The PowerMaxOS iSCSI target model has been designed to meet customer demands regarding control and isolation of resources, as well as to provide a platform for greater physical port utilization and efficiencies. This allows customers to build true multi-tenant environments on the PowerMax platform while keeping the provisioning method used for FC interface through masking views. The PowerMax iSCSI target implementation provides the following benefits:
- High performance and bandwidth due to higher adoption of 25 GbE and faster network interfaces—IP-based connectivity can now deliver bandwidth equivalent to or faster than 16 Gb FC SAN networks for most workloads. For online transaction processing (OLTP) workloads, iSCSI and FC provide nearly identical performance.
- Multi-tenancy and network isolation, leveraging VLAN, internal network IDs and static routes—VLANs provide virtual networks so iSCSI traffic can be isolated from other network activity, or from other tenants. An internal Network ID is a PowerMaxOS construct that the system uses internally to associate a storage system IP interface with a storage system iSCSI target and to isolate IP interfaces within same subnet. The valid range for Network IDs is 0 to 511. Static routes can be managed at the interface level.
- Separation of the iSCSI Target Node from the physical port and increased scale—Often, iSCSI deployments can only allocate a single IP address to each storage target port, limiting the deployment scale. PowerMax iSCSI targets are designed around virtual storage ports to overcome these limitations. Virtual storage ports are created when the target is created. This allows users to create individual target nodes without restrictions related to the physical ports. Targets can be easily moved from one physical port to another if needed. Individual iSCSI targets can be assigned one or more IP interfaces, which define network access paths for hosts to reach the target node.
- Added security—PowerMax provides unidirectional and bidirectional Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol (CHAP) authentication for added security.
- Better throughput—Maximum Transmission Unit (MTU) of 9000 (Jumbo Frames) is supported on iSCSI interfaces for better throughput.
- Fast and dynamic—PowerMax host initiator groups are part of the PowerMax device-masking configuration which allows fast and flexible changes to relationships between host initiators, storage target ports, and storage devices. Only the participating members of a masking view are visible to each other.
- QoS—Storage-side Quality of Service (QoS) is implemented at the storage group (SG) level using host I/O limits and PowerMaxOS service levels.
- Converging storage and network infrastructure in the data center—These benefits include cost savings from maximizing existing network management skills, unifying infrastructure components, and the added simplicity of IP-based connectivity.
- Improved support for lower-cost test/dev environments—Even when existing primary databases use FC interfaces, PowerMax SnapVX can easily create database snapshots that can be accessed using iSCSI, for example, by development or QA groups.