Q

How do I eliminate IP storage network latency?

Eliminating IP storage network latency can be addressed by deploying the right hardware in the right manner.

What are some best practices for eliminating IP storage network latency?
IP storage uses Ethernet media for transportation. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that you use Gigabit-compliant networking gear end-to-end. This includes network interface cards (NICs) in the host (initiator), patch cables, switches and the end device -- the actual storage target.

Your choice of the Gigabit switch should include the managed kind that offers VLAN, QoS, etc.

Depending on your application requirements, you may want to consider using hardware-accelerated NICs with the ability to offload TCP and iSCSI traffic to relieve the host CPU from excessive interruptions. This scenario is available in both the Initiator and target devices.

On the initiator side, your host may also offer the Ethernet teaming capability. This capability, along with the use of a more intelligent target that offers Ethernet LAG (Link Aggregation) in their multiport connections, could then turbocharge the IP storage connections on the wire.

Collectively, all these factors should improve the network performance of your IP-based storage.

These days, the Gigabit networking gears are considered commodity items and are very affordable. So don't cut corners and use branded products for better reliability and support.

Using a LAN in IP storage will usually result in less network latencies than a WAN.

This was first published in May 2007

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