The RamSan-220 uses Fibre Channel interfaces to connect to host devices
and to storage networks.
Our newest Fibre Channel interface is the FC-34. Each FC-34 includes
two 2Gbit Optical (SC) Fibre Channel interface ports. The FC-34
supports both 2Gbit and 1Gbit devices, and auto-negotiates to
operate in the proper mode. If both ports
are connected to the same host, they can be used in an active-active
configuration or in a fail-over mode in a switched environment. The
FC-34 supports all three of
the topologies available under the Fibre Channel protocol:
1. Point-to-point. While there are only a few host bus adapters that
will cooperate, the FC-34 properly implements the point-to-point (n-port
to n-port) topology for Fibre Channel. Through the point-to-point
topology, the RamSan-220 can be directly attached to host servers.
Point-to-point connections are faster than the other methods for attaching
storage. Because the RamSan-220 provides up to four Fibre Channel
ports, the RamSan-220 can be directly attached to up to four independent
2. Switched Fabric. The most popular way to attach a RamSan-220 is
with the switched fabric topology. The switched fabric topology implies
that there is a storage network switch (such as those from Brocade
and Vixel) between the host and the RamSan-220. Switched fabric topologies
can be used to provide unparalleled scalability and redundancy for
storage networking. Because Fibre Channel switches tend to add very
little latency to storage transactions, the switched fabric topology
is still an excellent choice for high performance storage.
3. Arbitrated Loop. A new feature of the RamSan-220 is that it
supports Fibre Channel arbitrated loop. In many ways, arbitrated loop
is the legacy topology for Fibre Channel. In other words, many of
the first Fibre Channel networks installed use arbitrated loop. Arbitrated
loop operates very similar to the old token ring local area networks
and tends to be somewhat slower than the other topologies. In addition,
arbitrated loop can support far fewer devices than the switched fabric
topology. The main reason that we added Fibre Channel arbitrated loop
was to allow the RamSan-220 to be connected directly to host bus adapters
and storage devices that work best with arbitrated loop. The RamSan-220 also works when connected to a private arbitrated loop hub.
If you have followed Texas Memory Systems over the last year, you
know that we have invested a lot of effort in ensuring that our Fibre
Channel interfaces are interoperable with other storage network components.
In fact, our RamSan-520 was the first solid state disk to pass Brocade's
Fabric Aware interoperability certification. In this test, the RamSan-520
was put into a network of heterogeneous storage network components.
The RamSan-220's predecessor, the RamSan-210, was the first solid state
disk to be both certified Solaris Ready and Designed For Windows 2000.
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