Within the early SAN storage system, the server and switch knowledge transmission is through the optical fiber. as a result of the server is to transfer interface commands to the storage device, you’ll not use the standard local area network science protocol, therefore you wish to use FC transmission, and this SAN is termed FC-SAN, and later appeared in the IP protocol encapsulated SAN, will be completed through the ordinary LAN network, questionable IP-SAN, the foremost typical of that is currently in style ISCSI.

Each of those strategies need an important read-pack operation on the info block. Therefore, a superior SAN system needs a network card put in on the server that’s specifically chargeable for unpacking to cut back the burden on the processor. Such a network card is termed It HBA card. additionally to activity the unpacking function, of course, it may also provide a fiber interface (if it’s an iSCSI HBA card is to supply a standard RJ45 interface) to attach the corresponding switch; In addition, HBA can also be identical as a network card inserted within the PCI or PCI-E slot. Therefore, the usage of this device is sort of a network card, and lots of folks confuse it with a normal network card or an ordinary fiber network card. Of course, some iSCSI HBA cards will be used as a standard network card, however the value is incredibly high.

The HBA’s definition:

The HBA is the I/O adapter that links the computer’s memory system to the host I/O bus. In keeping with this definition, like a video card is connected to the video bus and memory, the network card is connected to the network bus and memory, interface-FC cards are connected to the SCSI or FC bus and memory, they must be considered HBA. There are different HBA cards on the market for HBA cards FC-HBA and iSCSI HBA within the future, however, HBA is usually used on SCSI. Adapter and NIC are for FC; NIC is additionally used for local area network and Token Ring.

In fact, the network card is commonly noted as a general term for a kind of equipment, refers to the installation in the host, through the network cable (twisted pair, fiber optic cable, concentrical cable, etc.) and network switches (Ethernet switches, FC switches , ISCSI switches, etc.), or with other network devices (storage devices, servers, workstations, etc.) to create a networked hardware device.

So, the name of the fiber network card is touching on the optical port HBA card?

In fact, we frequently say that the fiber-optic network card refers to the Fiber Channel network HBA card. Thanks to the various transmission protocols, the network card will be divided into 3 kinds, one local area network card, the second is the FC network card, and the third is the iSCSI network card.

  • local area network Card: 

The name of the local area network Adapter. The transmission protocol is IP. It’s typically connected to an associate degree local area network switch through fiber optic cables or twisted cables. Electrical and optical ports make up the interface kind. The optical interfaces usually transmit knowledge through fibre cables. The interface modules are generally SFP (2Gb/s) and GBIC (1Gb/s). The corresponding interfaces are SC, ST, and LC. The electrical port presently used interface type RJ45, accustomed to connecting the twisted pair, which are connected with the line interface, however currently has less use.

  • FC network card: 

It is also unremarkably known as fiber channel network card, signifying Fiber Channel HBA. The transmission protocol may be a Fibre Channel protocol, that is usually connected to a Fiber Channel switch via a fiber optic cable. The interface sort is split into optical port and electrical port. The optical interfaces generally transmit knowledge through fibre cables. The corresponding interfaces are SC and LC. The electrical interface type is usually a DB9 pin or HSSDC.


The name of iSCSI HBA, which transports the iSCSI protocol, with identical interface type because of the local area network card.


“Fiber NIC” generally refers to an FC HBA card, which might be blocked into a server and used as a storage switch for external storage. The local area network card of an optical interface is usually known as a “Fiber local area network card” and is plugged into a server. However, an external local area network switches with the fiber port.

HBA card: FC-HBA card (commonly referred to as fiber network card), iSCSI-HBA card (RJ45 interface)

local area network card: local area network interface card (commonly known as Fiber local area network card).

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