Generally, all these block
aggregation functions can be combined at any time in a shared storage environment.
Example:

Figure 12-6: An SNIA block aggregation model.

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ACTIVITY 12-1

LESSON 12

Discussing Storage Virtualization


Scenario:
Your organization recently implemented a storage network and plans to implement
virtualization. As a storage administrator, you will discuss storage virtualization.

1.

What are the features of host-based virtualization? (Select all that apply.)
a) A storage controller device associated with the storage media acts as the interface
providing disk virtualization services to applications.
b) A host operating system introduces a logical interface between file systems and storage device drivers.
c) Dedicated appliances such as routers, gateways, or intelligent switches act as an
interface between applications and storage devices.
d) The disk volume management features of a host operating system are used to configure the server to identify several drives.

2.

True or False? In file-level virtualization, storage capacity is made available to an operating system and applications in the form of virtual disks.
True
False

3.

In which type of storage virtualization does the host operating system act as an interface implementing the virtualization?
a) Network-based virtualization
b) Device-based virtualization
c) Host-based virtualization
d) In-band virtualization

4.

In which type of storage virtualization does physical blocks of a storage environment


are converted into logical blocks?
a) Host-based storage virtualization
b) Block aggregation
c) Network-based storage virtualization
d) Device-based storage virtualization

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LESSON 12

TOPIC B
Describe Storage Virtualization
Implementation
In the previous topic, you described storage virtualization. Now, gathering all the information
you have on storage virtualization and putting it to use effectively will require some effort. In
this topic, you will describe storage virtualization implementation.
As your business expands, your virtual environment will require high levels of data availability, storage utilization, and non-disruptive data migration. By consolidating storage area
networks, you can extend the life of your storage and migrate more easily to new devices.
Before implementing storage virtualization, you must understand exactly what component is to
be virtualized, where it should take place, and how it should be implemented.

VSAN
VSAN (2 slides)

Denition:
A Virtual Storage Area Network (VSAN) is a SAN that is broken into multiple Fibre
Channel fabrics in a virtualized environment. In a VSAN, the specied devices from
multiple fabrics can communicate with each other using an FC switch without merging
physical fabrics. Through VSANs, it is possible to implement a single physical storage
network to deliver functional segregation without adding any new infrastructure. In
addition, VSANs can be congured separately and independently within a network so
that traffic is isolated within portions of the entire network. A VSAN can implement
any or all of the three types of storage virtualization: host-based, device-based, and
network-based.
Example:

Figure 12-7: A VSAN generates multiple fabrics.

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LESSON 12
VSAN Implementation
A VSAN is similar to a VLAN in network technology in which a SAN is broken into
multiple Fibre Channel fabrics using a single switch in a virtualized environment, but
that technology is provided only from Cisco switches. Created on fabric interconnects, the VSAN is identied with a unique ID, which is a number, and is also
assigned a name. While creating a VSAN, it is mapped to a VLAN which it will use
to carry Fibre Channel traffic over Ethernet. As with the case of VLANs, VSANs can
also be created with same name, but with different IDs on all fabric interconnects.
After a VSAN is created, a specic FC interface is assigned to it.
LSANs
A Logical SAN (LSAN) spans different fabrics that are interconnected by multiprotocol routers. In other words, an LSAN is a logical storage network that spans
multiple physical SANs. By implementing the LSAN functionality, you can logically
merge a number of SAN islands together. It facilitates communication between specic
devices through FC routers without the need for a fabric merger. The LSAN is administered using an LSAN zone, which identies various devices across different fabrics.
The LSAN zone allows devices from one fabric to be mapped to another fabric or
allows devices to be imported and exported among different fabrics. The LSAN facility
is provided by Brocade switches.

Server Virtualization
Denition:
Server virtualization is a virtualization technique that masks one physical server into
multiple virtual machines or servers. The physical server is called the host and the virtual servers are called the guests. Server virtualization enables multiple operating
systems and applications to run simultaneously on different guests at the same time.
Depending upon hardware capabilities, any number of guests can be established within
a host. Each guest acts as a physical device, capable of running its own operating system.

Server Virtualization (2 Slides)

Example:

Figure 12-8: A typical server virtualization.


Key Applications of the Host
Some of the key applications of the host are:

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LESSON 12

Server consolidation and cross-platform integration.

Consolidation for development and testing environments.

Legacy application re-hosting.

Software demonstrations.

And, simplication of disaster recovery.

The Virtual OS
The virtual operating system, also known as a virtual machine or virtualized host, is
the practice of running multiple operating systems on a single computer at the same
time and preventing applications from interfering with each other. Each operating system will function as a host and are collectively known as guest operating systems.
They communicate with hardware through a control program called a Virtual Machine
Monitor (VMM), which in turn virtualizes hardware for each OS.

Virtual HBAs
Virtual HBAs (2 slides)

Denition:
A virtual HBA is an abstraction of a physical HBA to create multiple virtual ports so
that individual virtual machines can be connected to each of them. Virtualization
enables a single physical HBA to function as multiple logical ports, each with its own
WWPN.
In a virtualized environment, a vendor-specic management application will initiate
HBA virtualization commands to the physical HBA, which, in turn creates, deletes, and
manages virtual HBAs in the fabric. Most importantly, the management application
will maintain data isolation between applications and virtual machines in the fabric.
The ports to which virtual HBAs are attached are called VN_ports. Currently, iSCSI is
the only protocol that supports virtual HBA in a SAN because virtual FC is still in its
development stage.
Example:

Figure 12-9: A virtual HBA creates multiple virtual HBA ports.

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LESSON 12
VTL
Denition:
A Virtual Tape Library (VTL) is a virtual tape storage environment created for storing
backup data. VTLs combine tape backup emulation software with hard disk architecture to provide a superior archival backup solution. Virtualizing tape storage helps
consolidate the data backup infrastructure and ensures the availability of a ready
backup when needed.

VTL (2 slides)

VTLs are used as an alternative to physical tape libraries because they are faster, more
exible, more robust, and more cost effective than physical tape libraries. However,
due to the large amount of disk space required for backup storage applications, it is not
always possible to set up a large number of VTLs on a single device.
Example:

Figure 12-10: A VTL backup data on a SAN.

Implementation Parameters of Storage


Virtualization
The parameters for implementing virtualization on a storage network are:

A storage virtualization entity should be administered from a central console regardless of


whether it is implemented using hardware or software and where it is implemented.

All administrative tools must run through the central console.

All operations should take place in a rule-based manner rather than a random manner.

The virtualization entity should remain hidden from its users.

Access to non-virtualized storage should exist in addition to virtualized storage.

Exchange of storage devices should be allowed.

Implementation Parameters of
Storage Virtualization

Advantages and Disadvantages of Storage


Virtualization
Some of the technical advantages of storage virtualization include:

It allows more applications to share the same underlying physical technology.


Lesson 12: Introducing Storage Virtualization

Advantages and Disadvantages


of Storage Virtualization

299

LESSON 12

It reduces hardware and operating costs for an organization.

It simplies management of independent systems.

It allows the physical hardware to have higher rates of utilization.

It reduces performance issues and unplanned downtime from faults.

Some of the disadvantages of storage virtualization include:

If hardware fails, all virtual servers running on that hardware would be affected.

Virtualization provides slower performance than physical storage.

It is expensive to set up a SAN.

There is no guarantee that all operating systems run under virtualization.

Challenges of Storage Virtualization


Challenges of Storage
Virtualization

Storage virtualization adds value to the existing storage solution, but its implementation poses
a few challenges.

Storage
Virtualization Challenge
Description

300

Scalability

A storage network without virtualization may have several storage arrays that provide independent storage. Each array is managed independently and meets
application requirements in terms of capacity. However, after virtualization, a storage array can no longer be viewed as an individual entity.
The environment as a whole must now be analyzed. As a result, the infrastructure
that is implemented both at a physical level and from a virtualization perspective
must be able to adequately handle the workload.

Functionality

A storage network provides a wide range of advanced functionality necessary for


meeting an applications service levels.
In a virtualized environment, a virtual device must provide the same or better
functionality than what is currently available on a storage array, and it must continue to leverage existing functionality on the arrays.

Manageability

Virtualization can be segregated into three domains: the server to the


virtualization device, the virtualization device to physical storage, and the
virtualization device itself.
The virtualized storage environment must be capable of meeting these challenges
and must integrate with existing management tools to enable management of an
end-to-end virtualized environment.

Support

Virtualization is not a stand-alone technology, but combines with the existing


environment. It is complex and often requires multiple management tools that
possess interoperability issues. Without a virtualization solution, many companies
try to consolidate products from a single vendor to ease these challenges. Introducing a virtualization solution reduces the need to standardize on a single
vendor.
However, supportability issues in a virtualized heterogeneous environment introduce challenges in coordination and compatibility of products and solutions from
different manufacturers and vendors.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 12

ACTIVITY 12-2
Discussing Storage Virtualization Implementation
Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss storage virtualization implementation.

1.

2.

Match the terms with their definitions.

VLAN

VSAN

Virtual HBA

VTL

a.

An abstraction of a physical HBA to


create multiple virtual ports so that
individual virtual machines can be
connected to each of them.
b. A virtual tape storage environment
created for storing backup data.
c. A point-to-point logical network that
is created by grouping selected hosts
together, regardless of their physical
location.
d. A SAN that is broken into multiple
Fibre Channel fabrics in a virtualized
environment.

What are the advantages of a virtual tape library over a physical tape drive? (Select all
that apply.)
a) A VTL is used as an alternative to physical tape libraries.
b) It is possible to implement a large number of virtual tape drives on a single hardware
device.
c) A VTL helps consolidation of physical space.
d) A VTL combines tape backup emulation software with hard disk architecture.

3.

What are the disadvantages of storage virtualization?


In case the hardware fails, all the virtual servers running on that hardware would be
affected. It is expensive and provides slower performance than physical storage. Moreover, all operating systems may not run under virtualization.

Lesson 12: Introducing Storage Virtualization

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LESSON 12

TOPIC C
Describe the SNIA Shared Storage
Model
In the previous topic, you described storage virtualization implementation. As storage
virtualization implementations are becoming more common, implementation practices and techniques are maturing, leading to the development of standardized practice models and
frameworks, including one proposed by SNIA. In this topic, you will describe the SNIA
Shared Storage Model.
SNIAan association that strives to improve storage network technologies and applications
has its own model of a shared storage network. Similar to OSI layers for networking, SNIAs
Shared Storage Model helps you identify the layers of a shared storage network. By identifying various layers and their functionality, you can construct a storage network that provides
improved utilization and reduced management complexity in heterogeneous environments.

The SNIA Shared Storage Model


The SNIA Shared Storage
Model (2 slides)

The SNIA Shared Storage Model is an industry-standard model for shared storage architectures
that illustrates how functional layers of modern storage architectures provide storage functions
in a network environment. The model is divided into four layers.

Layer

Description

Storage devices

Comprises all kinds of storage devices of a storage network.

Block aggregation

Includes hosts, connectivity devices, and storage networks. It maps physical


blocks into logical blocks and makes them available to upper layers in the form
of volumes or block sectors. Storage virtualization is achieved in this layer
through le system virtualization, device virtualization, and block virtualization
in the host, subsystem, and network.

File/record

Is made up of databases and le systems. It maps records and les to blockoriented disk volumes.

Application

Is made up of applications that access storage devices. In this layer, data access
can be achieved over a storage domain in different ways:
Through a database, whether or not layered on a le system.
Through a database, which is layered on a le system.
Through a le system that is layered on a block aggregation layer.
Through a le system which, in turn, accesses a storage device.
And, directly to a storage device.

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LESSON 12

Figure 12-11: SNIAs Shared Storage Model.


Why a Shared Storage Model?
The reasons why a shared storage model is used to build a storage network are:

It describes a set of practical, possible storage network architectures.

It describes a particular functional partitioning of services across the physical and


logical resources in a shared storage environment.

It highlights the fundamental structure of a storage system that has the largest
effect on the systems value proposition.

And, users can develop their own mix of architectural elements and choices
though it does not cover all possible architectures.

The SNIA Storage Virtualization Taxonomy


The SNIA storage virtualization taxonomy classies storage virtualization into three levels
based on what, where, and how storage can be virtualized.

Storage
Virtualization Level

The SNIA Storage


Virtualization Taxonomy

Description

First level

Addresses what is virtualized. It species the types of virtualization such as


block virtualization, le virtualization, disk virtualization, tape virtualization, or
any other device virtualization.

Second level

Describes where virtualization takes place on a storage network. It requires a


multilevel approach that characterizes virtualization at all three levels of the storage environment called host-based, device-based, and network-based storage
virtualization.

Third level

Species how virtualization is implemented on a storage network. It describes


the methodologies of network level virtualization.

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LESSON 12
Taxonomy Elements
Taxonomy Elements

304

The SNIA storage virtualization taxonomy describes ve different elements of storage


virtualization.

Element

Description

Block

In this element, various physical disk drives are transformed into a single virtual
disk with a large logical block address range so that it possesses sufficient capacity,
performance, and reliability to meet storage needs. Block virtualization overcomes
physical limits of disk drives without requiring additional applications.

Disk

In this element, the physical properties of a disk drive are virtualized by using disk
rmware. The rmware transforms the disks CHS address into LBA so that the
disk always appears defect free. If any of the blocks go bad, the disk rmware will
remap those defective blocks to a pool of spare defect-free blocks.

Tape

In this element, tape media, such as cartridges, tape drives, and tape libraries are
virtualized. Virtualization of tape media is achieved through online disk storage that
acts as a cache to emulate the reading and writing of data to and from tape media.
Using disk storage for tape virtualization improves the performance and life of tape
drives because disk storage acts as a buffer to smoothen the uctuations caused by
busy hosts or networks.
Virtualization of tape drives is achieved through the Redundant Array of Independent Tapes (RAIT), a technology similar to RAID. Tape libraries are virtualized with
the help of a technology called the Redundant Array of Independent Libraries
(RAIL). In this technique, entire physical tape libraries are virtualized to represent
them as a single entity.

File system

In this element, le systems are virtualized with the help of remote le systems
such as NFS and CIFS.

File/record

In this element, rarely used data such as les and records are migrated to inexpensive secondary storage devices such as optical discs and tape drives. Virtualization
is achieved with the help of an application called Hierarchical Storage Management
(HSM).

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

ACTIVITY 12-3

LESSON 12

Describing the SNIA Shared Storage Model


Scenario:
In this activity, you will describe the SNIA Shared Storage Model.

1.

What is the SNIA Shared Storage Model?


a) A description of storage devices and their differences.
b) A framework that illustrates the functional layers of modern storage architectures in
a network environment.
c) A specification and design of a storage network infrastructure.
d) A storage architecture that describes partitioning of physical storage elements and
their interactions.

2.

The SNIA storage virtualization taxonomy classifies storage virtualization into three
levels that focus on: (Select all that apply.)
a) What is virtualized
b) Where virtualization takes place
c) Why virtualization takes place
d) How virtualization is implemented

3.

