I am a little confused about this SAN technology. I see NetApp , EMC and Brocade. But I don’t understand the role they play in Storage. Are they Hardware? Storage devices? Or software’s?
I have done some reading/Googling but I would need a real life lame man explanation if possible
Your inputs are much appreciated.
The ones you listed have both HW and SW. NetApp and EMC make storage devices (hardware) but most of the magic is in the software they run on the device and the management software. Brocade (and Cisco and others) make switches that connect the servers to the storage devices.
Here's the NetApp guide on storage + vSphere: NetApp Storage Best Practices for VMware vSphere
Brocade also produces HBA (Host Bus Adapters) cards which we install on servers to have connectivity option/ports.
Thus generally, EMC and NetApp (and IBM, Hitachi, HP etc...)produces storage devices where the actual data is getting saved.They also produces software to manage/monitor the hardware. Brocade (and Cisco, Qlogic, Emulex etc...) gives connectivity options (including SAN switches and HBA cards)