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Optical Networking Best Practices Handbook by John R. Vacca

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13.3. OPTICAL STORAGE AREA NETWORKS

The vast explosion of data traffic and the growing dependence of the financial world on electronic services have led to a tremendous incentive for SAN services and storage-capable networks. Coupled with a need to store information and dynamically reproduce it in real time, SANs are experiencing a new upward thrust. Local SANs based on the intra-office client-server hub-and-spoke model have long been deployed as the de facto standard for backing up servers and high-end computing devices within campuses and premises. However, with the growth of the Internet, back office operations, and a need for secure backup at geographically diverse locations, SANs have moved from their premises confinement to a larger area of proliferation. These new categories of SAN sites, also known as Internet data centers (IDCs), are becoming increasingly important from the revenue as well as security perspective. These sites are connected to one another and to their client nodes through a transport medium. Considering the high volume of data that is transferred between clients and servers today, transport is likely to take place across optical communication links. Optical fiber offers large bandwidth for high-volume transfer with good reliability to facilitate synchronous backup capabilities between the SAN site and clients or between multiple SAN sites in server mirroring operations. Currently, optical channels are used only for transport of information, while standardized ...

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