Which layer of the SNIA Shared Storage Model maps physical blocks into logical blocks
and makes them available to upper layers in the form of volumes or block vectors?
a) Application
b) File/record
c) Block aggregation
d) Storage devices

Lesson 12 Follow-up
In this lesson, you identied various concepts and components of a storage virtualization
implementation. By implementing virtualization on your storage network, you can achieve
enhanced productivity, increased security, better asset utilization, and better management of the
storage infrastructure.
1.

How does virtualization act as a supplement to resource consolidation?


Answers will vary, but may include: virtualization places emphasis on the decoupling of
an application with underlying hardware along with the reduction of physical resources
required for processing the application. The decoupling of hardware from the application
allows the application to be run on any physical hardware or virtual environment, a feature that can help in the consolidation of resources required to process the application.

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LESSON 12
2.

What are the various drawbacks of using physical tape drives over virtual tape drives?
Answers will vary, but may include: drawbacks such as the high cost of hardware, difficulty in reconfiguring hardware, excess consumption of power, need for disposing of the
tape after certain time, and wastage of floor space.

306

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13

LESSON 13

Lesson Time
3 hour(s)

Examining Storage Network


Management
In this lesson, you will examine storage network management.
You will:

Describe storage network management components.

Describe SAN management.

Describe troubleshooting common network problems.

Describe troubleshooting common FC problems.

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LESSON 13
Introduction
So far, you explored storage architectures and storage virtualization in the context of planning
a storage network implementation. Once the network is up and running, you want to manage
your organizations storage network in a way that ensures the best performance. In this lesson,
you will describe storage network management.
Day-to-day operations on a storage network are divided into various categories, which when
put together, result in the smooth functioning of the storage network. Your understanding of
these categories and the roles that are involved in them is important for the success of storage
network implementation in your organization.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

3.6 Explain management protocols, interfaces, and associated purpose.

3.7 Explain Information Lifecycle Management concepts.

Topic C

2.6 Given a scenario, use the appropriate network tools.

2.7 Troubleshoot the following common networking problems.

Topic D

2.8 Troubleshoot the following common Fibre Channel problems.

TOPIC A
Describe Storage Network
Management
You are familiar with the fundamentals required to implement a storage network. There are
some unique aspects to storage network management that even experienced network managers
should understand before undertaking day-to-day storage management. In this topic, you will
describe storage network management concepts.
Storage networks involve a complicated infrastructure and specialized applications. As an
aspiring storage administrator, you need to be aware of storage management concepts to ensure
that the storage network performs as expected. Establishing an ideal storage management environment and implementing appropriate tools are critical to meeting your desired service level
requirements.

Management: From Simple Networking to


Storage Networking
Management: From Simple
Networking to Storage
Networking

308

A network administrator may be interested in knowing how data is transported in a network


correctly. The network administrator also considers redundancy of data paths, the capability of
the transport medium, and the operation of various protocols such as FCP, iSCSI, CIFS, and
NFS. Therefore, the network administrator is concerned about the data until it reaches its destination.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13
When data has arrived at its destination, the storage administrator is concerned with the allotment of LUNs to the servers of the storage systems or the different RAID levels. In addition,
the storage administrator is concerned with the depreciation of individual devices or any
investment in new software and hardware. Therefore, a balanced storage management system
should be used to administer the entire storage from the conceptual phase by implementing a
storage network.

SRM
Denition:
Storage Resource Management (SRM), also known as storage network management, is
the practice of optimizing the efficiency and the usage of storage space in a storage
network. Specic software applications are available for managing storage networks.
Using SRM, you can identify underutilized capacity in a storage network, identify old
or noncritical data that could be moved to less expensive storage, and predict future
storage capacity requirements.

SRM (2 slides)

The main functions of SRM include data collection and storage, data backup and
recovery, performance analysis of a storage network, storage virtualization monitoring,
forecasts of future needs of a storage network, activity logs maintenance, user authentication, protection from network threats, and management of the entire storage network.
Example:

Figure 13-1: SRM optimizes efficiency of a storage network.

Storage Network Managers


Denition:
A storage network manager is a storage network management tool that contains proprietary interfaces to manage components from different vendors. The tool creates, maps,
and congures LUNs without integrating heterogeneous storage platforms. It also supports various interfaces and provides the status of various devices. In addition, the tool
can display fabric topologies and can perform zoning functions in a fabric, but provides only minimal event information.

Lesson 13: Examining Storage Network Management

Storage Network Managers (2


slides)

309

LESSON 13
Example:

Figure 13-2: A storage network manager manages multi-vendor components.


Conguration Management Elements
The elements of a storage network that are congured to a storage network manager
include a host system containing HBA, peripheral devices, and the le system; fabrics
containing zones, zone sets, ISLs, and LSAN or VSAN; IP storage components containing LAN, WAN, and VLAN; and all kinds of storage systems such as disks, disk
arrays, tapes, and tape drives.

Components of a Storage Network Management


System
Components of a Storage
Network Management System

310

A storage network management system must contain some important components in order to
manage a storage network on a daily basis.

Component

Description

Discovery and
reporting

Recognizes the resources and applications of a storage network. In addition, it


collects the attributes and conguration information of resources. Finally, the
component evaluates and correlates the information and provides the data for
network topology representation.

Monitoring

Monitors the status of various applications and resources of a storage network. It


takes appropriate steps to raise an alert, based on the severity of the error that
occurs in an application or a resource. In addition, this component employs error
isolation to nd the actual cause of a fault in the storage network.

Conguration

Changes the conguration of applications and resources of a storage network. It


also simulates in advance the effects of conguration changes.

Analysis

Allows trend analysis of the commercial aspects of a storage network. It also


assesses the scalability and availability requirements of the storage network. In
addition, this component tracks down failure points within the storage network
through error statistic analysis.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13
Component

Description

Data control

Controls the availability and efficient use of data and other resources. In addition, this component controls the performance, backups, and archiving or
migration of data in a storage network.

Information Life Cycle in a Storage Network


Denition:
The Information Life Cycle refers to various stages through which information passes
from its creation and initial storage to its disposal or archiving. There are three stages
in the information life cycle: creation or acquisition of data, publication and use of
data, and retention and removal of data.

Information Life Cycle in a


Storage Network (2 slides)

When data is created, it often has the highest value and is used frequently by an organization. As data ages, it is accessed less frequently and is of less value to the
organization. However, some information should be archived for later use, while some
information should be discarded when it is no longer useful to the organization. Understanding the information life cycle helps you deploy the appropriate storage
infrastructure for your organization.
Example:

Figure 13-3: The three stages of the information life cycle.


ILM in storage networks refers to management of an end-to-end progress of events
taking place in a storage network. It involves the practice of applying business processes, policies, and tools to manage information throughout the lifetime of a storage
network. ILM manages information storage at the least possible cost, while maintaining appropriate levels of availability.
Data Management
Data management is the practice of applying policies, procedures, and architectures to
manage data as a resource to an organization. Some of the practices, procedures, and
architectures include the Information Life Cycle and Information Life Cycle Management (ILM), tiered data usage model, database administration, data mining, and backup
and recovery.

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LESSON 13
HSM
HSM (2 slides)

Denition:
Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) is a storage management technique in which
data is automatically moved between high-speed and low-speed storage devices based
on how frequently users access it or how old the data is. The main aim of HSM is to
reduce the cost of data storage and to simplify data retrieval from low-speed storage
devices. HSM systems store the bulk of data of an enterprise on low-speed storage
devices and then transfer the data to high-speed disk drives as needed. HSM is primarily designed to automate the process of archiving data.
Example:

Figure 13-4: HSM enables data storage based on frequency of usage.


HSM Software
HSM can be implemented by using software applications that increase the performance
and efficiency of storage devices by:

Monitoring the capacity and usage of multiple storage devices.

Migrating data based on its type, age, and frequency of usage.

Improving the performance of highly utilized data.

And, reserving the most valuable storage devices for important data.

Device Managers
Device Managers

A device manager is an application utility provided by a vendor to manage its products. The
management scope of the application does not extend beyond the product itself. For example,
an application utility for an HBA will provide the status, conguration, and port statistics of
the HBA alone but not its visibility to hubs, switches, or other nodes in a storage network.

Storage Device Management


Storage Device Management

312

Storage device management involves the use of a physical device manager to manage physical
storage devices and a virtual device manager to manage virtual storage devices.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13
Device Manager Description
Physical

Scans all physical devices of a storage network, divides the capacity of storage
devices into xed size blocks, and puts them in a storage pool. The storage pool acts
as a platform for managing all virtual devices.

Virtual

Responsible for creating, expanding, or deleting virtual devices and performing key
functions such as data mirroring or snapshots. In addition, the virtual device manager
controls the algorithm for converting logical addresses of devices into physical
addresses.

Path Managers
A path manager, also called a network path manager, is a software tool that works on
storage networks to organize and manage communication paths between various
devices. A storage network path normally consists of HBAs, LUNs, device controllers,
and a route that passes through the host-storage interconnect. The path manager understands all the data of an application and all the possible data paths so that it can create
optimal paths based on user-dened policies. The path manager also monitors data
paths, veries them, and recongures them in the event of storage network changes.
Storage Network Management vs. Storage Device Management
Storage network management involves management of all the components of an entire
storage network. Meanwhile, storage device management involves the management of
physical and virtual devices alone. Storage network management applications contain
proprietary interfaces that can manage components from different vendors, display fabric topologies, and perform zoning functions in a fabric. But, storage device
management involves the use of independent interfaces to manage vendor-specic
devices.

Usage Management
Usage management refers to monitoring the usage of storage resources by specic applications
and users, and enforcing storage quotas for various users and departments in a storage network. In conjunction with storage consolidation, usage management enables a utility model for
storage provisioning in the organization. The main aim of usage management is to control the
usage of storage resources by applying the utility model.

Usage Management

Usage Management Applications


Usage management applications provide support for:

Different host operating systems, storage platforms, and SAN fabric components.

DAS, NAS, and SAN.

Automatic recovery of SAN resource allocation and the fabric topology.

Backup applications.

And, integration of business applications such as databases, email, and search capabilities.

Lesson 13: Examining Storage Network Management

Usage Management
Applications

313

LESSON 13
SMI-S
SMI-S

Storage Management Initiative Specication (SMI-S) is an open and vendor-neutral standard


that enables management of heterogeneous storage networks. SMI-S, developed by the SNIA,
is based on Common Information Model (CIM) and Web-Based Enterprise Management
(WBEM) standards. SMI-S renes the classes of CIM to include classes for managing storage
networks. In addition, SMI-S extends the WBEM architecture into the Directory Manager and
Lock Manager. The Directory Manager helps simplify the location of resources in a storage
network, while the Lock Manager aids in synchronizing concurrent access to resources from
various management applications in the storage network.
The main advantage of implementing SMI-S is that you can manage a heterogeneous storage
network that is made up of hardware components from multiple vendors. Because SMI-S is an
open standard, it is also referred to as open systems storage management.
SNIA
The Storage Network Industry Association (SNIA) is a nonprot organization that
caters to the needs of the storage domain. The organization helps its members develop
and promote technologies, standards, and educational services that empower organizations. SNIA is a major force in driving forward interoperability standards in the storage
industry. SNIA comprises vendors who make storage-related products, ranging from
hardware to software.
CIM
The Common Information Model (CIM) is a standard for describing management elements. A CIM schema includes models for storage systems, applications, networks, and
devices. This schema also enables applications from different vendors working on different platforms to describe a standard format of data management so that sharing can
be done among various management applications.
WBEM
Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) is a set of Internet standards and the
Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) standards. DMTF is an organization that
develops, maintains, and promotes standards for systems management in enterprise IT
environments.
Requirements or Modications Needed to Implement SMI-S-Based Storage Management
SNIA developed the Conformance Test Program (CTP) to provide end users with a
trusted verication process of SMI-S-based storage management. CTP is made up of
master suites that ensure the implementation of SMI-S in an accurate and common
manner. The test suites have been designed to test the compliance of vendors SMI-S
implementation of various storage arrays, fabrics, or servers.

Policy-Based Management
Policy-Based Management

314

Policies are operating rules that can maintain order, security, and consistency in a storage system. Policy-based management is used to simplify management of storage devices by
establishing individual policies for managing les or applications in order to deal with situations that can possibly occur. The technical advantage of policy-based management is that it
can be used as an administrative tool throughout an organization that has multiple storage systems.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13

ACTIVITY 13-1
Discussing Storage Network Management
Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss storage network management concepts.
What You Do
1.

How You Do It

Which concept considers data placement, deletion, repurposing, and archiving?


a) SRM
b) HSM
c) ILM
d) SMI-S

2.

3.

Match the storage management component with its respective function.

Discovery

Monitoring

Conguration

Analysis

Data control

a.

Controls the efficient use and availability of data and resources.


b. Recognizes the applications and
resources of a storage network.
c. Changes the conguration of applications and resources of a storage
network.
d. Provides the status of various applications and resources of a storage
network.
e. Performs trend analysis of the commercial aspects of a storage network.

What are the standards based on which the SMI-S model was developed? (Select all that
apply.)
a) SNIA
b) CIM
c) DMTF
d) WBEM

4.

What is the main function of ILM in storage networks?


a) It enables automatic movement of data between high-speed and low-speed storage
devices.
b) It enables management of heterogeneous storage networks.
c) It enables management of information storage at the least possible cost, while maintaining appropriate levels of availability.
d) It enables simplified management of storage by establishing individual policies for
managing files or applications.

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LESSON 13

TOPIC B
Describe SAN Management
In the previous topic, you described various concepts involved in managing a storage network.
Now, you want to be aware of some of the important components that are specic to managing
a SAN. In this topic, you will describe SAN management.
Managing todays complex storage infrastructure environment has become very challenging
due to the number and variety of storage arrays, networks, servers, databases, and applications.
Some of the storage infrastructure management challenges are due to variances in capacity,
performance, and protection methodologies. By identifying the essentials of managing a SAN,
you can bring multi-vendor hardware and software under a single management umbrella.

SAN Management Requirements


SAN Management
Requirements

A SAN must be managed at various levels including the server OS, HBA, switch, and storage
array. The main requirements of managing a SAN include:

Controlling the resources of the SAN from a single source.

Monitoring the state of the SAN and its components.

Servicing the SAN to avoid network breakdown.

Identifying and resolving problems in the network.

And, providing preventive maintenance.

The SAN Management Hierarchy


The SAN Management
Hierarchy

316

SAN management is made up of a hierarchy of different levels of management.

Management Level

Description

Application management

It deals with the availability, performance, and recoverability of various applications in a SAN. It also deals with service level management and control,
resource optimization across business applications, and application optimization.

Data management

It ensures data availability and accessibility for various applications, proper


performance of data for applications, and recoverability of data at any point in
time. HSM and ILM are part of data management.

Resource management

It deals with automated management of existing storage and fabric resources.


It also ensures automated corrections wherever necessary. Resource management also addresses storage pooling, space management, capacity management,
and policy management.

Network management

It deals with the performance and availability of network paths and components in a SAN. In addition to managing zones, it deals with the control of
logical SAN connections, authentication of clients, and generation of an inventory of network components.

Element management

It deals with the management of elements such as storage devices, SAN infrastructure components, servers, and software.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13
Capacity Management
Capacity management deals with capacity metrics across a variety of storage subsystems and the management of both physical and logical volumes in a SAN. It also
deals with the conguration of LUNs and disk capacities in the storage network.
Space Management
Space management mainly deals with the efficient management of primary storage. It
also helps delete unwanted data, prioritize the usable space, and release unused allocated space in the storage.

