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There is NO documentation out there. The companies don't offer any help on their products, and there aren't text books or anything. I want to set up a storage link between my desktop and my file server. I am here because I will not settle for gigabit, so I need something like FC or a 10 gigabit NIC. I'd rather go with fibre, but I can't find any information as to what products will work with what OS, and for the target side, if their drivers even allow them to be targets. There is no information on setting anything up, and I'm guessing these things have proprietary stuff for setting them up.

The desktop is Windows 7, and the server will be whatever kind of Linux will conform to running one of these cards nicely while still being able to handle my video encoding tasks (at the shell level, I don't need a GUI). The cards I am looking at are QLE220. When I research most of the cards on eBay, they are all old, and drivers were only updated to 2008, so that leaves out Windows 7 and most new Linux. Please advise!

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closed as off topic by Sven, joeqwerty, mdpc, sysadmin1138 Feb 15 '12 at 20:11

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You won't "settle" for measly old GbE but you will settle for 3 year old components purchased from eBay? No wonder you're having trouble. Also, stop doing your technical research on eBay. – joeqwerty Feb 15 '12 at 20:03
Thanks for helping (not!). I'm not going to spend $1000 on a new HBA when a 3 year old one is no way inferior for home use. 4 gigabit is still > than 1 gigabit. – timramich Feb 15 '12 at 20:08
So sue me. I didn't know where else to ask where I could get an answer from people who actually know anything about enterprise-level hardware. – timramich Feb 15 '12 at 20:12
@timramich - I really don't mean to rude but this is genuinely one of the worst questions we've ever had on this site, you've clearly not spent any time understanding what we're about or how the site works, presumably didn't read the FAQ either right? As for your question one of the reasons you may be struggling to find information about FC links is that they just not used to connect clients to servers - it's not what it's for, it's for connecting to servers to storage.If you want better general client-to-server performance then 10GigE is the way to go - it'll work on W7 too, sorry to be harsh – Chopper3 Feb 15 '12 at 21:50
up vote 1 down vote accepted

Connecting a Win7 box to a Linux server via Fibre Channel requires some special non-free and non-cheap software like Quantums StorNext file system, as you can't just export a file system on your Linux server via Samba or NFS over FC (Fibre Channel is no TCP/IP network).

Going with 10GB ethernet will be the easier and likely cheaper alternative because it is more or less the same as 10MB ethernet (just faster :)) and can be used with the tools your (hopefully) already know.

You are right on one point though: Basic fibre channel documentation is hard to come by, unless you invest into some storage courses and/or books where you can learn the basics.

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I guess I will just go with 10 GbE. I hope the XR997 works with newer software. Everything points me back to using iSCSI over 10 GbE. – timramich Feb 15 '12 at 20:12
You can export a block device from the linux system to the windows system however, using the target mode in the driver (works with both emulex and qlogic FC HBAs). This will present a "disk" volume to windows, which you can then format to whatever fs you like. It won't result in shared access, but it will work for a single client, which is all the OP is requesting. That said, I agree that 10Gb Ethernet and NFS is probably the simplest way. – Daniel Lawson Feb 23 '12 at 0:27

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