Module 4: Getting Started with Basic Network Administration

In this blog, I will demonstrate how to configure Network File System (NFS) and
Common Internet File System (CIFS)on a storage system.

The Network File System (NFS) is a client/server application that allows a computer user view as well as optionally store and update file on a remote computer as though they were on the user’s own computer. The NFS protocol is one of several distributed file system standards for network-attached storage (NAS). NFS uses Remote Procedure Calls (RPC) to route requests between clients and servers. Computers connected to a network operate as clients while accessing remote files, and as servers while providing remote users access to local shared files. It allows system administrators or the users who have NFS access permission to mount all file or portion of the file system on a server. That mounted file can be accessed by the client based on their assigned privileges such as Read, Write or Read-Write.

The Common Internet File System (CIFS) is an Internet Protocol-based file-sharing protocol. That is the standard way that computer users share files across corporate intranets and the Internet. CIFS uses the client-server programming model that is based on client request, server requests and return a response to access a file.

CIFS is considered an obsolete file sharing system because Server Message Block (SMB) has taken place of CIFS and most modern data storage systems use robust SMB 2.0 and 3.0 file sharing protocol.

Note: NFS is for Linux/Unix systems while CIFS is for windows systems mainly.

CIFS or SMB and NFS are the major protocols used in network-attached storage systems.

The tasks for the module 4:

  • Use NETAPP ONCOMMAND SYSTEM MANAGER to License NFS and CIFS Service
  • Use NETAPP ONCOMMAND SYSTEM MANAGER and CLI to Export a Volume
  • Mount exports from an administration host
  • Use NETAPP ONCOMMAND SYSTEM MANAGER to Configure CIFS service
  • Create a Windows Domain User
  • Use NetApp OnCommand system manager to View and create shares
  • Create a new share with computer management
  • Map shares to drive letters
  • Modify User Permissions
  • Display CIFS Sessions
  • Configure SMb 2.0 protocol
  • Terminate CIFS sessions

Steps for the task: Use NETAPP ONCOMMAND SYSTEM MANAGER to License NFS and CIFS Service

You require storage system software licenses to enable certain services and features on your storage system, such as NFS, CIFS, FCP, and iSCSI services. Some features require license keys depending on the platform model; However, some features do not require individual license key because those services are free of cost or along with other features of software pack.

Step1: Before active your license key for the services, check your license status and system serial number.

> license    [It will show you license status and system serial number]

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Step 2: Go to your NETAPP ONCOMMAND SYSTEM MANAGER.  Dataontap->Configuration->System Tools->licenses.  Note: In the Licenses node, Name, type, key, and date of expiration of each license will be displayed.2.jpg

Licenses for the ESX build (Serial Number 4079432752): 

CIFS WMNZAUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA CIFS protocol
FCP UBJDCUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA Fibre Channel Protocol
FlexClone QFALEUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA FlexClone
Insight_Balance WSKLIUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA OnCommand Insight and Balance products
iSCSI IHLOBUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA iSCSI protocol
NFS KSPKAUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA NFS protocol
SnapLock OUVOFUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA SnapLock Compliance
SnapLock_Enterprise KYMWHUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA SnapLock Enterprise
SnapManager APTDGUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA SnapManager and SnapDrive products
SnapMirror ELCWDUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA SnapMirror, including synchronous SnapMirror
SnapProtect MJRSGUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA SnapProtect Applications
SnapRestore SQEHDUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA SnapRestore
SnapVault CAYZEUTQACAAAAXAGAAAAAAAAAAA SnapVault primary and secondary

Step 3: Cick ‘add’  to add license key. A box wizard appears. 3.jpg4.jpg

Put each of services licenses key that you want to enable. In my case, I enabled NFS, CIFS, iSCSI, FCP.5.jpg

Steps for the task: Use NETAPP ONCOMMAND SYSTEM MANAGER and CLI to Export a Volume

In this task, I will show how to create export and how to export a volume from other location using NETAPP ONCOMMAND SYSTEM MANAGER and CLI.

