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  DROBO
iSCSI SAN

elite | B800i | B1200i

DroboElite™ offers the best data storage experience ever for small to medium businesses (SMBs) and department within larger organizations. As the flagship Drobo platform, DroboElite redefines storage economics by delivering iSCSI SAN and advanced capabilities usually reserved for more expensive solutions. Built on the proven BeyondRAID™ technology, DroboElite is the easiest storage to deploy and manage, just one of the reasons it has finished ahead of well-known iSCSI SAN solutions in numerous product awards. Dual iSCSI ports and certifications with the top virtualization platforms and data protection applications make DroboElite the perfect choice as primary storage in a small business server or virtualized environment, and fantastic storage for backup in just about any environment.

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Whether you are building an SAN for the first time, scaling out an application, or implementing a server virtualization cluster, Drobo provides sophisticated yet easy-to-use networked storage for your IT environment. Utilizing the industry-standard iSCSI protocol, Drobo connects to your existing TCP/IP Ethernet network to consolidate storage and centrally share it with your servers.".

Simplify Your VMware Environment

Storage is an integral part of a successful virtualization strategy. DroboElite has been certified for use with VMware vSphere 4 to eliminate risk from your storage decision and help accelerate deployment of your virtual server environment.

Drobo iSCSI SAN  at work in Virtulized Enviroments Infologicpr

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     Drobo SAN Business Review


         
 

Drobo Dashboard

Look at all of your Drobos, at the same time. A Single Pane of Glass Drobo Dashboard, running on Windows or Mac OS X, is a single window to get status on and manage all of your Drobos.

Drobo and Citrix

Drobo and VMware

 

  What is BeyondRAID?

Storage without limitations

BeyondRAID leverages the same underlying data protection methodologies as traditional RAID, including mirroring and striping with parity; however, BeyondRAID applies these algorithms on top of a robust and flexible storage virtualization platform. This allows for the removal of the limitations and drawbacks normally associated with RAID. more details... BeyondRAID

Key benefits of BeyondRAID include:

Data protection against hard disk failure
Instant capacity expansion without downtime
Self-management
Automatic healing

Drobos, based on BeyondRAID, interact with computing systems in the same manner as storage arrays using traditional RAID, so installing a Drobo allows you to maintain your current operating system and file system. This eliminates the challenges and costs when moving to a new storage technology.

Moving Beyond RAID

Drobo's BeyondRAID technology solves these fundamental issues with traditional RAID while delivering much more. Built on an advanced virtualization platform, BeyondRAID chooses the correct protection algorithm based on data availability needs at any given moment.Since the technology works at the block level, it can write blocks of data that alternate between data protection approaches.

If you need to add storage capacity to a Drobo, simply insert additional disk drives or replace the smallest disks with larger ones - no need to change RAID levels, purchase a new storage array or go through the complex administration of pooling RAID groups. The BeyondRAID feature even allows IT managers to switch from single to dual disk redundancy with a single click, thereby ensuring enterprise-level dual parity data protection if required. If a drive happens to fail, Drobo will automatically re-layout the data to return to a protected state without any user interaction.

Problems with Traditional RAID

RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) was developed in the 1980s to pool disk drives for increased capacity and reliability for data storage. Since then, RAID has been a huge success, preventing single disk drive failures from causing data loss, and has been used in almost every enterprise data center.

Unfortunately, the complexity of RAID has made it challenging for small businesses and consumers to effectively use the technology. RAID has a high learning curve with many options. There's RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50, and 60 along with unfamiliar terminology like striping, mirroring, and parity.

Aside from complexity, these are the primary challenges with traditional RAID:
1. Lock-in of RAID levels. To change RAID levels, most storage arrays require the data to be moved off of it, reconfigured, and then moved back on. If you want to move to RAID 6 from RAID 5 for protection against two drive failures, it's a reinitialize and start over.
2. Lack of expandability. Once drives are configured into a RAID pool, that is it. If you want to add more storage capacity, the solution is to create a new RAID pool, leaving you with another chunk of storage to manage - or you can just reinitialize and start over.
3. Debilitated state after a drive failure. When a drive fails, most RAID implementations enter a state where data loss will occur if another drive falters before the user replaces the failed drive. Also, performance is hampered when in this debilitated state.

 

What is iSCSI?

iSCSI (pronounced "i-scuzzy") is an Internet Protocol (IP)-based storage networking standard for connecting storage arrays to computers, using high performance Ethernet. iSCSI is an industry-standard protocol, allowing organizations to consolidate and centralize storage while providing servers with the illusion of locally-attached disks. Unlike traditional Fibre Channel storage, which requires special-purpose cabling, iSCSI can be run over the existing Ethernet network infrastructure.

iSCSI Deployment Scenarios:

When building an iSCSI SAN with Drobo, there are a few network architectures you can use to ensure optimal performance and reliability for your applications.