LDM
The Logical Disk Manager (LDM), a subsystem of the Microsoft Windows OS, is an implementation of the logical volume manager that manages dynamic disks in a system. A dynamic
disk is a disk that can be partitioned into many storage volumes or combined with other disks
to form large volumes of storage. A dynamic disk is made up of a master boot record, an
LDM partition, and an LDM database. The LDM database contains partitioning information
used by the LDM. In UNIX and Linux systems, LDM is referred to as Logical Volume Manager (LVM).

LDM

LDM in Windows
LDM was introduced in Windows 2000, and is supported in later versions such as
Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and 2008, Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

SMI-S-Based SAN Management


SMI-S denes a set of management interfaces using which a SAN management application can
discover and manage elements in a SAN. The software application that lies between the SAN
management application and the element is called a provider, which is always SMI-S compliant. The elements vendor writes the provider and maps it with SMI-S requirements. The SAN
management application is known as the client, while the element to be managed is known as
the server.

SMI-S-Based SAN
Management

Some of the examples of clients include SAN management applications such as SRM, enterprise management applications, and virtualization engines. Some of the examples of servers
include HBAs, switches, storage arrays, and tape drives.

The Change Management Process


The change management process is a sequence of steps or actions that need to be performed to
efficiently apply changes within a large system or organization. The main purposes of the
change management process are to provide minimal disruption of services, to reduce back-out
activities, and to economically utilize the resources involved in the change.

The Change Management


Process

The change management process involves three phases: preparing for change, managing
change, and reinforcing change. During the rst phase, the change management strategy is
developed and assessed. In the second phase, change management plans are developed and
implemented. In the nal phase, data is collected and analyzed and based on the analysis, corrective actions are implemented.
In the FC SAN environment, change management is implemented through the Applied Fibre
Channel Protocol, which provides steps to bring an environment back to normalcy after
changes are made.

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LESSON 13
ITIL
The change management process is dened by the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL), as a set of concepts, practices, and procedures designed for
implementing changes to IT products and services.
To know more about ITIL, visit the website http://www.itil-ofcialsite.com.

ACTIVITY 13-2
Discussing SAN Management
Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss SAN management.

1.

Which of these deals with automated management of existing storage and fabric
resources in a SAN?
a) Application management
b) Resource management
c) Data management
d) Network management

2.

Which of these are requirements of managing a SAN? (Select all that apply.)
a) To monitor the state of SAN and its components.
b) To control the resources of SAN from a single source.
c) To partition a storage device into many volumes.
d) To identify and resolve problems in the SAN.

3.

Which component of an SMI-S-based SAN management environment is called a provider?


a) The SAN management application.
b) The software application that lies between the SAN management application and the
element.
c) The element that is managed.

318

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13

TOPIC C
Troubleshoot Common Network
Problems
So far, you described the different types of storage networks and ways to manage them. Sometimes, you need to handle problems that might arise in these networks. For that, you need to
have a sound knowledge of the various tools used for network management and the kind of
problems the networks face. In this topic, you will describe how to troubleshoot common network problems.
Problems like bad cables, bad connections, and incorrect congurations are very common in a
large storage network. Troubleshooting and using network management tools provide solutions
to such issues. Once you are familiar with troubleshooting, you will be able to handle these
common problems easily.

TCP/IP Network Management Tools


TCP/IP network management tools can be used to verify if a host has a valid IP address, if the
hosts IP addressing information is correct, or if the host is congured for static or dynamic IP
addressing. There are a few TCP/IP network management tools that can deal with common
networking problems.

TCP/IP Network
Management Tool

TCP/IP Network Management


Tools (2 slides)

Description

ping

This utility is used as an initial step in diagnosing general connectivity problems


and also to check to see if the target system is active. Ping checks the host
name, IP address, and reachability of the remote system by using and listening
for echo replies. Ping uses Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) to check
the connections with remote hosts by sending out echo requests as ICMP
ECHO_REQUEST packets to the host whose name or IP address you specify on
the command line and then listening for reply packets.

ipconfig

This utility displays the connection-specic DNS suffix, IP address, subnet mask,
and default gateway. It must be run from a command line. To display additional
information about the IP conguration, use the ipconfig /all parameter
with the command.

ifconfig

This utility displays the status of currently active network interface devices.
Using options, you can dynamically change the status of interfaces and their IP
address.

nslookup

This utility is used to test and troubleshoot domain name servers. Nslookup
has two modes: The interactive mode enables you to query name servers for
information about hosts and domains, or to print a list of hosts in a domain. The
non-interactive mode prints only the name and requested details for one host or
domain. The non-interactive mode is useful for a single query.

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LESSON 13
TCP/IP Network
Management Tool

Description

tracert

This utility determines the route that data takes to reach a particular destination.
Internet Control Message Protocol (ICMP) is a protocol used with IP that
attempts to report on the condition of a connection between two nodes. The
ICMP protocol sends out Time Exceeded messages to each router to trace the
route. Each time a packet is sent, the TTL value is reduced before the packet is
forwarded, thus allowing TTL to count how many hops it is away from the destination.

traceroute

This utility determines where the communication failed, if you are not able to
connect to a particular remote host. A traceroute command from the local
machine is used to see how far the trace reaches before receiving an error message. Using the IP address of the last successful connection, you will know
where to begin the troubleshooting and even pinpoint a specic failed device.

pathping

This utility provides information about latency and packet loss on a network.
pathping combines the functionality of the ping and tracert commands.
Similar to ping, pathping sends multiple ICMP echo request messages to
each router between two hosts over a period of time, and then displays results
based on the number of packets returned by each router.

FC Network Management Tools


FC Network Management
Tools (2 slides)

320

FC network management tools can be used to x various kinds of problems related to ber
channel networks.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13
FC Network Management Tool
Port error counters

Description
This tool detects the count of errors on its ports and uses this knowledge to
detect and debug a problem.
An Abort Error occurs when a connection is not established between two ports.
A counter increases the count by one each time a reconnection is attempted to a
synchronous port.
In the error code Abort Errors: 56/1, the rst number denotes the number of
framing errors and the second number denotes the number of device errors.
Framing errors are counted when:
A framing error is reported by the receiver chip.
An abort error is reported by the receiver chip.
Device errors are counted when:
A frame size is equal to zero.
A frame size is greater than the maximum size of a PPP frame.
A frame overlaps another.
A Cyclical Redundancy Check error or CRC error occurs when received data
does not pass a verication routine. A hashing algorithm is used to check its
authenticity. When a hashing check is performed, two different blocks should
produce identical CRC, making it a good tool to check for errors.
An overrun error occurs when a character is sent to the buffer at a greater speed
than the port speed, even before the previous character is processed, causing the
previous character to be overwritten.
A frame error occurs when a frame does not terminate with at least 1 STOP bit.
This is invariably caused by a hardware failure in a modem or line.

fcping

This tool is used to check for end-to-end connectivity. You can ping or send a
series of frames to an N port or end device by specifying the FC ID or Fibre
Channel address. The frames that reach the target N port are looped back to the
source with a time-stamp. PRLI Extended Link Service is used to verify the
presence of a Fibre Channel entity.

Name server

A 24-bit fabric address is available for each node in a SAN which is used for
routing and name server information. The main task of a 24-bit fabric address is
routing frames correctly between nodes. The name server is present in each
Fibre Channel switch and it works as a logical database that correlates the 24-bit
fabric address of a node with its corresponding 64-bit WWN. Using the name
server, the 24-bit fabric address and the 64-bit WWN are mapped to the authorized LUNs in the SAN. Also, a name server can be used for hard and soft
zoning procedures.

Rescan

This is used to update storage conguration changes by scanning any changes in


the storage attached to a port in the controller. By performing a rescan, the controller recognizes any changes in a storage conguration, such as adding,
removing, or replacing a physical disk; changes in a virtual disk or changes to a
RAID level.

Bad Cables
Symptoms: The nodes on the network cannot communicate. The router, switches, and individual nodes on the network are fully functional, but the problem still persists.

Bad Cables

Causes: There is a problem with network cables.


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LESSON 13
Resolution: There could be issues with network cables. Identify the issue and determine a suitable solution. Broken cables are due to bad cabling practices that include:

Bad connectorsCheck and replace faulty connectors. Verify that cables are properly
secured to connectors, and crimped.

Bad wiringCheck and replace the wires that are in bad condition.

Open, short cablesUse cable testers and locate open or short cables. Repair the cables
and recheck that the issues are resolved. If not, replace the cables.

Split cablesIdentify split cables and replace them with compatible cables.

DB loss and cable placementVerify that the cable is placed away from the source of
EMI. Identify and remove sources of interference.

TXRX reversedCheck the network port indicators on the system; if the link light is off,
there is an issue with the network adapter. Replace the network adapter.

DistanceVerify that the cables are run only for the maximum distance they are supported. For example, if an Ethernet cable exceeds 100 meters, the signal will deteriorate.

Cable Testers
A cable tester, also called a media tester, is an electrical instrument that veries if a
signal is transmitted by a cable. A simple cable tester will determine whether a cable
has an end-to-end connection and can detect shorts or opens, but cannot certify the
cable for transmission quality, which is the cable installers responsibility. Cable testers
can differ based on their intended purpose.

Figure 13-5: Network cable testers with adapters for testing.


Cable Testing
All wired networks rely on cables to transfer data from one point to another. Data
transfer occurs via cables with the help of electrical or digital signals. Certain cable
characteristics affect the quality of the signal being transmitted. Distortion and network
failure is often caused by bad cable lengths or poor installation.
To minimize distortion and network failure, cable vendors and network managers test
all cables using cable testers to ensure that cables are fault proof, and they transmit
signals correctly. The values from the test will provide a detailed understanding of
cables and allow you to compare them with recommended parameters thus identifying
cables that are out of specication.

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Test

Description

Collisions

Symptoms: High latency, reduced network performance, and intermittent


connectivity issues.
Causes: Collisions tend to occur on networks, because various nodes
attempt to access shared resources.
Resolution: Depends on the network. For example, on a network still
using hubs, replacing a hub with a switch will often alleviate the problem.

Shorts

Symptoms: Electrical shortscomplete loss of signal.


Causes: Two nodes of an electrical circuit that are meant to be at different voltages create a low-resistance connection causing a short circuit.
Resolution: Use a Time-Domain Reectometer (TDR) to detect and locate
shorts. Replace cables and connectors.

Open impedance
mismatch

Symptoms: Also known as an echo, the tell-tale sign of open impedance


mismatch is an echo on either the talker or listener end of the connection.
Causes: The mismatching of electrical resistance.
Resolution: Use a TDR to detect impedance. Collect and review data,
interpret the symptoms, and determine the root cause in order to correct
the cause.

Electromagnetic
Interference (EMI)

Symptoms: Crackling, humming, and static are all signs of interference.


Additionally, low throughput, network degradation, and poor voice quality
are also symptoms of interference.
Causes: RF interference can be caused by a number of devices including
cordless phones, Bluetooth devices, cameras, paging systems, unauthorized access points, and clients in the ad-hoc mode.
Resolution: Remove or avoid environmental interferences as much as
possible. This may simply entail turning off or relocating competing
devices. Ensure that there is adequate LAN coverage. To resolve problems
proactively, test the area prior to deployment by using tools such as spectrum analyzers.

Attenuation

Symptoms: Slow responses from the network.


Causes: Degradation of signal strength.
Resolution: In case of wired networks, use shorter cable runs. In case of
wireless networks, add more access points and signal boosters along the
transmission path. A longer cable length, poor connections, bad insulation,
a high level of crosstalk, or EMI can all increase attenuation. Evaluate the
environment for interference. The type of signal interference would
depend on the wireless spectrum used.

Cross-talk

Symptoms: Slow network performance and an excess of dropped or unintelligible packets. In telephony applications, users hear garbled voice or
conversations from another line.
Causes: Generally, cross-talk occurs when two cables run in parallel and
the signal of one cable interferes with the other. Cross-talk can also be
caused by crossed or crushed wire pairs in twisted pair cabling.
Resolution: The use of twisted pair cabling or digital signals can reduce
the effects of crosstalk. Maintaining proper distance between cables also
helps.

Near-end cross-talk

Symptoms: Signal loss or interference.


Causes: Near-end cross-talk occurs closer along the transmitting end of
the cable. It often occurs in or near the terminating connector.
Resolution: Test with cable testers from both ends of the cable and correct any crossed or crushed wires. Verify that the cable is terminated
properly and that the twists in the pairs of wires are maintained.

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Bad Ports
Bad Ports

Bad ports are usually caused by a faulty GBIC or SFP module. A port is identied to be online
or offline by its port status indication. The status of the faulty port is usually offline, faulty, or
no module. Ports are present in HBAs, switches, front-end ports, and back-end ports of storage
arrays.
The Bit error rate (BER) in the switch port is another indication of a bad port. The switch can
be congured to disable or enable an interface, when the threshold is crossed. Always use
GBICs or SFPs which are listed in the compatible matrix given by the vendors for various
devices.
Bit Error Rate Threshold
Bit error rate threshold is used by a switch to determine the increase in the error-rate
level prior to performance degradation that seriously affects traffic. Some of the reasons for the cause of bit errors include:

Bad cables

Bad GBIC or SFP

GBIC or SFP is operated at wrong specications

Interchanging short haul or long haul cable use

Timely sync loss

Improper cable connection of GBIC or SFP at one end or both ends

Bad Connectors
Bad Connectors (2 slides)

Fibre Channel connectors are used to interconnect initiators and targets as found in disk enclosures. Device connectors can also be found on Fibre Channel disk-drives and on the
backplanes of disk enclosures. A device connector consists of pins for power and also for setting disk options.
In order to verify that power is delivered to the drive, the LED on the front of the drive should
be a steady green in concurrence with the Power LED on the rear of the drive.
Loss due to connectors is caused by several factors.

Connector Loss
Factor

324

Description

End gap

The air gap between the cores of the bers causes a reection due to a change
in the refractive index between the glass ber and the air in the gap. This is
known as optical return loss and can be a major problem in laser-based systems.
A number of polishing techniques can be used to ensure that the physical contact
of ber ends minimizes optical return loss.

Concentricity

When two ber cores are not perfectly aligned and identical, there will be some
amount of insertion loss and return loss. Light emerging out of the core will be
lost due to spill over of the core of the receiving ber.

End angle

When one of the ends of the connectors is not at the correct angle to match with
the other connector, then the light emerging out of the core will be lost due to
spill over of the core of the receiving ber.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13
Connector Loss
Factor

Description

Finish and dirt

Properly polished ber core ends minimize loss to a great extent. A rough surface or dirt can scatter and absorb light. If a connector is not terminated, then it
is best to cover the ends of the ber cores to protect them from dirt. It is advisable to clean connector ends with lint free wipes and make sure to never touch
it. The oil from the skin will cause the ber to attract dirt.

Fiber mismatch

Differences in two bers will create connections that have different losses that
sometimes depend on the direction of propagation of light. If a smaller ber is
connected to a larger one, then the loss associated will be minimal. However, if
a large ber is connected to a smaller one, it can result in substantial losses due
to the spillover of the light emitted over the small core.