Step 1: Go to NETAPP ONCOMMAND SYSTEM MANAGER. Click dataontap ->  Export-> Storage. Then Click “Create“.6

A “Create Export” wizard appears. Click “Browse” for location folder where you want to export. 7.jpg11.jpg

Before “Create”, Set your export rule permission from “Edit”. then click “Modify” and “Create“. In my case, I selected “Read only” access rule for host permission.10.jpg

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Step 2: For CLI prompt, You need to login via PuTTY with IP address or Hostname to connect Storage System.

First, you need to verify the content location, and whether automatic exporting of the new volume is enabled or not! by the following command lines. Note: If your new export volume is not enabled yet, make it enable because when the option nfs.export.auto-update is enabled, new volumes are exported upon creation.

rdfile /etc/exports

options nfs.export.auto-update

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Step 3: Now you need to create a new volume by the following command:

vol create NFSvol aggr1 100m [create new volume]

rdfile /etc/exports [verify the export location]

exportfs -a [Display the current list of defined exports]

exportfs [display the list of current export]

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As you see from the result of command line: the nfs.export.auto-update option only exports the volume is that is current exports, not existing export. [It will show previous exports volume is offline, not exported]

Steps for the task: Mount exports from an administration host

In this task, I will mount the export volume to the directory that I created the previous task using CLI interface.

  1. You need to establish a telnet session to the administration host and create a directory for your storage system and mount it with NFS Volume.

  ># mkdir /mnt/Node1 [Node 1 is the variable and it is not a best practice to create a directory by system name]

# mkdir /mnt/Node1/vol0 [Create a subdirectory in the note directory]

# mount IP_address:/vol/vol0 /mnt/Node1/vol0
# cd /mnt/Node1/vol0 [ To mount the storage system root volume to vol0]

# ls –al /mnt/Node1/vol0 [display the directory structure root volume of storage sytem]

# touch foo [this command create a file in the root of the storage]

# mkdir /mnt/Node1/nfs_tree1 [for creating a mount point on the client]

# mount IP_address:/vol/NFSvol/nfs_tree1 /mnt/Node1/nfs_tree1 [mount command excution ]

# cd /mnt/Node1/nfs_tree1        [change mount directory and create files]
# man csh > file1
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/Node1/nfs_tree1/file2 bs=8192 count=12500

df –h /vol/NFSvol [for checking disk usage on your storage system]

 

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Steps for the task: Use NETAPP ONCOMMAND SYSTEM MANAGER to Configure CIFS service

In this task, I will configure CIFS service that is used for sharing a file in the windows operating system.

Step1: Go to the NetApp System Manger tools to connect cluster, click Configuration ->Protocol->CIFS. You will see that CIFS service status is not configured. 18.jpg

Step 2: Then click “Setup” to get CIFS setup Wizard.19.jpg

Step3: I selected “Multiprotocol” because I want to allow storage system to have Windows and Unix permission, but You can select “NTFS only” for Windows permission.20.jpg

Step4: Select Active Directory Authentication so that all domain users will be allowed to access CIFS File sharing. Then give Domain Name and Domain credentials.

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The Password is the storage root system password.23.jpg

Verify the default name of the system, and do not enter any WINS server addresses. Then Click Next24.jpg25.jpg26.jpg

Step5: The CIFS configuration is ready. You can view the details here.27.jpg

For review the Domain controller information and Server information, click Domain tab. 28.jpg

Steps for the task: Create a Windows Domain User

In this task, I will create a domain user and install Remote Server Administration Tools roles and features on DC server to access storage system vSim from domain users.

Step1: Go to your DC server and click Add roles and features from Server manager dashboard. 29.jpg30.jpg

Step2: Now you need to create a domain user. Go to Server Manager dashboard and select tools->  log in to the Active Directory Users and Computers, and create a domain user.31.jpg32.jpg33.jpg34.jpg

Steps for the task: Use NetApp OnCommand system manager to View and create shares

In this task, I will view the shares, create New Technology File System (NTFS) qtrees, and share the qtrees.

