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Counterpoint: Which comes first, the SAN or the backup solution?

We are in the process of defining our requirements for: (1) upgrading our backup software and hardware solution, and (2) implementing a SAN solution for the enterprise. My question is, which one comes first? I believe they are integrated concerns and that we need to pursue a backup solution (due to current issues), but do not want to over purchase on the tape arrays and hardware. What are other organizations doing?

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Guess the first thing to know would be what the existing capacity is for the environment, what the trend of growth has been, and determining the requirements growth in the next two to three years. Key questions would include:
  • How much data will be migrated to the SAN?
  • What is the average backup load per week, month and year? How is it changing?
  • What is the corporate standard for storage system capacity? (And if there isn't one, is there an expectation that the storage arrays and tape systems will be fully utilized immediately, or is there a need to under provision for either performance or availability reasons?)
Other organizations also put together growth forecasts, either by averages or by leveraging things such as SRM tools to determine where hot growth areas are.

Read Norbert Haag's answer to this question.

This was first published in June 2004

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