What Storage Interfaces and Protocols are Currently Used?

Here's a high-level overview of storage interfaces & protocols in use and tips on how to break down storage silos with object storage

commonly used storage interfaces and protocols
What Storage Interfaces and Protocols are Commonly Used?

If you are new to the storage world, you might not realize just how many storage interfaces and protocols are currently used. You can think of these interfaces and protocols like a digital plug, and like electrical plugs, these are not interchangeable.

If you look at a list of the interfaces and protocols, it provides a clear understanding of why so many people are struggling with their data storage and battling the burden of “storage silos” (i.e., having data stuck in different types of storage devices that transmit in different protocols rather than having a limitless pool of data).

What Storage Interfaces and Protocols are Currently Used?

There are a number of storage protocols that are in use today, including:

  • Fibre Channel (FC), a high-speed (up to 128 gb/sec) data transfer protocol for delivery of raw block data from data storage to servers in data centers
  • Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI), an Internet Protocol-based storage networking standard that provides block-level access to storage devices over TCP/IP
  • Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), network technology to encapsulate Fibre Channel frames over Ethernet networks
  • Network File System (NFS), a popular distributed file system protocol
  • Server Message Block (SMB), a network protocol that allows shared file access, and the Common Internet File System (CIFS), an SMB-dialect protocol used to access Window files
  • Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), an application protocol that serves as the foundation for communication on the World Wide Web
  • InfiniBand (IB), a computer networking communications standard common in high-performance computer (HPC) environments that require high throughput and low latency
  • Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe), a protocol for accessing high-speed storage media

Then, in a class by itself, there is S3 (short for Amazon Simple Storage Service).

What About the Amazon S3 Protocol?

S3 is both the name of Amazon’s SImple Storage Service and the RESTful interface for the service. While not technically a standard, S3 has essentially become the de facto interface for cloud and object storage as it broadens storage options—private, public and hybrid. There are a number of ways the S3 protocol can be implemented. If you are not familiar with the S3 protocol, watch our What Your Storage Vendor Isn’t Telling You About S3 webinar on demand to learn more.

How Do I Eliminate Storage Silos?

To eliminate storage silos, you must have a universal namespace that is accessible by multiple protocols and interfaces. A universal namespace removes the barrier that limits data reuse and reduces the flexibility of your storage. The namespace is an abstraction layer created to translate the human-viewable form of data into underlying binary segments on the storage media. Caringo CEO Tony Barbagallo covers this topic in depth in the blog What’s in a Name(space)? Eliminating Storage Silos.

Over the years, we have focused on helping customers eliminate storage silos by developing an ecosystem of products that work together to simplify data storage management, protection and distribution. With tools such as SwarmNFS and FileFly, access to the Caringo suite of products is like having one of those handy power converter plugs that are a necessity when traveling outside your home country.

How Can I Learn More About Object Storage?

To learn more about Object Storage, we recommend that you check out our weekly blog and our monthly Tech Tuesday webinar, which is designed to take you deep into the Object Storage technology weeds. Register now for February 18 to learn about Best Practices for Object Storage & Installation. Ryan Meek, Caringo Principal Solutions Architect, will host this episode that features Sales Engineer Jose Marcos Gonzalez.

Recently, we premiered a new Brews & Bytes webcast. This is an informal, conversational chat hosted by Caringo VP Marketing Adrian J Herrera. Each episode, Adrian will host experienced business and technical leaders. On February 27, StorageDNA CEO Tridib Chakravarty will join me and Ryan Meek to discuss Economical Storage: Data Insight, Data Movement and Storage Options. So grab your favorite brew and tune in!

Sarah Cook
Sarah Cook

About The Author

Sarah Cook is Caringo's Director of Marketing and brings deep expertise in Product Marketing and Technical/Marketing/Corporate Communications. Sarah has worked for some of the biggest names in technology including Dell and Cisco and holds a B.A. in English Composition with a minor in Music from the University of North Texas. She sings with and serves on the Board of Directors for Panoramic Voices, a 501(c)3 choral collaborative in Austin, TX.


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