Server SAN

What Server SAN Is

Loxoll Inc. defines Server SAN as a SAN that is composed of rich-function storage servers, instead of uni-purpose proprietary storage controllers.

What Server SAN Does

In the past 15 years or so, object-based Cloud Storage has been widely used to solve the massive user scalability issue of the Internet era. The Server shares out its DAS, i.e. Server DAS, making it object-oriented and hyper-scalable along with server hardware upgrades, solving the Internet big data’s server-storage scalability issue.

Server SAN, expansion of Server DAS, offers many of the benefits of traditional SAN architectures while reducing complexity and costs.

How Server SAN Works

Leveraging the server-based, object-oriented storage technology, the Server SAN, objectifies the SAN with dedicated server-like appliances; uplifts the wildly accepted conventional datacenter SAN architecture, and promises to bring the flexibility, simplicity, and cost benefits to a new level.

Server SAN Benefits

Server SAN offers potential benefits to application design, operation, performance due to the increased flexibility in how storage is mapped to applications. It removes the complexity of SAN network architectures, while pooled resources deliver extreme scalability in both performance and capacity.

VersaPLX Appliance Overview


Through the years of IT infrastructure evolutions, there have been several commonly used architectures for server and storage.

•      DAS: Server connects to internal storage. It can be high-performance but it doesn’t scale,
       and it’s not shareable.
•      SAN/NAS: Server connects to networked storage array via FC or Ethernet.
•      Cloud Storage: Server connects over WAN to public object storage.
•      Server DAS: Server shares its own DAS as a compute-storage atomic (AKA: SDS,
       Hyper-scale Storage, Hyper-converged Storage, Distributed Storage, and so on.)
•      Server SAN: Servers make up the SAN; networked storage is composed of storage

What VersaPLX Is

VersaPLX is a purpose-built, ARM-based, Server SAN appliance that transparently provides data services from multi-protocol host systems to multi-protocol storage systems. The appliance operates in single-device configuration for continuous data service provision. Multiple VersaPLX devices clustered together communicate via 10GE to form networked storage, i.e. Server SAN, for performance scaling and high availability.

•      VersaPLX Architecture and Hardware

                 Left-compartment              Center-compartment               Right-compartment

The front panel is divided into three logical panes – left, center and right; which corresponds to the three compartments in the chassis. The center compartment houses a mandatory base module, while the left and right compartments can each be configured with one of several available protocol-specific modules from Loxoll, or even be customized with OEM orders from technology partners. If not used, the left/right panels are either sealed-off or covered by a removable blank bezel.

We expect the following to be a list of most likely configurations:

•      VersaPLX-BM: 6x 10Gb Ethernet, single-device appliance; this is a base model
•      VersaPLX-PCI: BM + 2x External PCIe, single-device appliance
•      VersaPLX-FC: BM + 4x 32G FC, single-device appliance
•      VersaPLX-PCI+FC: BM + PCIe + FC, single-device appliance
•      VersaPLX-MTO: BM + made-to-order combination of network and storage interface        cards, single device

What VersaPLX Does

The VersaPLX appliance’s one side connects to pooled DAS storage resource such as SAS, SATA, PCIe; or networked storage resource such as iSCSI and/or FC storage devices. The other side presents itself as networked FC, iSCSI, and/or NFS storage systems to application servers. It clusters with other VersaPLX appliances in the fabric to weave a Server SAN solution.

To provide both continuous data protection and access, the VersaPLX appliances replicate physical storage volumes and presents them to connected host systems as a single, unbreakable LUN. Each presented LUN holds multiple identical, block-for-block copies of the data on different physical storage of the same or different VersaPLX-configured node. Multiple identical copies of data can be used to improve the system performance by utilizing all available spinning and flash capabilities. Ideally, VersaPLX is configured in enterprise storage solutions to ensure high availability and high performance.

•      VersaPLX Server SAN Architecture

    •      VersaPLX Features and Benefits

    Based on Ubuntu Linux kernel, VersaPLX, with additional computing power, can easily add open source functionalities, such as Virtualization and Cloud integration, into appliance, to deliver cost benefits and satisfy our customers’ needs in a broad spectrum of use cases.

    VersaPLX is designed to deliver the simplicity of storage usability and scalability management. VersaPLX’s management API is centralized and can be configured on one or more VersaPLX for redundancy.

    VersaPLX’s Server SAN solution is cheaper to install, maintain and upgrade than traditional SAN storage arrays. VersaPLX has dedicated software managing DAS and SAN storage. Both the storage and SAN management software run on one or more VersaPLXs, allowing storage and VersaPLX to be scaled independently.