rotocol storage) Using the IP protocol to connect storage area networks (SANs) in remote locations. SANs can be extended across metropolitan area networks (MANs) and wide area networks (WANs) without distance limitations.
For Fibre Channel (FC) SANs, protocols are used to tunnel FC frames within IP packets (FCIP) or convert frames to packets (iFCP) to ride over IP. For non-Fibre Channel SANs, the iSCSI protocol converts SCSI data to IP packets. See FCIP
Fibre Channel Vs. iSCSI
Traditional SANs were developed using the Fibre Channel transport, because it provided gigabit speeds compared to Ethernet at 10 and 100 Mbps. When Gigabit Ethernet arrived, it became possible to interconnect FC switches over IP/Ethernet networks. For organizations without Fibre Channel, iSCSI provides a lower-cost alternative. In the large enterprise, both Fibre Channel SANs and iSCSI SANs (IP SANs) are used. See SAN
IP Storage Switch
This Nishan Systems switch converts Fibre Channel to IP. Other Nishan products support SANs with SCSI, Fibre Channel, iSCSI and iFCP devices. Nishan was acquired by McData and then Brocade. (Image courtesy of Nishan Systems.)