Since I work in the SMB/Commercial space as a TC, I routintely am exposed to mixed fabric environments. With the advent of iSCSI, we’ve seen a proportional shift towards iSCSI as a reduced-cost block storage fabric. Legacy (2Gb/s) fibre still has presence in specific markets but the uptake of 4Gb/s fibre has been slowing down. With FCoE being announced as the next logical evolution of converged fabrics and 8Gb/s FC and 10G iSCSI working their way to availability, does FCoE make sense for SMB/Commercial markets?
So, I’ve been toying around with this in my mind for some time. Essentially, I’ve tried to understand the basic “Storage Processor” limitation of current storage systems and propose an admittedly simplistic design to get around some of the difficulties. The biggest hurdle, in my mind, is to have cache coherency, low latency memory access to other nodes in a “cluster,” and have a communications “bus” between nodes that is extensible (or at least will grow bandwidth with more devices on the signal chain). Staring at that problem, then, look at the image below.