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Storage Topologies

Copyright 2006. Wipro Confidential

 DAS (Direct Attached Storage)

Basic Concepts
Software Architecture
Merits and Demerits

 NAS (Network Attached Storage)

Basic Concepts
Software Architecture
Merits and Demerits

 SAN (Storage Attached Network)

Basic Concepts
Software Architecture
Merits and Demerits

 Comparison of DAS, SAN & NAS

 SAN Cost Savings

Direct cost savings

Indirect cost savings

Copyright 2006. Wipro Confidential

 Business organizations require effective way to store and
maintain data.
 This presentation examines three categories of data
storage technologies as mentioned below.
1.Direct Attached Storage - DAS
2.Network Attached Storage - NAS
3.Storage Area Networks - SAN

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(Direct Attached Storage)

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DAS Basic Concepts

Direct-attached storage (DAS) refers to a digital storage system directly

attached to a server or workstation.
Ideal for localized file sharing in environments with a single server or a
few servers.
Typical physical connections include IDE, SCSI or Fibre Channel

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DAS Software Architecture

The DAS disk system is managed by the

client OS. Software applications access
data via file I/O system calls into the
The file I/O system calls are handled by
file system, which manages the
directory data structure and mapping
from files to disk blocks
The volume manager manages the
blocks resources that are located in one
or more physical disks in the disk
system and maps the accesses to the
logical disk block space to the physical
volume/cylinder/sector address.
The disk system device driver ties the
OS to the disk controller or HBA
hardware that is responsible for the
transfer of commands and data between
the client computer and the disk system.
The file level I/O initiated by the client
application is mapped into block level
I/O transfers that occurs over the
interface between the client computer
and the disk system
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DAS Merits & Demerits



 Ease to implement and manage on

a small scale.

 High Cost of Management.

 Common in small exchange


 Cost effective on a small Scale.

 The storage capacity of the DAS is

limited by the number of hard disks
supported by the bus. In order to
increase storage capacity
enterprises must purchase more

 Distance Limitations.
 Storage device must be located
close to the server since SCSI
devices are designed to work over
parallel cable with max length of 12

 Inability to share data or unused

resources with other servers
 Difficult to recover from hardware
 Data backup/recovery is time
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(Network Attached Storage)

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NAS Basic Concepts

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NAS Basic Concepts (Contd..)

Network-attached storage (NAS) is a file-level computer data storage connected to

a computer network providing data access to heterogeneous network clients.
High utilization of storage since it is shared across multiple servers.
Heterogeneous servers can be seamlessly share files in their native file formats.
NAS uses file-based protocols such as NFS (popular on UNIX systems) or CIFS
(Common Internet File System) , SMB (Server Message Block) used with MS
Windows systems.
NAS hardware is similar to the traditional file server equipped with direct attached
The operating system and other software on the NAS unit provides only the
functionality of data storage, data access and the management of these
NAS systems usually contain one or more hard disks, often arranged into logical,
redundant storage containers or RAIDs (redundant arrays of independent disks),
as do traditional file servers.
NAS I/O requests are called file I/Os.
Overall best suited for medium and large enterprises in terms of scalability, cost,
and manageability.

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NAS Software Architecture

The NAS storage system involves two types of devices:

 NAS devices: Present storage resources onto the LAN network that
are shared by the client computer systems attached to the LAN.
 Client computer system: Accesses the Virtual storage resource
without knowledge of the whereabouts of the Resources
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NAS Software Architecture (Contd..)

The application File I/O access

request are handled by the client OS
in the form of system calls.
The system calls are intercepted by
an I/O redirector layer determines if
the accessed data is part of the
remote file system or the local
attached file system.
The data is part of the remote file
system, the file director Passes the
commands onto the NFS protocol
stack that maps the file access
system calls into command message
for accessing the remote file
servers in the form of NFS or CIFS
These remote file access messages
are then passed onto the TCP/IP
protocol stack, which ensures
reliable transport of The message
across the network. The NIC driver
ties the TCP/IP stack to the NIC. The
Ethernet NIC provides the Physical
interface and MAC function to the
LAN network.

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NAS Software Architecture (Contd..)

In the NAS device, the NIC receives

the Ethernet Frames Carrying the
remote file access commands. The
NIC driver Presents the datagram's to
the TCP/IP stack.

The TCP/IP stack recovers the

original NFS or CIFS Messages sent
by the client system. The NFS file
Access Handler processes the
remote file commands from the
NFS/CIFS messages and maps the
commands into file Access system
calls to file system of the NAS device.

The NAS file system, The Volume

Manager and disk System device
driver operate in a similar way as the
DAS file system, translating the file
I/O commands into block I/O
transfers between the Disk controller
/ HBA and the disk system that is
either part of the NAS device or
attached to the NAS device
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NAS Merits & Demerits


Improved server performance

Servers show a marked improvement in
their performance as the CPU-intensive
I/O activities are performed by the NAS
Increased data availability
 NAS device operate independently of
servers. i.e. even if a server is down data
is available to the client through other
Easy scalability
 NAS devices can be attached to a
network during working hours, without
having to interrupt the normal functions of
a network.
Transparent Back-up
 Data stored on the NAS devices can be
backed up without affecting other
Easy Manageability
 NAS device can be configured through
Standard Web browsers or Third-party
management tools.


Excessive network traffic:

 A request from a client is targeted at the
server, which then passes it on to the
corresponding NAS device. The NAS
device then returns the requested data to
the server. The server consequently
forwards the data to the client. This is a
long procedure and consumes network

Slow transactions:
 Although NAS devices function at high
speeds, the response time to client
request can increase during speak hours
when the number of clients requesting
information is high.