Step1: Go to the Storage system cluster. Select Storage -> Qtree  and click “Create35.jpg36.jpg37.jpg

Step 2: Go to Storage – > Shares. You will see a default shares folder list that has been already created. Click on “ETC$” and “Edit”  and C$ and “Edit” for set permission.38

Examine the current (default) permissions for this share on the Permission tab. You can set your own permission based on user list or you can leave the permission default for all users.39.jpg

Step 3: Now you need to create shares for cifs_tree1. Click “Create”, A “create share” wizard appears. Then Browse the cifs_tree1 for creating shares.40.jpg4243.jpg44.jpg

Step for the task: Create a new share with computer management

In this task, I will go back to my DC server. I will remotely connect with Storage system through Computer Management Service, and create a new share volume. Before performing that configuration, I will create an NTFS qtree called cifs_tree3 in NASvol using NetApp OnCommand System Manager. 45.jpg46.jpg

Step1: In the Dc server, Go to Computer Manager ( Search: Computer manager if you don’t know the location). From action tab, select “Connection to another computer“. Provide your storage system IP address for connection establish. 47.jpg48.jpg

Step2: Now you need to create a new share for cifs_qtree3 of NAS volume. Click right mouse on Shares -> Create New share.  “Create A Shared Folder” Wizard appears. Now49.jpg50.jpg51.jpg

Give the permission to the user that you created previous task “Domain User” section. Therefore, That user able to access the cifs_qtree3 shared folder. 52.jpg54.jpg55.jpg

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Now check the permission, click right mouse on “cifs_qtree3″ and select “properties. Go to Share permission tab and check – “Do the domain user have full permission? if yes, then okay, Otherwise; give the full permission57.jpg

Steps for the task: Map shares to drive letters

In this task, I will Map the shared folders to drive letters. So that users can find the volume folder as a drive on their computer. It will be easy to manage and access rather than browser every time through computer manager.

Step1:  From the Windows desktop, click Start > Computer > Map Network Drive and follow the snapshot for further instruction of creating a mapped drive.58.jpg59.jpg60.jpg

Step2: Copy some files from your Windows machine to cifs_tree1 and cifs_tree3. That files will be necessary for the further module exercise.

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Steps for the task: Modify User Permissions

In this task, I will show how to modify the user permissions via CLI command prompt

Step1: You need to configure permissions on cifs_tree1 for the domain user that you created earlier.  Go to your CL1 interface. Before modifying the permission, Go to Storage->Shares to check the current permission of cifs_tree1.62.jpg63.jpg

cifs access cifs_tree1 UserX rwx [ after execute this command, you can see userX = userdataontap got the permission of full access:rwx]

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Step2: Now you need to verify the access permission through storage system console.

cifs shares

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Steps3: Now you will view the permission from your dc machines through computer Manager. Go to DC server, open – Computer Manager and connect with your storage system through IP address. 66.jpg

 

Step3:  Now you will again modify the permission on the storage system for the cifs_tree1 share to read-only of domain userdataontap (or your userX).

cifs access cifs_tree1 userdataontap read [(UserX)=dataontap, or your own domain user]

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Now again verify the permission, you will see the permission of userdataontap has changed for cifs_tree1.68.jpg69
 Steps for the task: Display CIFS Sessions

Step1: In NetApp System Manager, click Diagnostics > Session. You will notice that there is some session, at least you will view one session.70.jpg

Step2: Now you need to open Computer Management and connect to your storage system. You can view two sessions with connection time and idle time. 71.jpg

Now verify the session with Storage system console.

> cifs sessions [It wil show all current sessions]

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Steps for the task: Configure SMb 2.0 protocol

In this task, I will configure SMb 2.0 Protocol in storage. And I will enable the service on the client machine.

SMB 2.0 Protocol is the upgrade version of CIFS. It operates mainly application-layer network and used for providing shared access files, serial ports and printers communication between nodes on the network.

