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back to article Souped-up Coraid aims to change its spots

Coraid used to be a downmarket beast, selling its Ethernet storage wares off a barrow on the street - now it's got shiny new management and has new aspirations. Can it make the transition and become a creature to be reckoned with? Coraid sells storage using AoE, ATA-over-Ethernet, protocol which is very lightweight, making iSCSI …

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Yes but ...

One very important point missed in this article is that AoE brings the opportunity to segment mirrored storage across distance meaning its IDEAL for city wide failover. Used in conjunction with NexentaStor, you can build very cost-effective but feature-rich highly available (and DR ready) storage systems. One such example was demonstrated live at Nexenta's European Conference in Amsterdam last month where in front of a live audience, a 12TB NexentaStor volume was failed over from one data centre in Brussels to another 15km away; total solution was in the order of EUR 50,000.

Coraid's stuff is simplicity in itself and no lie that it takes minutes (if not seconds) to set-up. Network aggregation is also superb, adding further connections between Coraid Unit and server adds instant bandwidth, just like turning a tap higher, flow throughput increases immediately. No multi-pathing issues either, just does what it says on the tin!

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SSDD

ed at Saturday 4th June 2011 08:36 GMT

All the time I read this AoE related marketing BS about venture funding, few more customers etc I'm asking the same little tricky thing: Why don't you guys do the same with iSCSI or FCoE? It's still Ethernet back ended. With iSCSI or FCoE at least potentially amount of adopters is HUGE. No answer. "Differentiate or die" (c) Jack Trout, was accepted too serious :)

Olg

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WTF?

ATA over Ethernet?

Seems like a solution in search of a problem to me....

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To a layman maybe

Only if you've never had to deal with SANs that use FC or iSCSI.

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Pint

re. protocols

"But it may be that the reason that the iSCSI and FC protocols are so detailed is that they do a whole lot more and the resulting network connectivity is more reliable and robust"

In AoE the reliability and robustness is handled in L2, i.e. the switches, which is the whole point.

@Igorevna:

It's not enough that AoE is cheaper and faster than traditional SANs? If you need the complex features of FC, go ahead and use FCoE. A typical HA cluster doesn't require any of that. I've only dealt with setting up FC in a one scenario but that was enough for me to see the merits of AoE.

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Ethernet will rule, and ATA over ethernet is just common sense.

Hmm ... guess what the best protocol to run over ethernet is? It's ethernet of course!!! iSCSI and FC both wrap SCSI commands and data in packets. And don't forget that SCSI (Small Computer Systems Interface) was designed as a technology to attach small peripherals (eg tape drives) to a server. I bet no-one ever envisaged SCSI becoming a data centre protocol.

ATA over ethernet basically takes the ATA command set and transports it over layer 2 ethernet. No FC stack, no TCP/IP stack. In the same way that a server talks to an internal drive - except that the drive is not internal, it's in an array attached by ethernet.

FCoE just validates ethernet as the ONLY viable futureproof method of storage transmission - so why add an overhead by wrapping data up and then unwrapping it the other end?

Give it 2 or 3 years and the big boys will be looking to add AoE to their arrays. In the same way that they all discounted iSCSI then had to retrofit it when EqualLogic and LeftHand started hurting their sales (and yes, I worked at EqualLogic over 3 years ago and experienced this first hand).

Don't ignore AoE ... it makes sense.

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