Bad NICs
A bad Network Interface Card (NIC) is often the cause of network slowdowns. It can even
bring the entire network down. When a NIC goes bad, junk packets of data start to broadcast
onto the network, and the bad NIC card may pose problems including slowdowns, for any
device in the same domain. In some cases, the computer with a bad NIC can bring down all
other computers connected to the same VLAN. A bad NIC can be caused by either entering the
wrong Service Set Identier (SSID) or security conguration.

Bad NICs

Specic installation procedures for network cards might vary depending on the type of hardware used and the features of its software. You will need to customize the generic installation
procedure to suit your specic situation.
To install a NIC, you need to:
1. Take anti-static precautions by using an anti-static wrist strap or similar gear.
2.

Power down the PC.

3.

Disconnect the power and other cables.

4.

Open the case for the CPU.

5.

Locate the PCI or PCI-X slot you want to install the card into.

6.

Install the card into the slot and secure it with a screw.

7.

Close the case and reconnect the cables.

8.

Connect a network cable to the newly installed card.

9.

Power on the PC.

10. Install the drivers provided by the manufacturer. The operating system may identify and
install the driver automatically or you may have to install the driver manually.
11. Test the cards functionality.

Observe the cards LED lights to verify that it is operational.

Ping other computers on the network.

Connect to internal network share folders to check local network access.

Connect to the Internet.

12. Document the steps for the installation for future reference.

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Improper NIC Connection
Improper NIC Connection

Symptoms: A system is unable to connect to a network or view other computers on the same
network.
Causes: In many cases, network problems are a result of:

Damaged cables.

Use of an incorrect type of cable.

An improperly seated NIC adapter.

Lack of power supply to the hub or switch.

Conict in hardware resources within the system.

Resolution:

Verify if the cable is not damaged and that it is the right type of cable to be used.

Ensure that the LEDs on the network are appropriately illuminated.

Verify that the NIC adapter is rmly inserted into the allotted system slot.

Verify that the hub or switch has adequate power.

Verify that all devices connected to the network are powered On.

Incorrect Conguration on NIC


Incorrect Conguration on NIC

Full duplex is the feature of a NIC that allows multiple devices to send and receive data simultaneously without data collision. Because a switch forms a miniature network between a node
and itself, there is no chance of data collision. Thus, it does not need to use a conventional
media access method, such as CSMA/CD.
Instead, if the nodes NIC is properly congured, the switch can support a full duplex connection with each node over which data can be sent and received simultaneously. Full duplex
operation may not be enabled by default on your NICs and switches. Taking the time to enable
this feature using the NICs properties can improve performance by doubling throughput on
your network.

Incorrect VLANs
Incorrect VLANs

In some organizations, VLANs are segmented according to departments such as HR, sales, and
nance. It can also be segmented according to the type of security permissions and usage. In
addition to security, VLAN helps control broadcast data traffic and provides an easy way of
moving end systems around the network. Problems often arise when a system is moved from
one VLAN network into another. Therefore, administrators ensure that a system is mounted on
the correct VLAN.
Clear documentation of the VLAN arrangement is required to prevent VLAN assignment
errors. Moved systems should be reconnected into the correct VLAN port. Membership of
VLAN is also important while assigning a system. A static VLAN assignment will allow only
a certain number of ports to form a segment, and a particular system can only connect to the
segment if it belongs there. A dynamic VLAN assignment uses software to control its VLAN
distribution. A VLAN server is used by administrators to dynamically assign VLAN membership on the basis of a MAC address or a username/password combination.
When a system accesses the network:
1. The system queries the VLAN server and provides the necessary VLAN membership
information.

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2.

The VLAN server authenticates the system and logs it on the appropriate VLAN network.

If a VLAN server is congured correctly, dynamic VLAN assignment reduces human error as
compared to static VLAN assignment.

Incorrect Firewall Settings


Symptoms: The server is connecting to the Internet, but client systems cannot access the
Internet.

Incorrect Firewall Settings

Causes: The rewall is congured wrongly. Problematic settings are responsible for any
rewall-related problems.
Resolution: Settings and tool options can help you diagnose and resolve any issues. The
command-line utility called Netsh is used in the command prompt to show how the rewall is
enabled. The command Netsh firewall show state verbose=enable shows the
information in the Firewall Status section from an initial troubleshooting standpoint, which is
most useful in resolving rewall issues.

The General Network Troubleshooting Process


There are a few steps in the general network troubleshooting process.

The General Network


Troubleshooting Process

Figure 13-6: Steps in the general network troubleshooting process.

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LESSON 13
Step

Description

Step 1: Identify the


problem

Information gathering: To identify the symptoms and potential causes, start by


gathering as much information as you can about what happened.
Re-create the problem: A redundant problem is easier to solve than an intermittent one.
Try the procedure again and record the actions and results. Verify that the
procedure is correct.
Try to perform the task yourself at the users workstation and at your
workstation.
Have another user try the task at the users workstation and on an equivalent
workstation.
Look for error messages on screens or in log les.
Identify symptoms: As you gather information, make a list of causes that produce similar symptoms.
Determine if anything has changed: To determine what has changed:
Try to discover what happened immediately before the problem arose, or at
least pinpoint the time, since the source of the problem might be related to
changes elsewhere on the network.
Check what has changed since the last time you were able to do this task.
Check the system and software log les to see if there are any records of
recent activities.
For instance, if a user cannot log on to the network, have him try againbut do
not just ask if the logon fails; ask him to describe exactly what happens and
what he sees. Think about possible causes: A user who suddenly cannot log on
could indicate a problem with a network cable or adapter, a local DHCP server,
the local network connection, or the authentication server. Determine what has
changed for a logon problem. For example, if a user cannot log on, ask if she is
aware of anything that has changed since the last time she could log on, even if
it is as simple as restarting the computer for that mornings work.

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Step 2: Establish a
theory of probable
cause

Question the obvious: To establish the most probable cause, use a systematic
approach. Eliminate possible causes, starting with the simplest and most obvious
one, and working back through other causes. Do not overlook straightforward
and simple corrections that can x a range of problems and do not cost much
time or effort to try. You might nd that you can resolve the issue on the spot.
If a user has lost Internet connectivity, check to make sure that the network cable
is plugged in and that the users IP conguration is correct before you check
router settings or the connection to your ISP.

Step 3: Test the


theory to determine
the cause

Once theory is conrmed, determine next steps to resolve the problem. Determine if the problem is limited to one workstation, several workstations, one
server, one segment, or the entire network. If only one person is experiencing a
certain problem, the problem is most likely at the workstation. If groups of users
are affected, the problem might lie at a part of the network that the users all
have in common, such as a particular software application or database, a server,
the network segment, or the network conguration.
If the theory is not conrmed, re-establish a new theory or escalate the issue to a
suitable authority.
Test whether the user can connect to the Internet, after re-plugging the network
cable or correcting the IP conguration of the system.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13
Step

Description

Step 4: Establish a
plan of action to
resolve the problem
and identify potential
effects

Once you have determined the probable cause, you should establish a plan of
action before you start making changes, detailing each step that you will take
while attempting to resolve the issue. You should also make sure that you are
able to restore the system to the condition it was in before you began troubleshooting, in case things do not go as planned.
You also need to think about how the action plan will affect the user or other
aspects of the network. If you think ahead, you can help ensure that productivity
does not suffer and downtime is minimized.
Based on the tested theory, establish a plan of action to resolve the problem and
identify potential effects. Remember that a logon problem can affect one or more
users in many ways.
When one user cannot log on to the network, try logging on as that user from
another workstation in the same group of users. If the logon is successful,
start by checking the workstations NIC and cabling, and then move on to
more detailed workstation troubleshooting.
When several users cannot log on, nd out what they have in common.
If all the affected users use the same server, verify that the server is up and
running smoothly, and check the user connections and security levels.
If several network segments appear to be affected, check for network
address conicts.
If all the users have some common problems, check all components (such
as servers and routers) that all users access.
Do not forget to check the system and software logs for errors or alerts that
may provide clues about the problem.

Step 5: Implement
the solution or escalate as necessary

To x the problem, implement the plan of action step by step. If you make multiple changes at once, you will be unable to verify exactly what effect each
adjustment had. Be sure to document each step because you can lose sight of
what you have tried in complex troubleshooting scenarios.
Some users in the nance department have lost connectivity to a workgroup
server. It has been determined that there are no problems with the software or
hardware on the users end. Error logs on the user machines indicate that there
may be a conguration problem on the server side. Because the server in question contains company nancial information, only a few highly trusted
administrators have the ability to log in to the server, and this issue will have to
be escalated to one of them.

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LESSON 13
Step

Description

Step 6: Verify full


system functionality
and, if applicable,
implement preventative measures

Monitoring system and software logs throughout the testing and monitoring
phase can provide additional visibility into the effects of the solution. If a major
change was made, it may be advisable to continue monitoring and testing for
several days or even weeks after the problem appears to be resolved. If you have
identied the methods to prevent the repeated occurrence of the issue, ensure
that you implement such methods.
Eight users have lost Internet connectivity, and all eight have their desktop workstations connected to the same switch. Although the problem could be with the
actual switch, the problem might also have been due to a faulty cable that connects the switch to a router. After replacing the cable that attaches the switch to
the router, you should attempt to access the Internet from all eight machines to
see if this has corrected the problem.
If you reinstall a software application, you might nd that the newly installed
application makes changes that affect other applications, such as changing le
associations on the system. You should have identied this as a possible effect
before reinstalling; afterward, make sure the associations for those other applications are functioning the way the user desires. If you have identied the methods
to prevent the repeated occurrence of the problem, ensure that you implement
such methods.

Step 7: Document
ndings, actions and
outcomes

Document the nding and actions you used to arrive at the solution, as well as
the outcomes. Maintain the records as part of your overall network documentation plan. Not only will this provide you with an ever-growing database of
information specic to your network, but it will also be valuable reference material for use in future troubleshooting instancesespecially if the problem is
specic to the organization.
You might even want to create a troubleshooting template so that you can be
sure that necessary information is included in all troubleshooting reports, and
that all reports are consistent, no matter which support person completes them.
Maintain the records as part of your overall network documentation plan. You
may even want to create a troubleshooting template so that you can be sure that
necessary information is included in all trouble reports, and that all reports are
consistent, no matter who creates them.

Troubleshooting Documentation
Some of the things you might want to include in a troubleshooting documentation template are:

A description of the initial trouble call, including date, time, who is experiencing
the problem, and who is reporting the problem.

330

A description of the conditions surrounding the problem, including the type of


computer, the type of NIC, any peripherals, the desktop operating system and version, the network operating system and version, the version of any applications
mentioned in the problem report, and whether or not the user was logged on when
the problem occurred.

Whether or not you could reproduce the problem consistently.

The exact issue you identied.

The possible cause or causes you isolated.

The correction or corrections you formulated.

The results of implementing each correction you tried.

The results of testing the solution.


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LESSON 13
Any external resources you used, such as vendor documentation, addresses for
vendor and other support websites, names and phone numbers for support personnel, and names and phone numbers for third-party service providers.

ACTIVITY 13-3
Discussing Common Network Troubleshooting Issues
Scenario:
As a network administrator of your organization, you need to clarify and conclude what sort of
network issues you come across in the daily functioning. You need to use your knowledge to
troubleshoot common network problems.

1.

What error occurs when a character is sent to the buffer at a greater speed than the
port speed, even before the previous character is processed?
a) Abort
b) CRC
c) Overrun
d) Frame

2.

Which tool is used to check for end-to-end connectivity?


a) Port error counter
b) fcping
c) Name server
d) Rescan

3.

What are the bad cabling practices that cause bad cables? (Select all that apply.)
a) Bad connectors
b) End gap
c) Distance
d) DB loss

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LESSON 13
4.

Match the connector loss factor with its description.

End gap

Concentricity

Finish and dirt

End angle

a.

The air between the cores of the glass


bers causes a reection, due to a
change in the refractive index.
b. Properly polished ber core ends
minimize loss to a great extent.
c. One end of a connector is at a different angle from the other, leading to a
spillover of light emerging out of the
core.
d. The two ber cores are neither perfectly aligned nor identical. This
leads to some amount of insertion
loss and return loss.

ACTIVITY 13-4
Discussing TCP/IP Network Management Utilities
Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss the network troubleshooting utilities you might use for different network problem scenarios.

1.

You have installed a Linux system in your test lab so that application developers can
test new software. Because the lab is isolated from the main network, there is no
DHCP service running. A software engineer has loaded a network application on the
system, but cannot connect to it from a client. She has already tried to ping the Linux
system by name and IP address. What should you check next and why?
Use the ifconfig utility to verify that you have configured the test system with an appropriate static IP address.

2.

A user is having trouble connecting to your companys intranet site


(internal.everythingforcoffee.com), which is on your companys private network inside
your firewall. She does not have general Internet connectivity problems. What is the
best first step to take to try to narrow down the possible problem?
Because the user does not seem to have general TCP/IP problems, the problem may be
with the web server that hosts the intranet site. You can ping
internal.everythingforcoffee.com by name from different systems to verify that the name
is being resolved. If there is no response, ping the system by IP address to see if you can
connect to it at all.

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3.

You can connect to the intranet site with no difficulty. You check your IP configuration
against the users and find that you are configured with different DNS server
addresses. You do not have DNS administrative utilities installed on your workstation.
What can you do to diagnose the DNS problem?
Use the nslookup command to see if the users server can resolve the
internal.everythingforcoffee.com address and to examine the entries on both DNS servers.

4.

You had to stop and start the DHCP server service earlier in the day. A Windows user
calls to say that she has no network connectivity at all. What can you do to correct the
problem?
Use ipconfig /all to see if the user is receiving a dynamic address. If not, use the utility
to renew the DHCP address configuration.

5.

You are experiencing a number of dropped packets and slow response time on your
routed private network. You suspect there may be a routing loop and you would like to
look more closely at packet transmissions through the network. How can you examine
the path of the transmissions?
Use the tracert command to trace the routes of packets between various source and destination hosts. This can help you locate a packet looping between routers, or the point at
which a route fails.

TOPIC D
Troubleshoot Common FC Problems
In the previous topic, you described how to troubleshoot network problems. Similarly you
might also face problems while transmitting data through a Fibre Channel. In this topic, you
will describe how to troubleshoot the common FC problems.
While you transfer data between devices through a Fibre Channel technology, you might come
across certain issues like a failed HBA or outdated rmware, or sometimes even
interoperability issues. Troubleshooting will help you overcome these issues.

Zoning Errors
In zoning, any device that is not a part of an active zone will be prevented from accessing any
of the storage assets in order to stop undesired host-to-host communication and fabric-wide
disruptions. There are some common zoning errors that affect proper communication.

Zoning Error

Cause

Host unable to communicate with


storage

Two devices are not allowed to connect by the default zone policy.
Host and storage devices do not belong to the same zone.
A zone is not part of the active zone set.

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Zoning Errors

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LESSON 13
Zoning Error

Cause

Zone set activation


error

A missing active zone set.

Full zone database


synchronization
across switches error

The full zone database across switches is out of sync.

Default zone policy


mismatch

Default zone policy is not the same for all switches in the VSAN for basic
zoning.