Step1: Enable SMB 2.0 protocol on the storage system and the storage system’s SMB 2.0 protocol client capability. Go to CLI interface and execute the following command.

options cifs.smb2.enable on

options cifs.smb2.client.enable on

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Step2: You need to go your client machine to enable SMB 2.0 protocol. and run cmd prompt. Then type the following command line:

sc config lanmanworkstation depend= bowser/mrxsmb10/mrxsmb20/nsi [an extra space after = ]

sc config mrxsmb20 start= auto

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Step 3: Now you need to connect to a share from your client machine to your Storage system and open the folder named “Home“. 76.jpg77

Step 4: You need to verify the SMB2.0 protocol open sessions from the storage system. Execute the following command, you can view all available sessions including your client machine.

cifs sessions –p smb2

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Steps for the task: Terminate CIFS sessions

In this task, I will show you how to disconnect all the CIFS session from the Storage system through NetApp OnCommand system manager, and remote connection through “Computer Management” service. At the end of the demo, I will restart CIFS service again, so Don’t forget yours.

Step1: Go to your DC server and connect with your Storage system through Computer management. Select sessions, you can see their current available sessions. click right mouse button, select “Disconnect All Session“. 79.jpg

You will get a message that you will not able to disconnect all session because one session is using computer management at this moment. 80.jpg

Step2: Go to the NetApp OnCommand System Manager, Open your storage system. Go to Configuration -> Protocols->CIFS. Click On “STOP” for stopping all sessions.81.jpg82.jpg83.jpg

Click Diagnostics > Session. You can see there is no session after stopped the CIFS service.

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Step 3: For restart the CIFS service again. Go to the Protocols->CIFS again. Click “START“. Service will be restarted!

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What is NTFS?

NTFS is the file system that the Windows operating system uses for storing and retrieving files on a hard disk by local and remote users.

What is qtree?

A qtree is a logically defined file system that can exist as a special subdirectory of the root directory within an internal volume. You can create up to 4,995 qtrees per internal volume. There is no maximum for the storage system as a whole. There are no restrictions on how much disk space can be used by the qtree or how many files can exist in the qtree.

Recommendation: You will need to execute so many commands to configure, verification and analysis of your storage system; therefore, sometimes you will get errors because of the spelling mistake, not putting # when it requires. Just careful about your typing when you need to execute any command in the terminal console.

Screencast: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEkbv6MHW4Y

The next module-5, I will discuss “Protecting Data using Snapshot Technology

Thank you 🙂

 

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Data Network Fundamentals

This blog I would like to give a glance about Data network fundaments.  The different between NAS and SAN, and how iSCSI, SAS, and FC work within SAS systems. In addition, simple explanation of how to data networking relevance the file storage, block storage, high availability (HA), high-performance computing (HPC) .

Data storage and data networking

Data storage:

  • Data over time
  • Information repository
  • Capacity
  • RAID, JBOD

Data Network:

  • Data over distance
  • Information movement
  • Speed
  • Hubs and switches

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NAS and SAN: Access

NAS = File Access

  • Files managed within the NAS system
  • Management simplified

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SAN = Block access

  • Files managed outside the SAN system
  • Configured flexible
  • Performance high

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SAN connection: iSCSI, SAS, and FC

iSCSI:

  • Is an IP-based standard that is the primary alternative to FC
  • Is less expensive (uses standard cables and switches)
  • Can send signals longer distances
  • Is a client-server protocol including initiator is the client and target are the servers
  • Works with servers that use iSCSI software initiators or host bus adapter (HBA) cards for connection

SAS:

Uses aerial cable and carries SCSI packets

Is inexpensive and more reliable than iSCSI

Has a limited range and provides a limited number of connections

FC:

Advantages

  • Very reliable
  • Scalable
  • Flexible

Use cases

  • Designed for supercomputers
  • Now used in most enterprise storage application

FC: Topologies and Zoning

Topologies

  • FC –P2P (point to point)
  • FC-AL (arbitrated loop)
  • FC-SW (switch fabric): Single or dual

Zoning: Hard versus soft

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Brief of File and Block storage, High availability, and high-performance computing 

File storage versus Block Storage

Block storage:

  • Treats data as standardised chunks of data
  • Provide greater flexibility and higher performance

File storage

  • Handles data in terms of files
  • Easier and simple to deploy

What is the High Availability?

