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Lightel - Storage Network Solution

Lightel Storage Network Solution

Today’s Data Centers typically implement several high-speed networks to achieve data traffic segregation for improved performance and security enforcement. Lightel System’s multi-channel optical network solution (LightelNet) supports multiple high-speed virtual networks over the same set of fiber. CyberBridge and CyberSwitch allow seamless integration with the existing Gigabit Ethernet and Fiber Channel SANs (Storage Area Networks). All these features make LightelNet a very cost effective solution for Data Centers.
Lightel realized although the high bandwidth and Ethernet transport made LightelNet very attractive for the IP and NAS (Network Attached Storage) markets, the SAN market required a transport more suited for SCSI storage devices. Prism Communications was assigned the task of analyzing the various available transport mechanisms like iSCSI, Fiber Channel Protocol (FCP) and eSCSI (from DSI, Singapore) or design a new one. The goal was to identify a protocol that will allow LightelNet to be used as a framework for Storage Area Networks, transparently supporting all SAN features like Virtualization, LUN Masking, Zoning and Third Party Copy, etc. Interoperability with the existing FC-SANs was required for easy migration to LightelNet with minimum risk.

PRISM’s association with Lightel Systems for the CyberNIC Driver Development and NMS Framework gave us a deep understanding of the LightelNet concept. After a thorough analysis of the existing transport protocols, we proposed a Lightel Storage Net solution based on eSCSI (SCSI over Ethernet). This approach provided minimum risk, reduced development and testing effort and a high level of compatibility with the existing SAN solutions.

For interoperability with the existing FC-SAN solutions, Prism Communications also proposed Storage Bridge architecture. Again the goal was minimum risk, high reliability and reduced development and testing effort. The proposed solution was based on off-the-shelf FC-HBAs (Host Bus Adapters), a PC with multiple PRISM buses and Lightel’s CyberNIC. Several eSCSI software components were reused in the bridges software design. Cost effectiveness, flexibility and adaptability were the salient features of the proposed design.

Windows 2000 Internals, WDM, NDIS-5, TCP/IP, NIC, LightelNet, SCSI, iSCSI, eSCSI, Fiber Channel Protocol (FCP), SAN, NAS

Project Duration: 2 Months
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