Zone merging failure

Link isolation error

Difference in active zone set databases between two switches or fabrics when
merging the TE or E port.
Mismatched active zone sets.
Miscongured zones within the active zone set.

Active zone sets


within the same
VSAN mismatch

The E port that connects the two fabrics will seem to be isolated.
An isolated VSAN on the TE port that links the two switches.

Enhanced zoning
conguration errors

The enhanced zoning conguration lock is being held by another user.


The enhanced zoning conguration lock is being held by another user on a
different switch.

Activation failure of zone set.


A new switch joins the fabric and acquires the existing zone sets.

A large
A large
A large
A large
A large
A large

number
number
number
number
number
number

of
of
of
of
of
of

aliases
zone members
zones
zone sets
attribute groups
LUN members

TE Ports
The trunking E (TE) port is an interface that functions as a trunking expansion port. It
expands the functionality of E ports by supporting:

Transport of QoS parameters

The FC trace feature such as fctrace

VSAN trunking

TE ports are proprietary ports belonging to Cisco MDS 9000 Family switches.

Zoning Misconguration
Zoning Misconguration

334

Zoning misconguration affects communication between the host and storage ports by not
allowing any access. Ports not zoned together can result in massive portions of fabric communication issues. A zone misconguration is usually caused by human error such as typo errors
when entering the WWN details during zone creation. This can lead to misconguration of a
zone, which may cost time to identify the cause of error.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 13
Failed GBIC or SFP
GBICs or SFPs are available in wide varieties that come with different connection types
depending on which vendor they were purchased from. Generally, a loss in signal indicates
that there is a fault in the GBIC. The port status will show as faulty, no module, or no light
when a GBIC or SFP fails. A GBIC or SFP goes bad if an unauthorized GBIC or SFP module
is inserted into the HBA, switch port, and front-end or back-end ports.

Failed GBIC or SFP

Failed and Intermittent HBA


A failed or intermittent HBA is the cause of a link failure. There are several steps in analyzing
a failed HBA: from being recognized at the BIOS level, to joining the Fibre Channel switch,
and applying a corresponding resolution. To narrow down the possibilities of failure of the
HBA, it is necessary to check each part of the startup sequence. A check of the BIOS scan can
tell you if the system recognizes that there is a card installed. The most common cause of
HBA not showing up in the BIOS scan is that the card is not inserted. Inserting the card properly will resolve the issue.

Failed and Intermittent HBA

Other reasons for an HBA not working properly in a slot is, either the slot is faulty or the
HBA is. One way to resolve this issue is to try the HBA adapter in another slot. Failure of the
HBA on the BIOS level can be attributed to corrupt rmware. Most HBAs use ash memory
to host rmware which is corrupted easily. But downloading the latest version of rmware can
resolve this issue.

Connectivity and Interoperability Issues


Interoperability issues occur because each SAN vendor or provider has its own interoperability
mode. This helps each vendor turn off some of the advanced proprietary features to provide the
product with an implementation that is more compliant with standards. When interoperating
with other vendor devices, some of the functions and parameters get affected.

Function and
Parameter

Connectivity and
Interoperability Issues

Connectivity and Interoperability Effect

Domain ID

The domain ID in vendor devices may be restricted to a lesser range than the
Fibre Channel standard of 239 values. Because of this, a switch may have to
alter its domain ID to a smaller range to accommodate the vendor domain
address limitation. Changing a domain ID requires all devices attached to that
switch to be logged in again, as the switch will undergo reregistration with the
principal switch in the fabric. This will be done to verify domain ID uniqueness.

Fabric Shortest Path


First (FSPF)

There are no issues within a fabric for the routing of frames using an
interoperable device. However, while vendors use their default modes to load
balance across various Inter-Switch Links (ISLs), the return route can, in some
cases, be different from the initial route.

Timers

If there is a difference in Fibre Channel timers, then there will be issues with the
switches during the exchange of values by E ports while establishing an ISL.
The timers are:
Fabric stability timeout value (F_S_TOV)
Distributed services timeout value (D_S_TOV)
Error detect timeout value (E_D_TOV)
Resource allocation timeout value (R_A_TOV)

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LESSON 13
Function and
Parameter

Connectivity and Interoperability Effect

Trunking and portchannels

Interoperability of trunking and port-channels between two vendors is not supported. It is only possible between a trunking and a port-channel of switches
belonging to the same vendor.

FC aliases

Since FC aliases are propagated as part of a full database, only if propagation of


the full database is allowed, are the FC aliases propagated.

Default zone behavior

The default zone behavior may change in an interoperable mode. The default
zone parameter cannot be propagated to other switches as it is limited to the
switch that it was congured in.

Zoning membership

All vendors may not be able to support the same number of zones. Zones may
be restricted to the WWPN, and the physical port number on other proprietary
zoning methods can undergo elimination.

Zone propagation

Some vendors will only allot the conguration for an active zone set, and some
vendors use proprietary formats that distribute the conguration of the full zone
set database.

Hardware and Software Incompatibility


Hardware and Software
Incompatibility

Hardware and software compatibility analysis needs to be executed before you perform an
installation. Any incompatibility in hardware or software will cause an unattended installation
to fail. Sometimes during setup, there is no warning dialog box that prompts for alternative
installation instructions, and the installation fails.
If the hardware is the issue, check to see if the connector, port, or slot is faulty by replacing
the hardware being used. If the connector, port, or slot is working ne, then the hardware may
need to be replaced. Another thing to consider is if the rmware for the hardware is the current version or a version that is compatible with system software. Sometimes the compatibility
of the hardware will depend on the operating system in use. Hardware drivers are also to be
matched to hardware in order for the hardware to be recognized by the operating system or
network.
If the software is developed only to work on certain platforms, then you need to either install
it in compatibility mode or install another software tool in its place. For some vendor devices,
the driver code will have to be rewritten to work with the operating system.

Outdated Firmware or Drivers


Outdated Firmware or Drivers

Enterprise SANs are improving in scale, complexity, and importance. In order to satisfy
performance-sensitive and large-scale applications, traditional SCSI devices will need to be
replaced. Many vendors produce their variations of enterprise SANs due to which quality
assurance, testing, and technical support are the major challenges for customers that use drivers
such as FC and SCSI devices. The common cause of server problems is outdated rmware.
Updating rmware can equip devices with the latest available xes that are essential for optimal system performance and system stability.

Failed Cables
Failed Cables

Symptoms: The port appears operational but is not able to access the Fibre Channel fabric.
Causes:

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LESSON 13

An incorrectly congured Fibre Channel adapter.

A failed small form-factor pluggable (SFP) transceiver.

An uninstalled or failed Fibre Channel cable.

A failed device at the other end of the cable.

Resolution: Verify if there is a secure connection between the Fibre Channel cable that connects the SAN Volume Controller node to a switch. Replace parts associated with the faulty
port until the issue is xed.

Miscongured FC Cables
Symptoms: If the end ports of the link show no light, it indicates a link failure of an FC
cable.

Miscongured FC Cables

Causes: Not following the specications given by the vendors will lead to a miscongured FC
cable.
Resolution: Verify that the drive is receiving power. The LED on the front of the drive and
the Power LED on the rear of the drive should be a steady green. Congure the cable as per
the instructions given by the vendors.

The General FC Network Troubleshooting Process


There are a few steps in the general FC network troubleshooting process.

The General FC Network


Troubleshooting Process

Figure 13-7: Steps in the general FC network troubleshooting process.

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LESSON 13
Step

Description

1. Identify the problem

Identify symptoms: Collect information that points out specic symptoms. Two
of the most common symptoms when troubleshooting problems in an FC network include:
A host system not being able to access allocated storage.
An application stalling after its attempt to access allocated storage.
Ask the Questions: To decide which paths to follow and which components to
investigate further, you can ask a few questions. These questions should be independent of switches, hosts, or the subsystem vendor.The status of your
installation can be determined by answering a few questions.
Did the host recognize its storage at any given point?
Are the LUNs in the subsystem identiable by the host?
Is it a recent or existing installation system for a SAN, host, subsystems, or
LUNs?
Is there a problem with the existing application in terms of it being too slow,
having too high a latency, taking excessively long response times, or is it a
recent problem?
What are the changes in the overall infrastructure, or conguration that were
carried out just before the applications showed signs of problems?

2. Identify the possible causes

Recognize and discover all prospective causes to the identied symptoms. Many
of the possible causes will be due to connectivity issues.
Ask the Questions: To verify basic connectivity between your end devices, a
few questions can be asked.
Is the correct ber being used?
Is there a ber that is broken?
Is the FC port LED that is on the connected module glowing green?
Are the LEDs that are on any HBAs or their subsystem ports indicating normal functionality?
Does the storage subsystem include a LUN masking policy?
If yes, then is the exporting of the LUNs by the storage array seen by the
server?
In the use of the LUN masking software, is the WWPN for the host listed in
the LUN masking database?
Is there an N port in the conguration of the subsystem?

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LESSON 13
Step

Description

3. Eradicate all problems in decreasing


order of priority

Systematically eradicate each prospective problem until all symptoms disappear.


Start with the one that has the most priority and move on till the one with the
least priority.
Fabric Issues: To determine the status of the fabric conguration, a few questions can be asked.
Is there a successful registration of the HBA and the subsystem port with the
fabric name server?
Is the correct port used for the device plugin?
Are WWNs or FC IDs a part of any zone?
Is any VSAN isolation portrayed by ISLs? Does a VSAN include both the
host and the storage?
Does the active conguration or zone set that is within the same VSAN
include the correctly congured zone?
Do you notice any mismatch in parameters that are congured for the different switches in a fabric?
The parameters include VSAN, static domain assignment, or zoning.
Port Issues: To investigate port connectivity issues, a few initial tasks need to
be performed.
Check if the media is broken or damaged and replace or repair accordingly.
Verify that the correct media type such as copper or optical, or single-mode
(SM) or multimode (MM) is used.
Check and ensure that the LED on the switch is green.
Check and ensure that the active LED on the HBA for its connected devices
is on.

4. Verify full system


functionality and if
applicable implement
preventive measures

FC End-to-End Connectivity: To determine end-to-end connectivity for FC


networks existing from the perspective of a host or subsystem, a few questions
can be asked.
Is the subsystems port or FC ID listed in the logs for the host?
Is the hosts WWPN or FC ID listed in the logs for the subsystem or its LUN
masking database?
Can a port login to the corresponding storage subsystem be completed by the
host?
Does any SCSI exchange occur between the server and the disk array?
Has N port been congured with HBA?
To determine that the subsystem WWPN or FC ID is a listed device, use the
utilities of the HBA conguration or the host system logs. This in turn helps to
examine if the FSPF is working accurately.

5. Document ndings, actions, and


outcomes

Document all ndings and actions that you used to arrive at your solution,
together with the outcomes. Make sure to list all steps in detail, as FC issues can
take a long time to troubleshoot and resolve.

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LESSON 13

ACTIVITY 13-5
Discussing Common FC Troubleshooting Issues
Scenario:
As a storage networking professional, you have been assigned to troubleshoot all FC issues
that come up within your organization. You will discuss the common FC troubleshooting
issues.

1.

What are the causes of a zone merging failure error? (Select all that apply.)
a) A large number of aliases
b) A large number of zone members
c) A large number of ports
d) A large number of zone sets

2.

What is the zoning error associated with two devices not being allowed to connect by
the default zone policy?
a) The host unable to communicate with storage
b) A zone set activation error
c) A zone merging failure
d) A link isolation error

3.

340

Match the function and parameter with their connectivity and interoperatibility
effects.

Domain ID

FC aliases

Zoning membership

Zone propagation

a.

Changing this parameter requires all


devices attached to the switch to be
logged in again, as the switch will
undergo reregistration with the principal switch in the fabric.
b. Zones may be restricted to the
WWPN, and the physical port number on other proprietary zoning
methods can undergo elimination.
c. Some vendors use proprietary formats
that distribute the conguration of a
full zone set database.
d. Only if propagation of the full database is allowed, is this parameter
propagated.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

Lesson 13 Follow-up

LESSON 13

In this lesson, you described storage network management. With this knowledge, you can manage your organizations storage network in a way that ensures the best performance.
1.

In your opinion, what are the common network issues encountered during troubleshooting?
Answers will vary, but may include: bad cables, bad ports, bad NIC, bad connectors,
incorrect configuration of NICs, and incorrect firewall settings.

2.

In your opinion, what are the common FC issues encountered during troubleshooting?
Answers will vary, but may include: zoning errors, zoning misconfiguration, connectivity
or interoperability issues, hardware and software incompatibility, failed HBAs, and failed
GBICs or SFPs.

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NOTES

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LESSON 14

LESSON 14

Lesson Time
2 hour(s)

Evaluating Storage
Performance
In this lesson, you will evaluate storage performance.
You will:

Identify storage latency and throughput.

Examine tuning and workload balance.

Evaluate storage device bandwidth.

Evaluate network device bandwidth.

Evaluate storage and host tools.

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LESSON 14
Introduction
In the previous lesson, you identied the ways to manage a storage network. Managing storage
networks involves various operations to optimize system performance. In addition to optimizing system performance, you need to evaluate the storage performance to achieve better
efficiency. In this lesson, you will evaluate storage performance.
Evaluating storage performance will enable you to lower latency and improve the throughput
of a storage network. It will also help you achieve better tuning and workload balance. Evaluating storage performance will help you improve the overall performance of a storage system.
This lesson covers all or part of the following CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam
SG0-001) certication exam objectives:

Topic A

Topic B

3.7 Explain Information Lifecycle Management concepts.

5.2 Identify tuning and workload balance concepts.

Topic C

5.3 Describe storage device bandwidth properties and functions.

Topic D

5.1 Explain how latency and throughput impact storage performance.

5.4 Describe network device bandwidth properties and functions.

Topic E

5.5 Explain performance metrics, parameters, and purposes of storage/host tools.

TOPIC A
Identify Storage Latency and
Throughput
In this lesson, you will evaluate the various aspects of a storage system that will help to
improve the storage performance. The two most important aspects, which are closely related to
each other, are storage latency and throughput. In this topic, you will identify the factors that
inuence storage latency and throughput.
As an efficient storage administrator, you need to improve the performance of the storage system. By identifying storage latency and throughput issues, you can lower latency and improve
throughput, which will improve the performance of the system.

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LESSON 14
Cache Performance
The cache is an important component that enhances a storage systems performance by solving
issues associated with physical disks, which are the slowest components of an intelligent storage system. So, it is necessary to monitor the performance of the cache to improve the
performance of storage. A cache performance object and a full set of performance measurement counters monitor cache performance by providing a great deal of information regarding
the cache manager and related cache activity. Counters monitor cache effectiveness by reporting on various cache hit ratios, cache memory size, and activity. The capacity of a cache is
measured by its hit rate.