  • Ultimate goal – all data available at all times
  • Method –redundancy
  • Measurement –nines -99% = two nine, 99.99% = four nines

High-Performance computing:  Exceptional large system for example weather forecasting and climate research, oil and gas exploration, and molecular modelling

Characteristics:

  • Small configuration changes produce large benefits
  • Performance is measured in FLOPS (floating point operations per second )

Question: What is the best data network solution for the medium sales based company?

Answer:  For the medium sales based company where employees need to shared file which may be contained the sales figures of different interval or might be client profile. The best solution would be this type of company NAS solutions because NAS is easier to implement and simple to managing and cost effective for medium size organisation. NAS is the best solution for file sharing in the local area network.

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Storage Technologies

This post I would like to overview about the different type of storage technologies including Direct-attached storage (DAS), Network storage, storage virtualization, flash technology and cloud computing, and the components and protocol that underlie those technologies.  Furthermore, the benefits and which type of environment would be best-suited for that technology.

Direct-attached storage (DAS):

DAS is the digital storage system that is directly connected to one computer or server without any storage network in between, and it is not accessible to other clients and servers machines. Example, Hard drive is the form of direct-attached storage for an individual user.  DAS can be a disk on a server, Disk in a client, group of disks internal or external to a server.

In the enterprise solution, individual disk or group of disks that are internal or external are directly attached to a server through SCSI, SATA and SAS interfaces.

DAS sample

 Components:

  • ATA
  • SATA
  • eSATA
  • SCSI
  • SAS
  • FC

Benefit :

  • It can provide better performance than network storage because of the dedication server
  • Server does not need to traverse the network in order to read and write data
  • Proper utilisation of underlying storage during expansion of application server
  • It is one of the famous cost effective solutions for any small organisation

Best-suited environment:

  • Small business organisation or enterprise
  • Small or home office users
  • Localised file sharing with single or few servers in an infrastructure
  • Certain type of application that needs high performance

Limitation:

For the organisation that anticipates rapid data growth, it is important to keep in mind that DAS is limited in its scalability.

Criticised: An inefficient way to manage storage because DAS can’t be shared and it has not failover facilities if server crash occurs. However,  the advantages of the DAS has gained again as virtualization become mainstream.

Network-attached storage (NAS):

It is a kind of dedicated file storage devices that provides local-area network nodes with file-based shared storage through an Ethernet connection. NAS has a processor, Disk array using RAID technology for handling disk failure, the external disk can be connected to NAS system for additional storage. For managing and configured NAS devices do not need a keyboard or a monitor, it can be a browser-based utility program.

From both a cost perspective and an administrative perspective, network storage models such as NAS and SAN are more suited to high scalability requirement and can address the challenges inherent in a DAS implementation.

Components:

  • Ethernet switch
  • Own IP address
  • CFS
  • NFS

How a NAS system functions?

  • Each NAS must reside on the Local area network as an independent network node
  • On a network, the NAS system appears on a file server with an IP address
  • The NAS implements file services by using protocols of CFS and NFS
  • The application servers handle all the processing of data

NAS

Benefit:

  • NAS provide multiple clients to access the same files on the network
  • NAS appliances can be outfitted with larger disks or clustered together which provide both vertical scalability and horizontal scalability
  • File-based storage system that makes data available over the network
  • NAS relieves the server of storage and file sharing responsibility
  • NAS vendors with cloud storage provider may provide customer with an extra layer of redundancy for backup files
  • More flexible to data access

Best-suited Environment:

Ideal for business organisation who wants to

  • Easy to manage, Install and deploy
  • Implementing multiple clients at the file level to get access to faster data in a cost effective way
  • Consolidate DAS resources for better utilisation

DAS-NAS

Storage Area Network (SAN):

It is a dedicated high-speed network storage that interconnects and maintains shared pools of storage devices to multiple servers.  It allows each server to access shared storage even through disk drives directly attached to the server.  It is blocked based storage system that transfers data between servers and storage devices on request from the user end. A host sends out a block- based access request when it wants to access storage on the SAN.

