FAQs

Main FAQ

What is a Software Defined Network (SDN)?

The Open Networking Foundation (ONF), www.opennetworkingfoundation.org, states that SDN’s allow network designers and operators to simplify networks by exploiting fundamental abstractions in the network architecture to bring direct software programmability to networks worldwide. SDN’s enable networks to evolve by giving logically centralized control software the power to modify the behavior of network devices. More specifically, SDN’s applied to network switches decouple the control plane from the data plane hardware making it possible to add features, reduce costs and speed innovation. The rationale for this approach is to lower both the CapEx, by using industry standard and not proprietary network equipment, and OpEx, by simplifying the deployment and management of networks

What is a Software Defined Storage Network (SDSN™)?

Jeda Networks takes Software Define Networking a step further by applying SDN’s to high performance Storage Area Networks (SAN). Today’s SANs are complex stand-alone systems often costing much more per connection than their standard networking counterparts in terms of both CapEx and OpEx. End-users must purchase and maintain two separate networks with little management functionality in common.

Jeda Networks decouples the Storage Area Network switch control and data planes and “converges” the SAN onto the Ethernet LAN. This results in centralizing network intelligence and state and abstracting the underlying Storage Area Network infrastructure. SDSN’s gain unprecedented programmability, automation and network control, enabling the building of highly scalable and flexible storage networks that readily adapt to changing business needs

What is a Converged Network?

A converged network unifies the Storage Area Network with the Ethernet based Local Area Network creating new levels of savings: including the requirement for less equipment (switches, adapters, cables), lower power and cooling requirements and less equipment space required.

What is an FNC?

The Jeda Fabric Network Controller (FNC) creates a high performance “storage network overlay” on top of an Ethernet fabric. This Software Defined Storage Network (SDSN) transforms the Ethernet fabric into a powerful and agile storage networking fabric.

Do I need special software/drivers for my servers or storage?

Absolutely not! A Jeda storage network is 100% compatible with existing storage and server CNAs and their drivers. Jeda’s FNC makes a standard DCB-enabled switch look and act like a standards compliant storage network switch.

 

What if the Initiators and Targets are on different switches?

Often called, “Multi-Hop”, this was one of the biggest challenges to Ethernet SAN vendors. The first generation of FCoE suffered from data loss, wide-latency variations and poor connectivity in multi-hop environments. Jeda’s FNC completely mitigates this problems of multi-hop by removing the control of the SAN from specialized Ethernet switch hardware. With Jeda, SAN traffic is treated like Ethernet. No additional routing calculations or latency inducing inter-switch protocols.
Jeda has demonstrated enterprise scale multi-hop SAN configurations utilizing both FNC managed switches and non-FNC managed DCB-enabled spine switches. In every case, the SAN traffic maintained consistent minimal latency with high-throughput. Ask us for a demonstration of an FNC enabled multi-hop SAN.

Isn’t there a problem with data loss from one switch to the next?

Fibre Channel specialists often ask how an Ethernet SAN can possibly work as reliably without switch BB-credits. The secret is in leveraging Ethernet’s Priority Flow Control (PFC) capability. While it is not the same buffer management mechanism of Fibre Channel, it is every bit as effective. We have shown that even in very large multi-hop configurations, the switches will use PFC to control the data flow to eliminate buffer related data loss on the network.

A/B Network Failover?

The Jeda FNC comes configured to support A/B fabrics. In addition, the FNC supports what we call, “clustering”. Clustering is a technology we developed to maintain failover FNCs live on a network just in case one fails. Because the FNCs are not in the SAN data path, FNCs can failover from one to another without any interruption in data transfers.

Can I run standard network protocols at the same time as storage?

Of course, that’s what converged networking is all about. An FNC enabled storage network supports multiple protocols connected to the same switch port/CNA. Customers can run their standard IP networking traffic and iSCSI or FCoE traffic on the same port at the same time and be assured that their data is reliable and secure.

Is Jeda as easy to configure as my current iSCSI?

Actually, a Jeda SAN is much easier to configure than a traditional iSCSI SAN. The method of configuration for iSCSI is very end-point focused. As a result, the system/storage administrator must log into the initiator to enable iSCSI and configure the protocol to connect to specific storage targets. Jeda FNC based SANs are network focused. With a network focused SAN you can actually perform all of the required configuration without every logging into the initiator. This reduces the number of touch points for the SAN administrator ad significantly simplifies configuration.

Do I still need to know about VSANs and port numbers and WWPNs to configure a Jeda SAN?

With a Jeda SAN, you only need to know three commands, and be able to cut and past an end-node identifier (such as WWPN or Iqn) to create a SAN connection. In an FNC enabled SAN, initiators and targets appear in the FNC name table as soon as they are plugged into an FNC managed switch—literally, in less than a second.  It’s really that easy.

Do you really reduce SAN maintenance costs?

Here’s what one of our early adapters told us. Before Jeda, it took almost half a day to provision or re-provision a SAN zone. Most of that time was spent working with the LAN administrators to reconfigure specific ports on the switch with new VLANS and creating the VSANS. Because everything was port specific, it was very prone to error. With Jeda’s FNC all that port provisioning and configuration is performed automatically by the FNC when the end-point plugs into the switch. All he had to do was tell the FNC the security zone members—the rest was automatic.

Is an FNC SAN really secure, or do I still need a separate SAN?

Jeda is the only SAN vendor that leverages the security technologies that network security administrators have been using for years. Jeda uses rules and ACLs to lock all SAN traffic out of all ports unless explicitly requested. By configuring an initiator to target zone, the SAN administrator directs the FNC to create additional rules/ACLs that allow SAN traffic over a secure VLAN only between the specified end-points. Both sides of the connection are “locked down” to maximize security.

How many VLANs do I need for an FNC SAN?

Only two VLANs are required to support a fully secure and reliable A/B SAN fabric. The VLANs hide SAN traffic from non-SAN network traffic, and the rules/ACLs that the FNC place in each switch secure each zone from the others.

What SAN Protocols does Jeda Support Today? What’s Next?

Jeda’s currently shipping product supports FCoE SANs. However, we are working on the finishing touches of our initial IP-based SAN protocol offering. We expect to be shipping to beta customers soon, so stay tuned!