Increased Vulnerability:
 Because NAS device are directly
attached to the network and can be
easily accessed, they are vulnerable to
malicious attacks. As a result there is a
great chance that confidential business
data can be compromised
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(Storage Area Network)

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SAN Basic Concepts

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SAN Basic Concepts (Contd)

Storage area network (SAN) is an architecture to attach remote computer

storage devices (such as disk arrays, and tape libraries) to servers in
such a way that, to the operating system, the devices appear as locally
SAN may use Fibre Channel or Ethernet (iSCSI) to provide connectivity
between hosts and storage
Typical physical connections include SCSI or Fibre Channel
SAN provides block-orient I/O between the computer systems and the
target disk systems.
SAN is often built on a dedicated network fabric that is separated from
the LAN network to ensure the latency-sensitive block I/O SAN traffic
does not interfere with the traffic on the LAN network
I/O request to disk storage on a SAN are called block I/O S

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SAN Software Architecture

SAN software Architecture is same as the

software Architecture of DAS system, the
key difference is that disk controller driver is
replaced by either the Fiber channel protocol
or the iSCSI/ TCP/ IP Stack that provides the
transparent function for block I/O
commands to the remote disk system across
the SAN Network.

The block I/O SCSI commands are mapped

into FC frames at the FC-4 layer.

The FC-2 and F C-1 layer provides the

signaling and physical transport of the
frames VIA the HBA driver and the HBA
hardware. AS the abstraction of storage
resources is provided at the block level, the
application that access data at the block level
can work in a SAN environment.

SAN storage model, the operating system

view storage resources as SCSI devices.
Therefore, SAN infrastructure can directly
replace DAS without significant changes to
the operating system.

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SAN Merits & Demerits



 Improvements to application availability:

 High initial cost

Storage is independent of applications

and accessible through multiple data
paths for better reliability, availability, and

 Higher application performance:

Storage processing is off-loaded from

servers and moved onto a separate

 Centralized and consolidated storage:

Simpler management, scalability,

flexibility, and availability.

 Data transfer and vaulting to remote


Remote copy of data enabled for disaster

protection and against malicious attacks.

 Long distance connectivity:

With Fibre channel capable of running up

to 10 kilometers, we can keep our data in
a remote, physically secure
location. Fibre channel switching also
makes it very easy to establish private
connections with other SANs for
mirroring, backup, or maintenance.

SANs are very expensive as Fibre

channel technology tends to be pricier
and maintenance requires a higher
degree of skill. Also, there are a few SAN
product vendors due to its very high price
and very few mega enterprises need
SAN set up.

 Not leveraging on existing technology


Leveraging of existing technology

investments tends to be much difficult.
Though SAN facilitates to make use of
already existing legacy storage, lack of
SAN-building skills has greatly
diminished deployment of homegrown
SANs. So currently pre-packaged SANs
based on Fibre channel technology are
being used among the enterprises.

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Comparison of DAS,NAS & SAN

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Comparison of DAS,NAS & SAN (Contd)




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Comparison of DAS,NAS & SAN (Contd)





Suited for extremely small or legacy

hardware and operations
Storage capabilities usually embedded into
server technology, requiring no installation



Easy to install and manage

Less complex than SAN technology
Allows you to share files and capacity
throughout multiple operating systems and
file systems
Allows you to purchase storage separate
from other computing resources
Best performance (2 Gbps with 4 Gbps
coming soon)
High scalability
Pool shared storage resources
Ability to add additional capacity at will

Inefficient provisioning
Adding storage means
adding servers
Require downtime to add
Can't share storage
Performance, not as good
as SAN
As NAS filer capacity fills
up, it becomes a bottleneck
and single point of failure
No database support, just
file transfers
Expensive purchase price
Requires additional skills to
install and manage
Interconnects limited to 10
Interoperability issues
between vendors
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SAN Cost Savings

Storage Area Networks (SANs) offer compelling, proven

returns on investment (ROI) and business benefits that
help make business justification and approval of your
SAN easier.

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SAN Direct Cost Savings

 Reduced Administrative Staffing (Based on study by McKinsey &
Company, Merrill Lynch & IDC):
 Organizations reduced the time needed to perform a storage upgrade from over a month with
Direct Attached Storage (DAS) to less than a week with a SAN.
 The total cost of ownership of storage in SANs was 65 percent less expensive than in a DAS
environment, based on a 2 TB system over a three-year period.
 SANs can reduce management costs from approximately 55 percent of the storage budget to
just 15 percent.

 Decreased Disk and Tape Storage Hardware Spending:

 SAN customers have reported an increase in storage utilization from 30 to 50 percent for DAS to
80 to 90 percent for SAN. For large implementations, this can reduce storage subsystem costs
by 40 to 66 percent

 Reduced backup hardware (Based on study by Forrester Research):

 A study by Forrester Research indicates that customers, on average, can reduce their number of
tape drives by 75 percent with a SAN.

 Deferred LAN Infrastructure Spending:

 By moving backup traffic off the LAN, LAN-based applications can perform at the levels they
need without investing more in LAN infrastructure.
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SAN Direct Cost Savings (Contd)

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SAN Indirect Cost Savings

While harder to quantify, SANs provide indirect cost
savings affecting your business revenue, customer
satisfaction, and company's reputation.
SANs help prevent costly:

Unplanned outages
Disappointing user experiences
Lost data
Delays to market

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Related Reading - Storage Vendors and

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Thank You

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