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Components:

  • Cabling
  • Host bus adapters (HBAs)
  • Switches

How does it function?

  • Each switch and storage system must be interconnected
  • Physical interconnections must support bandwidth level so that they can handle peak data activities effectively

The different type of SAN:

  • FC-SAN (Fibre Channel) – most common

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  • iSCSI SAN – Standard IP-based storage access protocolUntitled1
  • FCoE SAN – Fibre Channel over Ethernet

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Best suited environment:

  • High data growth Database and Imaging server
  • High volume Transaction processing
  • High performance and 24/7 operation

Storage Virtualization:

Storage virtualization consists of taking several physical storage devices and joining them to appear as one logical unit to manage.

The benefit of storage virtualization:

  • Increase storage utilisation: It is easier for an administrator to managing all of the spaces including in the pool apart from its location by pooling storage into a single resource. This permits for much better storage utilisation.
  • Simplify storage management: Storage management is also easier because virtualization storage can be managed from a single administrate console. A storage administrator can see utilisation trends and growth patterns more clearly and can make better upgrade or capacity planning decisions. Virtualization storage can be thinly provisioned or even dynamically provisioned (increasing or decreasing the storage on demand)
  • Increase storage flexibility: Virtualization storage is also flexible when storage space is decoupled from a physical disk or storage arrays. It’s simple to migrate and copy that virtual storage between systems or geographic locations. For example, the data can be migrated from an older storage system to a newer one for the better performance without making any adjustments to the application. Similarly, data can be copied to another local storage system for backup purposes or replicate to an off-suit location for disaster recovery purposes.

The advantage of flash storage:

  • Memory unit: Stored data
  • Access controller: Manages and controls access to the storage space on the memory unit

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  • Superior speed
  • Reliable compare to traditional disk and unlike traditional disk, it uses electricity and read faster
  • Flexible, Cost-effective, Optimise storage

The advantage of Cloud computing:

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Private cloud computing:

Advantages:

  • Relay heavy on own data and applications
  • Have a restricted data security and privacy requirement
  • Can run a need-generation cloud data center efficiently and effectively on own system.

Disadvantage: Organization has to purchases and maintains all software and infrastructure

Public cloud computing:

Advantages:

  • The services and infrastructure are rendered off-site over the internet and are open to public
  • It offers the greatest level of efficiency in shared resources
  • Users don’t need to purchases hardware, software, or any supporting infrastructure because those resources are owned and managed by providers

Disadvantage: Public cloud is more vulnerable than private cloud in term of security and reliability

Hybrid cloud computing: It is a combination of private and public options. It can be the best choice for an organisation who offers services that are tailored for the different vertical market because the business can use a public cloud to communicate and connect with their clients and keep own data secure within a private cloud.

Advantages:

  • With multiple providers offering the benefit of multiple deployment models
  • Users can keep each aspect of their business in the most efficient environment

Disadvantage: Users have to keep track of multiple different security platforms and ensure that all aspects of their business can communicate with each other.

Question: A CEO of the organisation comes to you for a storage solution for his company. As per his requirement, the company has 1200 employees, maintained 8 separate servers for 8 different applications, they have a file server, mail server, database server and in hours software server.  Their data growth rate is GIGAbytes per hours. What is the best solution you would give him and why?

Answer:  The best suggestion I would like to give him to reduce the number of physical servers by using the virtualization storage. It would help him to reduce managing and maintain cost, administrative and controlling server would be easier for the company. Based on his data growth rate and access to operation time Storage Area network SAN  would be best suited for that company because it allows each server to access shared storage even through disk drives directly connected. It is high-speed network storage and maintained a shared pool of multiple servers. It is the best solution for that company has usage data growth database server and live operation 24/7, also required high performance.

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