SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Esmeralda Swartz, Kevin Jackson

Related Topics: Cloud Expo

Cloud Expo: Blog Post

Coraid and ATA-Over-Ethernet Technology

The Key Technology Enabler for Coraid’s Resilient Scalable Architecture

Data server admins are always on the lookout for changes in the industry that will help do their job better, keep their data safer, and speed up file access. The old standbys in recent years have been iSCSI and Fibre Channel. These high-speed technologies have been good matches for storage applications like database use and management where use can be intense. They can, however, be quite costly to keep up and running properly and they require a lot of care and maintenance. A new alternative to iSCSI and Fibre Channel is ATA-Over-Ethernet (AoE).

This open-source connectionless storage networking protocol was originally developed in 2003 by California company, Coraid. It connects servers and storage in a less complex fashion than iSCSI and Fibre Channel. The AoE Layer 2 design works to find the most efficient way to transmit raw disk I/O commands over raw Ethernet. The more connects that are added, the more bandwidth that is made available, the more resilient the pathways. It is important to note that AoE is not iSCSI. The only commonality between AoE and iSCSI is that they both use Ethernet for transport. iSCSI uses TCP/IP at Layer 4 and AoE Layer 2.

Like Fibre Channel, iSCSI is a connection-based topology, which requires sequenced serial delivery of the data packets of the network. No matter how many iSCSI ports you have on your servers and storage, only one can be used at a time to transmit data due to the connection requirement. Other ports can be used in "round robin" to increase throughput.

When transmitting data in an AoE network, jumbo frames should be enabled as it allows each 8K block to occupy a single Ethernet frame for maximum transfer speed. AoE uses all available ports automatically and does not require sessions or sequence numbers. Frames can arrive out of order without an issue.

There have been questions from the admin community as to how secure AoE is as compared to other protocols. Some worry that is isn't as secure as iSCSI since there is no authentication. This, however, is not the case. As AoE is not accessible via a router and must physically connect to the local Ethernet switch, thus greatly reducing the possibility of unauthorized access. You are simply not able to route the packets so people outside don't see your data.

Generally speaking, an AoE setup is two to four times more efficient than iSCSI. And as mentioned previously, it is important to remember that AoE is not simply a variation on the theme of iSCSI. It is its own separate transfer protocol.

So what does this all mean when it comes to day-to-day data management?

It means AoE is a valid alternative to iSCSI and Fibre Channel. With fewer protocol layers, AoE is fast and easy to implement. It provides scalability along with performance.

More Stories By Sara Williams

Sara Williams is a consultant at Coraid. Coraid is a leading provider of network storage solutions. Coraid delivers scale-out performance, Ethernet simplicity, and an elastic storage architecture to handle massive data growth. Designed from the ground up for virtualization and cloud architectures, Coraid's platform has been deployed by more than 1,700 customers worldwide.

Latest Stories
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, ...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
SYS-CON Media announced that Cisco, a worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow, has launched a new ad campaign in Cloud Computing Journal. The ad campaign, a webcast titled 'Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy?', focuses on the latest data center networking technologies, including SDN or ACI, and how customers are using SDN and ACI in their organizations to achieve business agility. The Cisco webcast is available on-demand.
Datapipe has acquired GoGrid, a provider of multi-cloud solutions for Big Data deployments. GoGrid’s proprietary orchestration and automation technologies provide 1-Button deployment for Big Data solutions that speed creation and results of new cloud projects. “GoGrid has made it easy for companies to stand up Big Data solutions quickly,” said Robb Allen, CEO, Datapipe. “Datapipe customers will achieve significant value from the speed at which we can now create new Big Data projects in the clou...
IoT is still a vague buzzword for many people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Kavis, Vice President & Principal Cloud Architect at Cloud Technology Partners, discussed the business value of IoT that goes far beyond the general public's perception that IoT is all about wearables and home consumer services. He also discussed how IoT is perceived by investors and how venture capitalist access this space. Other topics discussed were barriers to success, what is new, what is old, and what th...
The Internet of Things (IoT) is rapidly in the process of breaking from its heretofore relatively obscure enterprise applications (such as plant floor control and supply chain management) and going mainstream into the consumer space. More and more creative folks are interconnecting everyday products such as household items, mobile devices, appliances and cars, and unleashing new and imaginative scenarios. We are seeing a lot of excitement around applications in home automation, personal fitness,...
Security can create serious friction for DevOps processes. We've come up with an approach to alleviate the friction and provide security value to DevOps teams. In her session at DevOps Summit, Shannon Lietz, Senior Manager of DevSecOps at Intuit, will discuss how DevSecOps got started and how it has evolved. Shannon Lietz has over two decades of experience pursuing next generation security solutions. She is currently the DevSecOps Leader for Intuit where she is responsible for setting and driv...
Dale Kim is the Director of Industry Solutions at MapR. His background includes a variety of technical and management roles at information technology companies. While his experience includes work with relational databases, much of his career pertains to non-relational data in the areas of search, content management, and NoSQL, and includes senior roles in technical marketing, sales engineering, and support engineering. Dale holds an MBA from Santa Clara University, and a BA in Computer Science f...
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises to evolve the way the world does business; however, understanding how to apply it to your company can be a mystery. Most people struggle with understanding the potential business uses or tend to get caught up in the technology, resulting in solutions that fail to meet even minimum business goals. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO / President / Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., showed what is needed to leverage the IoT to transform your business. ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that PagerDuty has launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done.
Things are being built upon cloud foundations to transform organizations. This CEO Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo, moderated by Roger Strukhoff, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo conference chair, addressed the big issues involving these technologies and, more important, the results they will achieve. Rodney Rogers, chairman and CEO of Virtustream; Brendan O'Brien, co-founder of Aria Systems, Bart Copeland, president and CEO of ActiveState Software; Jim Cowie, chief scientist at Dyn; Dave Wagstaff, VP ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CodeFutures, a leading supplier of database performance tools, has been named a “Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. CodeFutures is an independent software vendor focused on providing tools that deliver database performance tools that increase productivity during database development and increase database performance and scalability during production.
Cloud Technology Partners on Wednesday announced it has been recognized by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards as one of the Best Amazon Web Services (AWS) Consulting Partners. Selected by the editors of TechTarget's SearchDataCenter.com, and by votes from customers and strategic channel partners, the companies acknowledged by the Modern Infrastructure Impact Awards represent the top providers of cloud consulting services for AWS including application migration, application development, inf...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile ...
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...