  • iSCSI Drobo Direct-Attached to Servers
  • iSCSI Drobo Connected to Existing Network
  • iSCSI Drobo Connected to a Dedicated Storage Area Network (SAN)
  • iSCSI Drobo Connected to a Dedicated Storage Area Network (SAN)

 Drobo Direct-Attached to Servers

When deploying shared storage for the first time, you may only need to access the storage from two or three servers. If this is the case, you can directly connect Drobo to a Gigabit Ethernet port on a server. This is the easiest way to deploy an iSCSI Drobo. If your server is running Windows or Mac OS X, Drobo Dashboard will automatically configure the iSCSI settings, allowing iSCSI to be as easy as plugging in a USB drive.

Then, you can create volumes (or LUNs) on the Drobo and assign them to any of the attached servers. To a server, a volume will appear like a locally attached disk.

In a direct-attached setup, you can only provide storage to the number of available Ethernet connections on the Drobo. So for the B800i, it would be two servers, and for the B1200i it would be three servers. To share a Drobo with more servers, you will need to create a Storage Area Network (SAN). 

 iSCSI_drobo_direct_attached_to_servers

 iSCSI Drobo Connected to Existing Network.

 If you need to share an iSCSI Drobo with more than two servers, you need to connect it to a network. Since iSCSI runs over a standard TCP/IP Ethernet network, you can connect Drobo to the same network you currently connect servers to. This architecture may be an easy and low cost way to connect Drobo to a file or backup server.

When you combine data and iSCSI storage traffic on the same network, you have to be aware of the added traffic load to ensure performance is still adequate. If you require high performance storage for business-critical applications like email and databases, it is highly recommended to create a dedicated network for iSCSI storage traffic.

 iSCSI Drobo Connected to Existing Network

 iSCSI Drobo Connected to a Dedicated Storage Area Network (SAN)

Common SAN design best practices call for a dedicated network for block storage traffic. This is to ensure proper performance, reliability, and security of the data that servers need to write and access. If block storage traffic is on the same network as email request, and a backup operation occurs, users may not be able to check email. Or, if a lot of email requests come in at the same time, a database may become very slow. When business-critical applications are using a Drobo, it is best to create a separate network for storage traffic.

A high-speed gigabit switch can be installed to handle iSCSI traffic. It will not be connected to the main company LAN to ensure optimal performance and keep storage traffic secure. The iSCSI ports on a Drobo will be connected to this switch. A server will have at least one Ethernet port connected to this switch, while other Ethernet ports will be connected to the LAN. This allows clients to access servers over the LAN and servers to access storage over the SAN. The SAN can then grow independently to scale the number of Drobos deployed, as well as the number of servers accessing them.

iSCSI Drobo Connected to a Dedicated Storage Area Network (SAN)

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Crafting a Digital Asset Management Strategy
Drobo storage products provide fully automated data protection for safely storing digital content. In a normal state your data is inherently protected against drive failure, making Drobo ideal for use as “primary” storage.

Although Drobo provides redundancy, it is only part of a reliable digital asset management strategy. There are additional risk factors beyond a single drive failure that all customers should aware of.

Additional risk factors include but are not limited to accidental file deletion, multiple simultaneous drive failures, file system corruption, viruses, theft, power surges, fire, floods, software and hardware malfunction, earthquakes and of course curious toddlers.

Following best practices and carefully analyzing your digital asset management strategy for risk will help to maximize the safety of your data.


Thin Provisioning is a fundamental capability of BeyondRAID, allowing for infinite capacity expansion by just replacing a drive with a larger one.

Instant Expansion
occurs when a new, or larger, drive is inserted without any disruption in service.

Drobo's volumes are Smart Volumes, pulling needed storage from a common pool and then returning deleted blocks back to the common pool, preventing free space from being tied up by any particular server.

Mixed Drive Utilization allows you to insert any drive, of any size, or any type, and Drobo will optimally use it - check out our interactive Capacity Calculator.
 
Business Products DROBO (Click below to learn more)

Drobo model B800i

Drobo model B1200i

Drobo model DroboElite

Drobo... More Drobo Solutions

Beyon Raid Drobo SAN Infologic

BeyondRAID technology, built into every Drobo, delivers all of the benefits of traditional RAID, while providing much more and leaving many of the limitations behind. This next-generation of redundant storage technology brings together enhanced protection, reliability, expandability, and ease-of-use.

 Beyond Raid Every of Much Drobo Infologic

 

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Automatic Protection Levels ensures the best algorithm is used to protect from drive failure depending on the number of drives that are inserted, without any user configuration. There is no need to learn about RAID levels or what mirroring or striping is.

The facts of Drobo Beyond RAID Infologicpr.com  
 
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