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1.4 Chapter Summary

Using the SNIA Shared Storage Model

  • The SNIA Shared Storage Model provides a framework for understanding the relationship between applications and underlying storage resources.

  • At the high level, the SSM separates applications from the supporting storage domain.

  • The storage domain includes the file/record subsystem, block aggregation layer, block subsystem, and auxiliary services subsystem.

  • The file/record subsystem defines whether data is passed to the upper-layer application as files or as records.

  • Database applications typically use records.

  • Files and records ultimately reside on storage disks as data blocks.

  • A data block is a contiguous group of data bytes stored on disk.

  • Data blocks are grouped into files or records at the block aggregation layer.

  • Block aggregation can be performed on the host, within the SAN, or at the storage device.

  • The block subsystem is composed of physical disk or tape devices that store data blocks.

  • The services subsystem includes discovery, monitoring, management, security, backup, availability, capacity planning, and other storage-specific functions that enhance the operation of the storage domain.

  • A SAN resides between the file/record subsystem and the block subsystem.

  • SANs enable connection between multiple servers and storage resources in a peer-to-peer network.

  • SANs serve data blocks to the host; NAS serves files to the host.

  • The SAN infrastructure may be Fibre Channel, IP SAN, or some combination.

  • A NAS device may span the file/record subsystem to the lower-level block subsystem.

  • The Shared Storage Model can be used to overlay customer applications and storage and to facilitate planning for shared storage alternatives.

  • The SSM is a convenient tool for both data center and remote site SAN design.

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