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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 devices.

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.

RamSan-220 Resources
Flash Presentation
RamSan-220 Education (PDF)
RamSan-220 Datasheet (PDF)
Free White Papers
Hot File Detection Software

Fibre Channel Host Bus Adaptor (HBA) Qualification Matrix

Interactive Demonstration of Java-enabled Monitor

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