Best Practices for Specific Architectures
Topic Last Modified: 2005-07-26
In addition to implementing the best practices that apply to all storage architectures, you should familiarize yourself with the pros, cons, and best practices that are specific each type of storage architecture type. The following table lists these architecture types, including the pros and cons of each.
Storage architectures, including the pros and cons of each
Direct-attached storage (DAS)
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Storage Area Network (SAN)
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Internet SCSI (iSCSI)
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A dedicated iSCSI gigabit network separating network traffic from storage traffic is recommended.
For each storage architecture type, you must use the IOPS per mailbox value that you calculated earlier to:
Optimize for performance
Optimize for reliability
The Storport driver, a new feature in Microsoft® Windows Server™ 2003, delivers greater performance in hardware RAID and SAN environments than the preexisting SCSIport driver was capable of delivering.
In the Microsoft® Windows® operating system, the SCSIport driver, in conjunction with vendor-written adapter-specific miniport drivers, was for many years, the only driver delivering SCSI commands to the storage targets. The SCSIport driver, however, was designed to work optimally with the parallel SCSI interconnects used with direct attached storage. It was neither designed to meet the high performance standards of Fibre Channel SAN configurations, nor to work well with hardware RAID.
As a consequence, organizations running mission critical Windows applications on their servers do not realize the maximum performance benefits or manageability of their Fibre Channel SANs or hardware RAID adapters (on both the host and storage arrays) when I/O passes between the host and storage target.
These limitations have been overcome with the development of Storport, the new device driver designed to supplement SCSIport on Windows Server 2003 and beyond. Storport is a new port driver that delivers higher I/O throughput performance, enhanced manageability, and an improved miniport interface. Together, these changes help hardware vendors realize their high performance interconnect goals.
For more information about the Storport driver, see http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsServer2003/technologies/storage/storport/default.mspx.