Cache Performance

The performance of the cache also depends on the read traffic and write traffic ratios. The read
traffic ratio can be calculated by dividing the number of words fetched from the next level in
the memory hierarchy by the number of words fetched by the cache. The write traffic ratio is
the number of words written by the cache to the number of words written out in the previous
level.
The administrator should review the counters that deal with the hit percentage and hit activity
to get an accurate picture of cache efficiency. In some cases, hit percentage may be very high,
indicating that the cache is very efficient, but in fact only a few copy reads would have taken
place. Therefore, it becomes necessary to examine the hit percentages for a series of activity
rates to get an accurate picture of cache efficiency.
Low Memory and Disk I/O
Low memory leads to insufficient cache size which in turn results in unnecessary disk
I/O that has a negative impact on performance. Trimming the working sets and low
memory reduce the size of the cache, which in turn leads to the slowdown of the
cache-sensitive processes by disk operations. De-staging refers to the process of updating parity or data in the disks from the write cache.
Cache Object Counters
Cache object counters contain details on data hits and misses, and on le I/O operations that denote the efficiency of their applications that access data of the le system
cache. High cache miss rates denote the unavailability of the requested data in physical
memory. Therefore, the need to recover data from the disk arises. One cannot get accurate information about bottlenecks from cache counter values because cache counters
depend on the information that is mapped by the cache manager and not on the information from the virtual memory manager. You can use the Memory or Pages Input/sec
counter to obtain denite data on I/O bottlenecks.
Reliability of Cache Counter Values with Respect to Bottlenecks
You cannot rely on cache counter values to get valid information regarding bottlenecks
because the cache counters may sometimes wrongly indicate that the system has
accessed the disk by showing high rates of misses or low rates of hits, though the
requested data has actually been recovered from memory. This happens if the virtual
addresses that are mapped by the cache manager become nonexistent as a result of
closing the le.

IOPS Calculations
Input/Output Operations Per Second (IOPS) is the most common metric used for measuring
the overall performance of a storage system. It is vital to know that IOPS calculations depend
on specic workloads in specic environments as the capacity of the IOPS from vendors is
determined under the best conditions.

Lesson 14: Evaluating Storage Performance

IOPS Calculations

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LESSON 14
The calculation of IOPS depends on the values of delays produced by the moving parts of the
drive the rotating disk and the positioning of the head. Rotational speed, average latency, and
average seek time are the key factors of the IOPS calculation.
Rotational speed is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm). The higher the rotational speed,
the higher the performance of the disk. Most of the enterprise disks rotate at a speed of 7,200,
10,000, or 15,000 rpm.
Average latency is the time taken by the sector of the disk that is accessed to rotate in position
under a read/write head.
Average seek time is the time taken by the read/write head of the hard drive for positioning
itself on the track that is read or written. Seek times for both read and write are present.

RAID Performance
RAID Performance (2 slides)

Components that impact the performance of storage systems are the number and type of disk
drives in a RAID set or volume group, RAID levels, types of drives and their performance
capabilities, and host server front-end ports and back-end device ports. Mirroring and parity
increase the reliability in a RAID array which in turn affects the storage performance. The
exact impact is dependent upon the RAID type.
Different formulas are used for calculating the impact of RAID on IOPS at different RAID
levels.

346

RAID Level

Formula for Calculating RAID Performance

RAID 0 (striping, no
redundancy)

I =n*i,
where I = Total number of IOPS of an array (note I is shown differently for
read and write), n = Number of disks in an array, and i = IOPS for one disk in
an array (depends on spindle speed averages).
Due to the absence of mirroring or parity overhead, theoretical maximum Read
and Write IOPS are the same.

RAID 1 and RAID


10 (mirroring technologies)

Read I = n*i,
where I = Total number of IOPS of an array (note I is shown differently for
read and write), n = Number of disks in an array, and i = IOPS per disk in an
array (depends on spindle speed averages).
In case you have six 15k disks in a RAID 10 conguration, you can expect a
maximum of 6*180 = 1080 IOPS for your array.
Write I = (n*i)/2

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14
RAID Level

Formula for Calculating RAID Performance

RAID 5 (striping
with a single parity
disk)

Read I = (n-1)*i,
where I = Total number of IOPS of an array (note I is shown differently for
read and write), n = Number of disks in an array, and i = IOPS for one disk in
an array (depends on spindle speed averages).
For example, a RAID 5 (4 + 1) having ve 15k disks yields a maximum of
(5-1)*180 = 720 Read IOPS. You must subtract 1 as one of the disks does not
have data but has parity bits.
Write I = (n*i)/4,
where I = Total number of IOPS of an array (note I is shown differently for
read and write), n = Number of disks in an array, and i = IOPS for one disk in
an array (depends on spindle speed averages).
For example, a RAID 5 (4 + 1) with ve disks yields a maximum of (5*180)/4
= 225 Write IOPS.
You will be nding systems that read as well as write. You need to get an understanding of your workload for sizing your storage environment accurately for
performance. It is also important to consider the percentage of read IOPS over
the percentage of write IOPS in sizing the storage environment. The formula for
a RAID 5 set with a mixed read/write environment:
I = (n*i)/(r + 4 *w),
where I = Total number of IOPS for an array (note I is shown differently for
read and write), n = Number of disks in an array, i = IOPS for one disk in an
array (depends on spindle speed averages), r = Read IOPS percentage (determined by dividing average disk reads/sec by total average disk transfers/sec in
the Windows Perfmon), and w = Write IOPS percentage (determined by dividing
the average disk writes/sec by the total average disk transfers/sec in the Windows Perfmon).

Random vs. Sequential I/O


Generally, random operations are compared with sequential operations for assessing application
efficiency in terms of disk usage. It is faster and easier to access data sequentially than randomly because of the way in which the disk hardware works. The seek operation takes more
time than any other part of the I/O process. A higher number of seek operations are needed for
accessing data randomly than for sequential reading. As a result, random reads deliver a lower
rate of throughput. It is the same for random writing as well. It is useful to examine the
workload in order to nd whether it accesses data randomly or sequentially.

Random vs. Sequential I/O

Different arrangements have to be made for workloads that are predominantly random and for
workloads that are both sequential and random. Sequential workloads can be used for disks or
RAID levels that are slow, whereas random workloads should be kept on fast spindles in the
case of fast RAID congurations.
Examples of sequential workloads are writing of Structured Query Language (SQL) transaction
log les and backup-to-disk operations. Collective reads from Online Transaction Processing
(OLTP) database access or Exchange Information Stores are the examples of random
workloads.
Generally, workloads will be a mixture of random and sequential access. You need to choose
the type of tuning according to the degree to which the workloads are random or sequential in
order to obtain the best performance for the environment.

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LESSON 14
Impact of Replication
Impact of Replication

Replication has an impact on the performance of the database, so it should be managed properly. Bandwidth, network latency on the intersite link, application throughput, and workload
characteristics should be analyzed before implementing a replication solution. You can use
enhanced asynchronous replication in case of high latency or low bandwidth. Using enhanced
asynchronous replication in the case of insufficient bandwidth increases the risk of data loss,
and it may affect your recovery point. Enhanced asynchronous replication may provide nearzero Recovery Point Objective (RPO) in case of adequate bandwidth and low latency. Longer
latencies and higher RPOs require enhanced asynchronous replication, whereas latencies under
6 ms and RPO of zero require synchronous replication.
Sizing the link bandwidth appropriately to support workload improves database performance.
Also, sizing online redo logs properly improves database performance, while replicating in
synchronous mode. Oversizing the redo logs has the worst impact on the application, which
leads to performance degradation.
(Recovery Point Objective) The point in time, relative to a disaster, where the data recovery process begins.

Implementing replication policies will have a performance impact on the underlying storage
infrastructure. Most of the modern storage replication software solutions utilize the copy on
write technology for minimizing overhead. But, remote mirroring and cloning operations can
have an adverse performance impact.

ACTIVITY 14-1
Identifying Storage Latency and Throughput
Scenario:
As a storage administrator, you need to know about storage latency and throughput that affect
storage performance.

1.

Match the components with their appropriate description.

Low memory

a.

c
e

IOPS
Sequential workloads

b.
c.

Enhanced asynchronous
replication
Synchronous replication

d.

a
2.

e.

Used in case of latencies under 6 ms


and RPO of zero
Inuences the performance of cache
Used for measuring the performance
of a storage system
Used in case of longer latencies and
higher RPOs
Used for slower disks or RAID levels

What are the key factors of IOPS calculation? (Select all that apply.)
a) Rotational speed
b) Average latency
c) Average seek time
d) Cache memory size

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LESSON 14
3.

On which components do counters give a report to calculate cache effectiveness?


(Select all that apply.)
a) Cache memory size
b) High cache miss rates
c) Rotational speed
d) Hit activity

TOPIC B
Examine Tuning and Workload
Balance
In the previous topic, you identied the storage latency and throughput of storage networks.
You may also need to examine tuning of storage networks and workload balance. In this topic,
you will examine tuning and workload balance.
As an efficient storage administrator, you have to ensure that you utilize the system to the
maximum. You also need to ensure that the workload is evenly distributed so that the service
life of the storage device is extended. Knowing about workload balance and the relevant tuning of storage components will help you improve the overall performance of the storage
network.

Storage Data Proling


Storage data proling provides better insight into stored project data elements such as current
data usage, growth patterns, de-duplication potential, and opportunities that signicantly
improve storage and information management proles. Data growth rates are compared to periodic assessments such as last-accessed and last-modied times. Data managers consider
strategies that help manage information growth efficiently. Strategies include better handling of
unused or rarely used data and removal of duplicate data, instead of merely buying extra storage, extending backup, and maintaining recovery processes.

Storage Data Proling (2


slides)

Some of the common questions on the minds of data managers include:

What type of le system needs to be managed?

What is the location, size, and number of project-related data?

What data do applications use?

How is data accessed?

When is data accessed?

Is data secure?

Are there duplicates of the same data?

Will there be any performance bottlenecks?

What is the right type of storage model for the organization?

Will the RPOs and Recovery Time Objective (RTOs) be achieved by the organization?

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LESSON 14
(Recovery Time Objective) The length of time within which normal business operations and activities can
be restored following a disturbance.

What data should be migrated, archived, backed up, protected from disasters, and managed more efficiently?

Advantages of Storage Data Proling


The rate at which data keeps growing makes it difficult to provide services such as
protection and recovery of valuable information. Some of the advantages of storage
data proling include:

Better workow and data access

Excellent backup and recovery performance

Enhanced application performance

Trimmed administration costs

Fact-based information necessary to make decisions for capital expenditure

Fact-based information necessary to manage data more efficiently

Benets of Storage Data Proling Assessment


Storing project data more efficiently by means of consolidation, de-duplication, storage
optimization, and archiving is a concern that will be faced while determining the best
way to save money for your business. There are a few benets that arise while taking
the storage data proling assessment.

Storage Data Proling Assessment


Type

Benet

File system

Examines the metadata of le environments and helps in discovering


important information about data. File system assessments serve as
excellent starting points for backup and archiving strategy discussions.

Exchange system

Is useful in determining the volume of email managed in a mail


exchange environment.

Data de-duplication

Provides statistics on de-duplication ratios, backup time, and the amount


of data moved.

Backup system

Provides advanced reports and statistics regarding the performance of the


backup environment by extracting data from the backup server.

Server consolidation

Helps you make informed decisions about consolidation of data centers


and optimization of workload capacity utilization.

Storage performance Provides you with in-depth knowledge of the existing storage environment. This enables ongoing capacity optimization and utilization.

Storage Tiering
Storage Tiering (2 slides)

350

Storage tiering is used to assign various classications of data to various types of storage
media with the intention of reducing the total cost of storage. Data is classied based on the
levels of required protection, required performance, frequency of use, and other company specic considerations. Less expensive media should be used as the tier number increases.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14
For example:

Expensive high-quality storage media such as double-parity RAIDs come under tier 1
storage data and can contain mission-critical, top secret les, and recently accessed les.

Less expensive storage media such as conventional SANs come under tier 2 storage data
and can contain nancial, classied les, and seldom-used les.

Least expensive storage media such as CD-Rs and tapes come under tier 3 storage data
and can contain event-driven les, unclassied les, and rarely accessed les.

Figure 14-1: An example of storage tiering.


Assigning suitable data to a type of media can sometimes be a complex activity. So, some vendors provide software that can automatically manage the process of assigning data based on
policies dened by the data storage administrator of an organization.
Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) is very similar to tiered storage, except that, in
HSM, data transfer to many media types is automated depending on how frequently it is
accessed. For example, in the HSM technology, the data stored in disk drives is automatically
transferred to magnetic tapes if it was not accessed for a long period of time.
Automated Storage Tiering
Consider an organization that has huge amounts of data that continues to grow exponentially. Moving such data manually between tiers is a tedious process and tends to
take a long time and also requires more labor. Automated tiering eliminates this disadvantage. Automated storage tiering is a storage management software that is used to
dynamically assign various classications of data to different disk types or RAID levels, keeping in mind the elements of space, performance, and required cost. Automated
storage tiering can implement policies that are set up by storage administrators. Classifying and migrating data to the optimum tier of storage is possible in automated
storage tiering. Sub-LUN automated storage tiering has the capability to move data at
more granular levels.
For example, a data storage administrator assigns seldom accessed data to slower, lessexpensive SATA storage; however, the same data can automatically move to a higherperformance SAS or solid-state drives (SSDs) when it tends to be more active. The
reverse ow of data from a higher tier to a lower tier can also be programmed.

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LESSON 14
Partition Alignment
Partition Alignment (2 slides)

Partition alignment helps to obtain optimal disk performance by conguring various sectors of
an operating system to line up with RAID stripe sizes or chunks. Each read or write operation
of an operating system will line up to only the minimum possible sectors in the RAID array,
thereby reducing latency and improving system performance.

Figure 14-2: An example of partition alignment.


For example, a SAN LUN uses blocks of 128 to format the disk. A block size of 128 is
equivalent to 64 Kb of data written to a disk from the cache. A host operating system may
want to initialize or write a signature to a disk before it sets to work.
If the size of the signature on the disk is 63 blocks equivalent to a disk space of 32 Kb, then
65 blocks are used out of the 128 blocks on a SAN LUN. The host operating system leaves a
disk space of 32 Kb on the rst disk. So, because the host writes to cache in the same size as
the block size, it now has to hold write data; the size of a 64 Kb data chunk. Because the signature is written on 32 Kb, the data chunk of 64 Kb will be written across two physical disks
on the SAN LUN.
The performance of the cache will decrease, because, instead of waiting for acknowledgement
of one disk, it now has to wait for acknowledgement from two disks, which is prone to cause
a delay back to the storage processor. Partition alignment will help align disks so that the
cache will use the next 128 blocks on another disk for read and write functions.

Impact of Fragmentation
Impact of Fragmentation

Fragmentation occurs when les are stored in clusters that are physically located apart from
each other. Fragmentation can occur by deletion or modication of les. When fragmentation
occurs, les on a disk tend to be broken into noncontiguous clusters that accumulate over a
period of time to cause an increase in read and write operation speeds. Usage of fragmented
les determines the impact of fragmentation on the performance of a system.
For example, a nonfragmented 20 Kb le occupies 5 contiguous clusters on a disk. When the
20 KB le is deleted, there will be 5 free clusters on the disk ready for reuse, surrounded by
other used clusters. Now, while saving a 40 Kb le that requires 10 clusters, 5 clusters that are
recently freed up will be utilized by the operating system to save one part of the 40 Kb le
and the remaining part will be saved on another 5 clusters somewhere else on the disk. This
scheme fragments the 40 Kb le, which results in the le residing on two or more locations on
the disk rather than in one location.

