I got to play with some of the components of a SAN when I was working
with Mike Lambert. He has a Brocade Fibre Channel switch, a fibre
channel drive array and two W2K machines with fibre channel cards. We
were able to have both W2K machines see the drive array, but they were
not communicating changes to each other. If I deleted a file on one the
other still showed the file except it would say it was damaged if I
tried to open it. It seems that something like clustering is necessary
(at least in the Windows world) before the drive is truly shared.
This was older technology, 1 gig fibre channel, but it was super fast.
A large file transfer from a SCSI drive to a second SCSI drive took 13
minutes. From a SCSI to the fibre channel array took 2 minutes.
There are 2 types of fibre devices (cards, arrays) one is for switch
fabric one is for direct connections between two devices. The Fibre
switch is like an ethernet switch where you set up vlans between
All in all fun stuff. You ought to go over to Lambert Associates and
take a look at Mike's setup.