Storage Area Networking SAN NAS Fibre Channel iSCSI

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Monday, January 01, 2007

Interview questions on Fiber Channel & Storage Technology

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Thanks to one of our blog reader Rahman for contributions of below interview questions on fiber channel.
1.WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF FIBRE CHANNEL SANS?

Fibre Channel SANs are the de facto standard for storage networking in the corporate data center because they provide exceptional reliability, scalability, consolidation, and performance. Fibre Channel SANs provide significant advantages over direct-attached storage through improved storage utilization, higher data availability, reduced management costs, and highly scalable capacity and performance.


2.WHAT ENVIRONMENT IS MOST SUITABLE FOR FIBRE CHANNEL SANS?

Typically, Fibre Channel SANs are most suitable for large data centers running business-critical data, as well as applications that require high-bandwidth performance such as medical imaging, streaming media, and large databases. Fibre Channel SAN solutions can easily scale to meet the most demanding performance and availability requirements.

3.WHAT CUSTOMER PROBLEMS DO FIBRE CHANNEL SANS SOLVE?

The increased performance of Fibre Channel enables a highly effective backup and recovery approach, including LAN-free and server-free backup models. The result is a faster, more scalable, and more reliable backup and recovery solution. By providing flexible connectivity options and resource sharing, Fibre Channel SANs also greatly reduce the number of physical devices and disparate systems that must be purchased and managed, which can dramatically lower capital expenditures. Heterogeneous SAN management provides a single point of control for all devices on the SAN, lowering costs and freeing personnel to do other tasks.

4.HOW LONG HAS FIBRE CHANNEL BEEN AROUND?

Development started in 1988, ANSI standard approval occurred in 1994, and large deployments began in 1998. Fibre Channel is a mature, safe, and widely deployed solution for high-speed (1Gb, 2Gb, 4Gb) communications and is the foundation for the majority of SAN installations throughout the world.


5.WHAT IS THE FUTURE OF FIBRE CHANNEL SANS?

Fibre Channel is a well-established, widely deployed technology with a proven track record and a very large installed base, particularly in highperformance, business-critical data center environments. Fibre Channel SANs continue to grow and will be enhanced for a long time to come.The reduced costs of Fibre Channel components, the availability of SAN kits, and the next generation of Fibre Channel (4Gb) are helping to fuel that growth. In addition, the Fibre Channel roadmap includes plans to double performance every three years

6.WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF 4GB FIBRE CHANNEL?

Benefits include twice the performance with little or no price increase, investment protection with backward compatibility to 2Gb, higher reliability due to fewer SAN components (switch and HBA ports) required, and the ability to replicate, back up, and restore data more quickly. 4Gb Fibre Channel systems are ideally suited for applications that need to quickly transfer large amounts of data such as remote replication across a SAN, streaming video on demand, modeling and rendering, and large databases. 4Gb technology is shipping today.


7.HOW IS FIBRE CHANNEL DIFFERENT FROM ISCSI?

Fibre Channel and iSCSI each have a distinct place in the IT infrastructure as SAN alternatives to DAS. Fibre Channel generally provides high performance and high availability for business-critical applications, usually in the corporate data center. In contrast, iSCSI is generally used to provide SANs for business applications in smaller regional or departmental data centers.

8.WHEN SHOULD I DEPLOY FIBRE CHANNEL INSTEAD OF ISCSI?

For environments consisting of high-end servers that require high bandwidth or data center environments with business-critical data, Fibre Channel is a better fit than iSCSI. For environments consisting of many midrange or low-end servers, an IP SAN solution often delivers the most appropriate price/performance.

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