352

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14
Queue Depth
Queue depth is the maximum limit of I/O exchanges that can remain on a storage port at a
given time. By conguring queue depth on HBA, a storage administrator can specify the number of I/O exchanges that can be sent to a LUN at a given time. Before specifying queue depth
for HBAs, the number of servers that connect to the storage port and the number of available
LUNs on the same port need to be considered to prevent a storage port from getting overrun.
Based on the number of pending I/O exchanges at any given time, a storage network administrator will manage the storage queue depth.

Queue Depth

To maintain normal I/O exchange operations, the default value for queue depth is set as 32,
but can be increased as per requirements or the highest possible capacity. When the cache on
the device reaches its highest possible capacity, or receives too many concurrent I/O exchange
operations, then the storage device responds with a Queue Full failure message. This failure
message is an indication for the host to send further instructions for I/O exchange operations
later.
Queue Depth of a Target Port
Queue depth can be congured on a storage array controller port. Multiple servers
often communicate with storage controllers at the same time, but since a port can only
service a single request at a given time, additional requests are queued to a maximum
limit. After the maximum limit, the device responds with a Queue Full failure message, at which point the storage controller indicates to the host to suspend further I/O
exchange operations for a later time.

ACTIVITY 14-2
Examining Tuning and Workload Balance
Scenario:
As a storage network administrator, you need to examine tuning and workload balance.

1.

What provides better insight into stored project data elements?


a) Storage tiering
b) Partition alignment
c) Storage data profiling
d) Queue depth

2.

Storage media such as CD-Rs and tapes are categorized under which tier?
a) Tier 1
b) Tier 2
c) Tier 3

Lesson 14: Evaluating Storage Performance

353

LESSON 14
3.

True or False? The default value for queue depth is set as 32 and cannot be changed.
True
False

4.

Which tier can contain mission-critical, top secret, and recently accessed files?
a) Tier 1
b) Tier 2
c) Tier 3

TOPIC C
Evaluate Storage Device Bandwidth
In the previous topic, you examined tuning and workload balance of storage networks. Now,
you may need to evaluate storage device bandwidth to improve the performance of the storage
system. In this topic, you will evaluate storage device bandwidth.
By evaluating the bandwidth of storage devices, you can know the maximum throughput of a
computer. You can determine the speeds of storage devices such as switch ports and cables.
This knowledge will help you improve the speed of the devices, which in turn will improve
the efficiency of your storage system.

Bus and Loop Bandwidth


Bus and Loop Bandwidth

354

Bandwidth is the speed at which a certain amount of data is transferred within a bus or loop in
a given unit of time. Different types of links or topologies have a certain bandwidth. Bus and
arbitrated loop bandwidth are the two most commonly employed types in FC architecture.

Bandwidth

Description

Bus

A physical link that consists of a number of lanes on which data travels; each lane
allows data to pass through it at a certain speed. Bus bandwidth is calculated by multiplying the number of lanes on a bus with its bus speed. It is usually represented by
the amount of data transmitted per second.

Arbitrated loop

A topology that consists of a number of host computers and storage devices that are
linked together with hubs. Cascading hubs can increase the total number of loop participants to 126. Here an FC bandwidth of 100 Mbps is shared between all devices.
Therefore, if two computers are linked to two separate storage devices on a loop, then
the speed for each connection is roughly 50 Mbps. Due to sharing, devices arbitrate
for access to the loop prior to sending data.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14
Cable Speeds
A twisted pair cable comes in different grades, called categories, which support different network technologies and speeds.

Category

Specication

Network Type: Voice transmission


Maximum Speed: 1 Mbps
CAT1 is not suitable for networking.

Network Type: Digital telephone and low-speed networks


Maximum Speed: 4 Mbps
CAT2 is not commonly used on networks.

Network Type: Ethernet


Maximum Speed: 10 Mbps
CAT3 is currently used for telephone wiring.

Network Type: IBM Token Ring


Maximum Speed: 16 Mbps
CAT4 may also be used for 10 Mbps Ethernet.

Network Type: Fast Ethernet


Maximum Speed: CAT5 supports a signaling rate of 100 Mbps.

5e

Network Type: Gigabit Ethernet


Maximum Speed: CAT5e supports a signaling rate of 350 Mbps.

Network Type: Gigabit Ethernet


Maximum Speed: 1 Gbps
CAT6 supports a signaling rate of 250 MHz.

6a

Network Type: Gigabit Ethernet


Maximum Speed: 1 Gbps
CAT6a supports a signaling rate of 500 MHz.

Network Type: Gigabit Ethernet


Maximum Speed: 1 Gbps+
CAT7 supports a signaling rate of 1 GHz.

Cable Speeds (2 slides)

Shielded twisted pair (STP) and coaxial cables are Fast Ethernet network types that support a
signaling rate of 100 Mbps.
A cables category is typically printed on the cable itself, making identication easy.

Disk Throughput, Bus Bandwidth, and Cache


Comparisons
Storage system bandwidth is concerned with the performance of a storage device in terms of
how many sequential I/O operations it can handle. Storage system bandwidth is measured in
megabytes per second (Mbps) or gigabytes per second (Gbps). Communications network bandwidth is measured in bits per second (bps). The deliverable bandwidth of a storage system is
affected by the bandwidth of the attaching layer to an extent and is known as attachbandwidth. Attach bandwidth is measured in megabits per second (Mbps), or gigabits per
second (Gbps).

Lesson 14: Evaluating Storage Performance

Disk Throughput, Bus


Bandwidth, and Cache
Comparisons (2 slides)

355

LESSON 14
There is also the difference between the maximum specied bandwidth of a wire and the
actual bandwidth realized. Data always travels at a lesser speed than the maximum speed
available for a particular hardware component due to the effects of packet overhead and network protocols.
Throughput measures random and small-block I/O performances. Due to the different amounts
of storage system resources consumed in servicing a read operation when compared to a write
operation, throughput is further divided into three components.

Read IOPSRead I/Os per second

Write IOPSWrite I/Os per second

Total IOPSAverage I/Os per second

The relationship between bandwidth and throughput on a storage device is associated to the
I/O size. The quantity of data transferred per unit time relatively rises with respect to I/O
operations that are done in block sizes. With constant bandwidth, the throughput reduces as the
I/O size increases. However, with the I/O operations going up in block sizes, the throughput
relatively increases with cache capacity.

Embedded Switch Port Speeds


Embedded Switch Port Speeds

Embedded switch port speeds can be set to 10Mb, 100Mb, 1000Mb (1Gb), or auto negotiate.
The port speed setting is determined by the switch and the connecting device. Using auto
negotiate, most switch ports and devices nd the best available speed and duplex setting. However, sometimes auto negotiate may not be able to nd a suitable setting, so you may have to
manually set the speed or duplex in a switch.
Switch port duplex mismatch problems occur when a switch port and a port on an attached
computer do not share the same duplex setting, or when both ports are set to auto negotiate the
speed. Errors seem minimal when traffic levels are low, particularly for ping packets. But
errors increase with the increase in traffic levels, which in turn affect the throughput of the network. Issues will be difficult to trace without monitoring the switch port. The result of the
mismatch between half duplex and full duplex ends produces frame check sequencing errors.
Switch port speed ranges can be at 1, 2, 4, 8, 10, 16, and 20 Gbps and are accordingly called
1GFC, 2GFC, 4GFC, 8GFC, 10GFC, 16GFC, or 20GFC. The 1GFC, 2GFC, 4GFC, and 8GFC
designs utilize 8b/10b encoding and the 16GFC standard utilizes 64b/66b encoding. The 10
Gbps and 20 Gbps standards use 64b/66b encoding rather than 8b/10b encoding, and they are
mostly employed as inter-switch links.

Shared vs. Dedicated Storage Devices


Shared vs. Dedicated Storage
Devices

A shared storage device is a storage device that can be accessed from multiple hosts. These
types of devices are commonly used in an arbitrated loop or a switched fabric topology of a
SAN. NAS and SAN attachable storage devices are usually considered shared storage devices.
A dedicated storage device is a storage device that can be accessed from only a single host.
These types of devices are commonly used in a point-to-point SAN topology such as in DAS
architectures.

Load Balancing Using Multipathing


Load Balancing using
Multipathing

356

On a SAN, multipathing can be achieved by using a multipathing software that is installed on


the host system. The multipathing software is initialized when the operating system boots and
device-specic information is read by the multipathing software that is on the managed LUNs.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14
An automated policy conguration mechanism is present in all multipathing software. Paths
from multiple HBAs can be connected to multiple storage ports using multipathing. Using the
multipathing software, optimized load balancing policies can be set up automatically on each
LUN, and statistics are maintained for all I/O instructions on all paths.
If multiple arrays to be accessed by the SAN can be set up and zoned to the multipathing host,
then through LUN masking, each LUN that is available to the server will be assigned to a
policy that renders the most suitable load balancing algorithm.

ACTIVITY 14-3
Evaluating Storage Device Bandwidth
Scenario:
In this activity, you will discuss how to evaluate storage device bandwidth.

1.

True or False? An arbitrated loop is a physical link that consists of a number of lanes
on which data travels.
True
False

2.

Which category of a twisted pair cable is used in the voice transmission network type?
a) 2
b) 3
c) 1
d) 4

3.

Match the items with their appropriate descriptions.

Switch port duplex mismatch problems

Frame check sequencing


errors

Shared storage devices

Dedicated storage devices

Lesson 14: Evaluating Storage Performance

a.

Occur when there is a mismatch


between half duplex and full duplex
ends.
b. Are commonly used in an arbitrated
loop or a switched fabric topology of
a SAN.
c. Occur when a switch port and a port
on an attached computer do not share
the same duplex setting, or when both
ports are set to auto-negotiate the
speed.
d. Are commonly used in a point-topoint SAN topology.

357

LESSON 14

TOPIC D
Evaluate Network Device Bandwidth
In the previous topic, you evaluated the bandwidth of storage devices. You also need to evaluate the bandwidth of network devices to improve the performance of your storage system. In
this topic, you will evaluate the bandwidth of network devices.
Evaluating the bandwidth of network devices will help you know the current capacity of the
network devices. Then, you can analyze what you can do to improve them so that the performance of your storage network improves.

Shared vs. Dedicated Network Devices


Shared vs. Dedicated Network
Devices

A shared network device, such as a hub, shares the total bandwidth among users, whereas a
dedicated device, such as a switch, provides a dedicated link at full bandwidth between every
two devices that transmit data to each other. In the case of a shared network, two computers
that transfer packets to the network at the same time would result in a collision.
It is important to minimize collisions in the design and operation of networks. Too many users
or too much traffic on the network would result in collisions, which in turn would result in a
lot of contention for network bandwidth.
Dedicated connections are used by medium to larger size businesses for their voice and data
circuits. Shared connections that are sold as business versions of consumer Internet services
are used by smaller businesses such as professional sales offices, quick service restaurants, and
owner-operated shops.
In the case of shared bandwidth services, there is no surety for latency, performance, packet
loss, or even availability. In the case of a dedicated connection, the bandwidth is allotted by
the service provider so that it is always available for use. In case you are streaming an audio
or a video, the dedicated bandwidth will be useful. Businesses that depend on online access for
managing inventory, making client presentations, or entering orders need a solid, dedicated
Internet connection.

Teaming
Teaming (2 slides)

358

Teaming is the concept of grouping multiple physical devices for providing load balancing and
fault tolerance. Different modes such as Adapter Fault Tolerance (AFT), Switch Fault Tolerance (SFT), Adaptive Load Balancing (ALB), Receive Load Balancing (RLB), Virtual Machine
Load Balancing (VMLB), Static Link Aggregation (SLA), and Dynamic Link Aggregation
(DLA) are available for teaming. Each mode provides different benets based on the networking infrastructure and demands that are placed on servers. ALB and RLB give the benet of
increasing the bandwidth.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14
Mode for Teaming

Description

ALB

Adaptive Load Balancing mode allows transmission over 2-8 ports to multiple destination addresses, which results in increased network bandwidth. ALB also
incorporates AFT. ALB offers load balancing of transmit (outbound) traffic and has
Receive Load Balancing (RLB) by default. The RLB can be independently disabled. ALB and RLB allow load balancing in transmit and receive directions. This
teaming mode can work with any switch.

RLB

Receive Load Balancing mode allows reception over 2-8 ports from multiple
addresses, which results in an increased network bandwidth. RLB can only be used
in conjunction with ALB and is enabled by default when an RLB team is congured. RLB can be used with any switch.

AFT

Adapter Fault Tolerance mode offers automatic redundancy for the network connection of the server. In case the primary port fails, the secondary port comes in to
take charge. This teaming mode can support two to eight ports per team. AFT can
be used with any switch, but it is necessary to connect all team members to the
same network. Though AFT can work with hubs, it is advocated only for troubleshooting purposes.

SFT

Switch Fault Tolerance mode offers a failover relationship between two ports,
where each port is linked to a separate switch. SFT can support two ports per
team. Port Fast or Edge Port of the ports connected to the teamed ports must be
activated to enable the Spanning Tree Protocol (STP). This teaming mode can
work with any switch.

VMLB

Virtual Machine Load Balancing mode offers not only transmit and receive traffic
load balancing across virtual machines that are bound to the team interface, but
also fault tolerance in the case of a switch port, cable, or adapter failure. VLMB
can work with any switch.

SLA

Static Link Aggregation mode should be used with the FEC, Gigabit EtherChannel
(GEC), or link aggregation capable switch. SLA is a switch-assisted teaming mode
that needs conguration of ports at both ends of the link: switch ports and server
interfaces.

DLA

Dynamic Link Aggregation mode is similar to SLA, but unlike SLA it utilizes the
Link Aggregation Control Protocol for managing the ports that form the team. It is
necessary to enable LACP at both ends of the link for the functioning of the team.
This teaming mode also needs a switch for supporting the IEEE 802.3ad standard.

Link Aggregation Evaluation


Link aggregation increases network performance by combining multiple physical links into a
single logical link. The performance of a network improves with the increase in the number of
links. Therefore, the cost will also scale linearly with the performance. Because link aggregation does not need the installation of the data link layer and the physical layer, it becomes a
cost-effective way for increasing the network bandwidth. Link aggregation enables optimal
load sharing, which again, helps to achieve the desired bandwidth when only minimum
resources are available.

Lesson 14: Evaluating Storage Performance

Link Aggregation Evaluation

359

LESSON 14
Link aggregation for certain devices, such as servers and routers, has a unique system identier
assigned to them. As a result, the system port ID will consist of a port priority value and a
port number. In addition, a key is assigned to the port. Multiple ports that have the same key
value can be aggregated. To establish a successful link aggregation, there is a limit to the number of ports that can be aggregated. Device specic rules determine how many ports can be
aggregated and which of the ports can be aggregated.
Benets of Link Aggregation
A robust link aggregation technology will help users to build multi-vendor networks.
When multiple users are logged on to a single network, there arises a need for
increased bandwidth. Link aggregation combines multiple links on a network and presents it as a single link. Even though they appear as a single link to network users, the
bandwidth of the entire network is now equal to the sum of the bandwidths of separate
links. This method is sometimes called link bundling.

