By Lee Johns, director of marketing, StorageWorks Entry Storage and Storage Blades, HP
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS). Does not sound very exciting really does it? Many of you will know SAS as a class of disk drives found in servers and arrays but how many have ever though of using SAS as an interconnect for storage instead of Fibre Channel or iSCSI? Probably not many and with good reason. SAS is a point to point protocal that can not compete today with the sophistication of network storage toploogies like Fibre Channel and iSCSI for Enterprise Arrays.
But what if you just want to deliver a simple solution for shared boot, or a VMware infrastructure that enables Vmotion without a SAN, or you have an application that performs best with a direct attached storage architecture but you want better storage utilization. Now the cost and complexity of a SAN seems somewhat redundant. Why is there no way to provide the performance you need with the consolidation and utilization of a SAN without the overhead of an expensive fibre channel network infrastructure or leaving things as they are with existing direct attached storage (DAS)?
There is an answer. It is using SAS as a shared storage interconnect and with it you can build much simpler shared storage environments that can be managed by a server administrator. This saves you time, money and enables you to build the best architecture for any application. It is not a replacement for the traditional SAN but it is an enhancement to DAS that places the data and control where it should be and does not force fit a SAN as the answer to all storage problems.
Shared SAS solutions are available today and I encourage you to think where they could help you improve your Direct Attached Storage architectures and augment the SAN. SAS began as an internal server interconnect so maybe it is no surprise that dedicated storage vendors like EMC and NetApp are ignoring SAS as an interconnect. They feel it is threatening to them and that is exactly why you should be taking a serious look!
Last week I had mentioned a post by Lee Johns, Director of Marketing for Entry Storage that discusses storage and blades. Lee has posted part 2. It's good information and a short read. There is also a comment from a customer and Lee's response. Check those out too. Here's the link: http://www.communities.hp.com/online/blogs/eyeonblades/archive/2008/07/07/part-2-q-amp-a-on-blades-and-storage.aspx
If you missed part 1, here's a link to it: http://www.communities.hp.com/online/blogs/eyeonblades/archive/2008/06/27/q-amp-a-on-blades-and-storage.aspx