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When it's time for serious file and just general data storage, we have to take a look at more robust methodologies. And that's what this episode is all about. In this episode, I want to talk about network attached storage and his big brother storage area networking. So both of these technologies are designed to store data However, they do it in very different ways. Now, anybody who's ever used a computer is probably right clicked on a folder and shared it and that type of stuff. And that's great.

But what I'm talking about is having dedicated systems dedicated systems that only share data, that's their only job. So sure, I could take a Windows laptop and have it share all my critical company data, but there's reasons I don't want to do that. I want to use something that's more robust. So I want to be able to do stuff like put in a good RAID array and put it in solid backup methodologies and all that type of stuff. And that's really what we're talking about here. So let's go ahead and get started with the smaller of the two network attached storage.

Nas is a file based sharing protocol. So an NAS box itself is going to look something like this. So they tend to be a smaller box. And inside this box could be a bunch of raid drives, whatever you might want to do, you might want to set that up. And it's also usually running some type of very tight operating system. Linux is not at all uncommon for these types of boxes.

Okay, so if we've got this box set up, and if it's working at a file level, that means that we will have to access this NASS box, we will have to create the partitions or set set it up however we might be. We're going to have to format all the drives and then we're going to have to set up the NA s to share it via whatever program Call we want to share. So if it's Samba, we're gonna have to set up a shop Samba share. If it's Apple protocol, we're gonna have to set up an apple share whatever it might be. The important thing that you need to get in your head is that n ns. First of all, it's going to run over your regular network.

So they run over Ethernet just great. They're going to be using TCP IP, the whole shebang. But they're going to be using well known protocols, and they will manifest as shares in your network just like anything else. So everything is done on the box. Now, luckily for you, I have a wonderful tool right here in front of me called free NAS. I've went ahead, I got a system built up.

And I have a two terabyte hard drive that I'm currently sharing. So this is free. And as you'll see, it actually has a web interface. So it's very convenient. And this guy is on my network. And what you'll see right now is I have created what they call a pool, and this pool consists of exactly one hard drive, and then I've taken that hard drive and I split it up into two volumes, and NAS volume and a sand volume.

Now if you look at this, you'll see 1.92 bits and 900 gigabits, Hey, wait a minute, isn't that more than two? That's right. These guys take advantage of compression tools and things like that, so that they'll actually manifest larger capacity than the physical capacity of the drive itself. So that's convenient, is free. NASA is called free NAS, but it's actually kind of like free NAS and sh n. So we're going to hang on to the sand part for a minute. So even though it's called free, NASA can really do both just fine.

So it makes these volumes are I actually made these volumes, pre made them ready to go. Now what I need to do is then go about sharing them. So on this particular system, I want to make a window share. So I'm going to come down here, and let's take a look with shares I have and I don't have any right now. So I'm going to add one. So first off, I'm going to say what do I want to share and the way I've configured This NFS volume, it knows that I want to share it that way.

So I'm going to go ahead and say yes, I want to share that. And hit OK. Well, I have to give it a share name. There we go. So this is the volume. And then this is the actual Samba share name, that'll show up on the network. Cool.

So you can see that I have this share right now ready to rock and roll. So the best thing I can do is actually show it to you. And I'm going to do that simply by opening up my file explorer on my system. My messy messy File Explorer. I'm going to go down to network here. And we're going to give him a second because he's going to be scanning my network and let's see what he finds.

Ah, cool right here. Do you see it? So here's test NASS. So that's actually my NASS box. So I'm going to double click on that. And there's the share that I just made.

Now, right now this is empty, but I could go ahead and start putting stuff in taking stuff out. It's up to the free NAS tool to create proper permissions, anything that I want for that, in this case, I left it wide open just so you can see it, but it works exactly like that. It just shows up as a share on my network. Now, NSS are very, very popular, especially for smaller networks, for Workgroups, that type of stuff that gives you a simple box. It works on top of your existing network, and they're relatively easy to use, and they're very, very powerful. However, sometimes you need to take it up a click and in that case, we go to storage area networks.

Now if you want to get cool when it comes Data Storage, your best buddy is storage area networks or sands. Now sands are big deals, a sand relies on some kind of technology to transfer data between your system and the storage itself. sands work at the block level, when we get this all set up, you're not going to be seeing network shares, folks, you're going to be going into Disk Management and you're going to see new hard drives that weren't there before. So sands are very powerful for boot functionality for storing data, all kinds of things like that. sands have been around for quite a while. And the best sands arguably ran on a type of technology called Fibre Channel.

Now Fibre Channel has its own little network but not for the TCP IP stuff. It was just to move data around Fibre Channel is still out there. It's still pretty popular, and it's wildly expensive. So to make fiber channel work, the first thing you'd have to do is plug a hole busted adapter into your computer. You still keep your Nic you would need an HBA. Now I don't have it on me.

Here's a picture of one right here. So these hbas I mean, they look like a fiber optic network card they pretty much are but they're not running Ethernet, they're running their own language called Fibre Channel. So all these guys would run into a fiber channel switch. And then the fiber channel switch would run to a fiber channel controller in a server room and then you'd have zillions and zillions of hard drives in there, all under the control of all this. So a sand setup can and will easily cost you in the hundreds of thousands of dollars range. It's very, very expensive, but boy, oh boy, is it powerful.