Class of Service Evaluation


Class of Service Evaluation

Class of Service (CoS) is a process that manages traffic by grouping similar traffic. For
example, all email traffic is grouped together separately from le transfer traffic or video
streaming traffic. These separate traffic groups are treated as a class and each class has its own
level of service priority. The CoS technology is simple to manage and is highly scalable.
The CoS technique is very important for evaluating the bandwidth of a network device because
without CoS, network traffic will not be prioritized and less important traffic can consume network bandwidth. This in turn will slow down or even stop the delivery of traffic that is more
important.
For example, without CoS, a switch forwards its entire traffic with the same priority. This trafc, by default, will be considered normal priority and competes for bandwidth with all other
normal priority traffic segments irrespective of their importance. CoS enables you to manage
the available bandwidth such that the switch can transmit the most important traffic rst. The
classes of service that are used when there is a need to access huge amounts of data are best
effort and high throughput. When there is a need to access small amounts of data, best effort
and the low latency class of service can be used.
Types of CoS
The three main types of CoS technologies are Type of Service (ToS), 802.1p Layer 2
Tagging, and Differentiated Services (DiffServ). 802.1p Layer 2 Tagging and ToS use
the three bits available in the layer 2 packet header, which species the priority to each
group. DiffServ indicate how a packet is forwarded. This process is called as the Per
Hop Behavior (PHB). Depending on the requirements of applications, it allocates a
priority level for each traffic group. DiffServ is most commonly used on ATM networks.

TOE Evaluation
TOE Evaluation

360

The TCP Offload Engine (TOE) technology essentially shifts TCP/IP processing tasks to either
a network adaptor or a storage device by releasing the server CPU from I/O processing. As a
result, the CPU runs its applications freely and users can access their data fast. The performance of TOE can be evaluated by taking into consideration certain metrics such as
throughput, CPU utilization, and latency.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14
Metric

Description

Throughput

Throughput can be taken as the key factor for indicating network performance. The
amount and speed of data transfer in a specic time constitute the throughput for
that network. It is measured in Kbps, Mbps, and Gbps. The TOE technology is
gaining popularity on Ethernet systems for the sole purpose that it optimizes
throughput.

CPU utilization

Traditionally, for every one bit of TCP/IP data moved, 1 Hz of the processor is
used. This baseline is decided depending on the amount of data to be transferred
and the number of transactions taken to transfer that data. For normalizing the CPU
utilization, the throughput achieved is divided by the CPU utilization, and the result
is given in megabits per percent CPU (Mbps/%CPU).

Latency

If the number of transactions between the I/O bus and the memory bus reduces, the
waiting time comes down, thereby reducing latency. As mentioned earlier, TCP/IP
processing reduces the number of transactions. Thus, the TOE responds faster,
enabling a quick end-to-end communication, reducing latency and increasing the
bandwidth of the network device.

TOE also stands for Target of Evaluation, which is a part of an IT system that requires security evaluation.

ACTIVITY 14-4
Evaluating Network Device Bandwidth
Scenario:
In this activity, you will test your knowledge of evaluating network device bandwidth.

1.

True or False? Shared connections are used by medium to larger size businesses for
their voice and data circuits.
True
False

2.

Which teaming mode offers automatic redundancy for a servers network connection?
a) AFT
b) SFT
c) VLMB
d) ALB

Lesson 14: Evaluating Storage Performance

361

LESSON 14
3.

What is used to group multiple physical devices to provide fault tolerance and load balancing?
a) CoS
b) TOE technology
c) Teaming
d) Link aggregation

TOPIC E
Evaluate Storage and Host Tools
In the previous topic, you evaluated the bandwidth of network devices. You also need to evaluate the storage and host tools to improve the performance of a storage network. In this topic,
you will evaluate storage and host tools.
By evaluating storage and host tools, you can know the current efficiency of the tools. Then,
you can work on how to improve them. Improving the performance of the storage and host
tools will improve the efficiency of a storage network.

Baselining Tools
Baselining Tools

Performance of a network is liable to be affected by network protocols, and speed of workstations, and the network. For better functioning of a SAN, it is necessary to examine whether the
network performance is poor or good. Baselining is a tool that is used to evaluate network performance and save data for future reference. It provides storage administrators with insight in
to the expected behavior on the network. Baselining also offers the ability to notice changes in
the environment.
Network traffic patterns are compared with baselines that are saved and used as a benchmark.
Implementing baseline solutions will help you identify various internal and external attacks on
the network and maintain a record of network settings and congurations over a period of
time, thereby troubleshooting network related problems.
The baselining process will help you to:

Obtain information about the physical condition of the hardware and software on the network.

Determine the network resources that are currently utilized on the network.

Make accurate decisions about network alarm thresholds.

Determine currently faced problems on the network.

Predict future network problems in advance.

Data Capture Tools


Data Capture Tools

362

Data capture is a tool where information is converted accurately and efficiently into a machine
readable format. The tools and technologies used for data capture may vary depending on the
source.
CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14
For example, search engines can be considered data capture tools for web-based applications.
If the source is an audio transcription, audio recorders can be used as data capture tools. In an
office environment, Optical Character Recognition (OCR) technologies, which can convert
printed text to machine readable text, are the data capture tools.
The shift from the storage of printed materials to vast repositories of digital data necessitates
the need to convert legacy information. After scanning paper documents and converting that
information to digital data, data capture tools work along with document management tools to
organize and store data in any format or device needed by the client.
There are different methods for capturing data.

Method

Description

Capturing data from


digital documents
and forms

Earlier, digital data was rst converted into a paper format so that it can be captured. With the evolution of tools such as Formate, the capture of multiple types
of digital data has become easy. The Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) technology enables two systems to communicate with each other, but it is not human
readable. The Formate tool captures the EDI stream and formats it into human
readable documents, which are uploaded into a document system for long-term
retention.

Legacy data import

Tools such as Alchemy, Formate, and Onbase capture data that are held in mainframe (legacy) systems. This data is indexed so that it can be used for everyday
business.

Voice capture

Voice commands can also be captured using applications such as CallXpress.


This application not only captures voice commands for initiating a business process, but also stores voice records in a document management system, which can
be used for future reference.

Switch Performance
Switch performance is evaluated by the maximum switching capacity of the switch fabric
inside a hub. Rates of switching, ltering, and forwarding act as major parameters to determine
switch performance. Large sized buffer memory allows switches to handle streams of packets,
thereby enhancing switch performance even in the presence of large bursts of traffic.

Switch Performance (3 slides)

Any problem in switches can affect a large proportion of users. A preventive approach to
switch monitoring helps administrators to gain visibility into the status and availability of
switch ports. In addition, administrators can actively monitor the switch and its ports and
quickly notify users if a switch port or the switch fails.
The performance of a switch depends on certain parameters such as port stats, thresholds,
hops, port groups, ISL trunks, and bandwidth.

Lesson 14: Evaluating Storage Performance

363

LESSON 14
Parameter

Description

Port stats

Viewing port statistics for the ports that are connected to switches will enable
you to determine whether the switch performance is optimal or not. The statistics for the data sent and received by the switch ports are displayed in the port
statistics window. The steps to view port statistics include:
1. Opening a web browser and entering the IP address of the switch.
2. Entering the password and user name on the login page.
3. Clicking the port options on the top menu. Once you click the port options,
the ports page appears displaying an overview of the switch. The ports that
are connected to the switch are displayed in green.
4. Clicking on the port to view information and statistics.

Thresholds

Threshold is a limit that can be set for monitoring a specic metric. When a
threshold is set for a switch, the same threshold settings are utilized for all the
interfaces on the switch, until the specic thresholds for interfaces themselves
are dened. Similarly, if the setting is not overridden at the interface or switch
level, the global threshold setting is utilized for all switches and interfaces.

Hops

A fully meshed fabric is a fabric in which any one switch is a single hop from
any other switch. Latency across the fabric is minimized using hops. Even if a
single link fails, all switches can still communicate with each other with a guaranteed hop count not exceeding beyond two. The fully meshed fabric keeps
traffic through switches (hops) to a minimum, but greatly reduces the number of
ports available for other devices as the number of switches increases in the fabric. In the presence of multiple routes, Fabric Shortest Path First (FSPF) ensures
that the route which is used has the lowest number of hops.

Port groups

High-bandwidth connections between switches or between switches and servers


can be achieved by combining multiple port groups that act as a single logical
port.

ISL/trunk

ISL/trunk enhances the performance, manageability, and reliability for businesscritical storage applications. The ISL feature can aggregate four ISLs into a
logical 8 Gbps trunk group which paves the way for high-speed communications
throughout the SAN. In addition, ISL trunks can optimize the available switches
to decrease congestion. The administrative workload is reduced because it is
possible to manage ISLs as a single entity. ISL trunking increases data availability. At least one ISL in the trunk group should remain available for the I/O
services to continue to work at a reduced bandwidth. These capabilities enable
IT organizations to have a storage system with great performance and value.

Bandwidth

Bandwidth rating should be considered while selecting a switch for a storage


network. The existing infrastructure in the open systems environment is typically
limited by scalability and bandwidth between the server and storage. Physical
interfaces can be a limiting factor for bandwidth, so using Fibre Channel will
enable the SAN to provide scalable bandwidth and exible connectivity. Dedicated bandwidth provides low latency in Fibre Channel, thereby improving
performance.

Array Performance
Array Performance (2 slides)

364

Most data centers deal with the increasing amount of data storage, impacting the performance
of the storage array. Performance tuning is essential to ensure that the storage array remains
unaffected due to the degradation in the storage array.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14
The performance of a storage array depends on certain factors.

Factor

Description

Cache hit rate

The I/O performance of an intelligent storage system can be enhanced by the


cache. Data is placed temporarily in the cache to reduce the time required for
servicing I/O requests from the host. Due to the seek times and rotational
latency, accessing data from a physical disk takes more time. When data in the
array has to be accessed by the host for every I/O operation, requests are
queued. This in turn results in a delayed response, so the cache separates the
host from the mechanical delays associated with physical disks, thereby improving the array performance.
The time taken to write I/O requests in the cache is less than the time to write
directly to the disk. This in turn provides better performance advantages.

CPU load

A number of performance metrics, such as utilization of storage array components, I/O response time, and cache utilization, can be used to monitor a storage
array. The usage of too many storage array components may cause performance
degradation. A single CPU failure in a storage array will cause overall performance degradation of the entire storage array, thereby increasing the CPU load.
Due to the increased CPU load, servers may experience degraded performance.

Port stats

The port stats in a storage array will enable you to identify dropped packets. If
frames are dropped in the storage port, then the port has to be taken offline and
online again. This re-creates the internal name server entries and related routing
tables in the fabric to which the port is attached, thereby solving the problems of
performance degradation. The arrays native monitoring tool is used to monitor
the port stats.

Bandwidth

Every storage array has a specic amount of internal bandwidth, which remains
xed. To ensure better performance of the storage array, the disks have to be
balanced across the back-end buses.

Throughput

When evaluating the performance of a storage array, we have to take into consideration the raw throughput which is measured in megabits per second (Mbps).
The le systems in the server should be distributed evenly across multiple disk
drives that are present in the array, so as to increase the number of I/O operations which occur for the particular le system. This, in turn, will balance the
I/O operations with more links to support a potential increase in the throughput.
The increase in throughput will subsequently result in the increased array performance.

I/O latency

High I/O latency can have a huge impact on the storage array performance. The
latency between the server and a storage device can be minimized by ensuring
that there are no bottlenecks, congestion, or other points that would add more
latency. The overall latency depends upon the number of items such as le systems, network and device drivers, and switches and routers existing between an
application on a server and the storage device. If the number of items is less,
then the overhead and the latency will also be less. In addition to this, storage
administrators should ensure that the HBA and applicable networks are
adequately congured and equipped with the latest rmware and software.

Host Tools Performance


Host tools are tools that are used to monitor the hosts on a network. Some of the host tools are
sysmon, perfmon, and I/O stats.

Lesson 14: Evaluating Storage Performance

Host Tools Performance

365

LESSON 14

366

Tool

Description

sysmon

A tool that is designed to monitor a network. This tool ensures high performance
and accurate network monitoring. The tests which are currently supported by
sysmon include the monitoring of Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP),
SMTP, HTTP, User Datagram Protocol (UDP), TCP, Radius, Post Office Protocol
3 (POP3), and Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP) servers. The sysmon
tool is capable of performing SNMP queries and generating alerts based on those
results. In addition, it can also ping hosts and routers.
Sysmon is available in the public domain for anyone to use. It can examine the
real network topologies and monitor multiple paths. In the event of device failure, the tool reports on the particular device that is down and not about a router
that is down and all the hosts behind it. The sysmon program is a non-essential
system process, and should not be ended unless it is believed to be causing problems.

perfmon

Hardware performance monitoring units that are present in processors export a


set of counters for collecting micro-architectural events such as the number of
cache misses or the number of elapsed cycles. It is essential to make use of
those counters for analyzing the performance of key applications and operating
systems. The performance monitor (perfmon) is a tool that tracks a range of processes and provides a real-time graphical display of results. This tool helps you
track the processes that need to be optimized, plan the upgrades, monitor the
results of tuning and conguration scenarios, and understand the workload and
its impact on resource usage to spot the bottlenecks that can occur on any network element.
The bottlenecks on the network can be caused due to malfunctioning of a
resource, scarcity of system resources, or domination of a particular resource by
a program. Nearly 40% of network utilization is considered a bottleneck, so
usage of perfmon helps in recognizing these bottlenecks so that immediate action
can be taken.

iostat

The input and output devices of a system are monitored using the iostat command. This action is done by taking into consideration the total active time of
the devices with respect to their average transfer rates. The iostat command then
produces reports so that the system conguration can be changed for balancing
the input/output load between the physical disks.
The report produced by the iostat command furnishes statistics from the time the
system was booted. The statistics are provided every time an iostat command is
run and each report covers the time since the previous report. The report
includes a CPU header row and a CPU statistic row. The iostat command provides reports on CPU utilization and device utilization. The iostat command
often identies local disk issues or networked le system issues.

CompTIA Storage+ Powered by SNIA (Exam SG0-001)

LESSON 14

ACTIVITY 14-5
Evaluating Storage and Host Tools
Scenario:
In this activity, you will test your knowledge of evaluating storage and host tools.

1.

Which factors decrease the performance of a storage array? (Select all that apply.)
a) Accessing data from physical disks
b) Usage of too many array components
c) CPU failure
d) Low I/O latency

2.

True or False? sysmon is a tool that tracks a range of processes and provides a realtime graphical display of results.
True
False

3.

Match the tools with their description.

Baselining tool

Data capture

sysmon

perfmon

a.

A tool that is used to evaluate network performance and save data for
future reference.
b. A tool that helps you identify the
bottlenecks and take immediate
action.
c. A tool where information is converted
accurately and efficiently into a
machine readable format.
d. A tool that is designed to monitor a
network.

Lesson 14 Follow-up
In this lesson, you evaluated storage performance. To be procient in the storage networking
eld, knowledge of evaluating storage performance is very important.
1.

What are the things that data managers need to consider in order to handle and manage data better?
Answers will vary, but may include: data managers need to consider the type of file system; the location, size, and number of pro