It is absolutely amazing. So I've just pulled up here on I did a little Google search on fiber channel, and so you can get an idea of the prices. These are just a little host adapters individually and there's a switch right there for For only about $12,000. Now, what I want you to look here is you see where it says like 16 gigabyte, eight gigabyte. Those are the actual speeds that Fibre Channel runs at. So Fibre Channel came out originally like one gigabit per second, which years ago was pretty fast.

The cool part now is that we have a lot of Ethernet networks that can be running at around 10 gigs or something like that. So while Fibre Channel is still popular, in fact, Fibre Channel goes up to like 128 gigs. Now, what we're seeing is a poor man's version of sand technology called I scuzzy, I scuzzy basically uses your existing network, and allows you to interconnect to different devices on top of your existing network. And it allows you to work at at I scuzzy block level. So it's pretty powerful. So what I want to do right now is let's go back to free NASS and actually set up a quick I scuzzy.

Okay. So here, we are back in free NASS, and you'll see right here I've created what's called a sand volume. Now, that's a little bit of a misnomer here, because one of the most powerful aspects of a sand and something you cannot do with an NA S is let's say, I've got a big pile of drives in my storage area all under the control of a sand, what I can do is I can just cut a chunk of it out, doesn't matter. I can adjust the size, whatever I want, I'm gonna go, I'm gonna give this one four terabytes or whatever it might be. It could be underrated beneath that everything's running. But I can create what's known as an extent which basically says, I'm going to cut this chunk of data storage out of my sand, and then I'm going to give it to somebody else who will make it one of their hard drives.

So I really created a sand via you'll see it says 1.9 terabytes available. But this guy, I just happened to cut that much out of the hard drive. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to go into free NASS. And I'm going to go ahead and connect it. Now, before I do that what you have in any I scuzzy network is what we call a initiator, and a target. So what we're going to do on the free NASS side is we're going to create a target, we're going to take that volume I've created, and we're going to make it a target.

That target will get a basically a very specific, I scuzzy type name. And then I'm going to go into my Windows system right on this computer right here. And built into pretty much every operating system is what we call an i scuzzy initiator, the I scuzzy initiator will go out, look for targets, and then go ahead and make it one of their hard drives. So let's start off by making our target. So just as a reminder, we have our pre made volume called the sand volume. All right, now what we need to do is, first of all, we're going to have to go through a couple of steps here.

First of all, we're after got it, make what we call the extent. So we're going to take a chunk of the sandbox. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and take the whole thing. And I'm going to create an extent with some type of name, then I'm going to create some type of target. So the target is going to, in essence, set up a lot of authentication issues. In my setup, there really is no authentication.

So I'm going to have the target. And then I'm going to the extent that I'm going to put them together as a group. And once that happens, there'll be offered up for anybody to access that has the right kind of permissions. Alright, so to get all this happening, we're going to have to head down here to I scuzzy. So the first thing I want to do is, let's take a look at our targets. Okay, right now, we don't have any targets.

So I'm going to add a target. And I'm going to call the target share. And this is just authentication information that I had set up earlier. And I can do all kinds of authentication stuff within I scuzzy, but that's made. Alright, so the next thing I want to do is I want to go down to my extent, so Take a look at our extents, we don't have anything. So what I'm going to do now is I'm going to grab a chunk of that sand volume I made.

And I'm going to call him saying he xti a empty. And you'll see that free NASS has already seen that he's going to grab from that. And I could change that if I wanted to. And really is nothing else to do here other than just hit okay. So I've got my extent made, and I got my target, I got to put them together. So view my targets extense.

I don't have any combinations right now. So I'm going to pick my target, which was share. I'm going to pick my extent, which is my sand extent. And I'm going to hit OK. Fantastic. I think I've got everything set up right.

Notice there is no partitioning or formatting here. That's going to be done by the individual users once it connects to their systems. So So let's go ahead and now we're going to try to open up the I scuzzy initiator on my system here and see if I can connect to it. So pretty much all operating systems have some form of I scuzzy initiator. And what I'm going to do first of all, is I am going to look around and see if I can discover if there anybody out there do an i scuzzy. Now I happen to know the IP address of my system.

And you'll notice it's running on port 3260. And that filled in I didn't get any errors. That's telling me I did a good job. So now I'm going to go over to targets. And here is a I scuzzy target, you'll see this is actually the nomenclature that's generated by I scuzzy colon, and then whatever I decided to call the share itself, so I'm going to connect to it. And if I've done everything right, we should be able to see something really cool.

Cool in Device Manager, sorry, Device Manager Disk Management. There it is right there. That is the extent on my I scuzzy server that I've connected to. So you'll see that it's formatted unpartitioned. So I would have to go through all these processes of getting it formatted and partitioned and all that stuff. And this guy is pretty much ready to rock and roll.

So for the exam, the most important thing I want you to remember is that network attached storage is going to be file level. It's going to be some system running Linux or something like that. You go ahead you set up your raid arrays, you Do your partitioning you do whatever you want to do format it, and then they just treat everybody as network shares. So it's going to be running Samba more than anything else. sands are a different animal sands run at the block level, they're either going to be using Fibre Channel, or they're going to be using I scuzzy. And it's up to the individual targets, to set themselves up and to partition and format as they deem themselves necessary.

Oh, and remember one more thing. sands are really, really expensive. And NASA's tend to be very, very cheap.

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