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Evaluating SAN storage solutions

Our company is evaluating SAN storage solutions from IBM (ESS) and EMC (Symmetrix). If you based it only from the technology point of view (performance, tool set, architecture) what would be your recommendation?

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I cannot answer that question for you. You need to compare the two against your current applications, and see who wins. If that is not possible, choose a standard tool like IOMETER to benchmark the products. I would also widen your scope. Ask other storage vendors to respond to an RFP with your requirements and see what they come back with. You may be surprised by how low the cost gets when there is a lot of competition for your business.

Make sure you test ALL the aspects of what you need in a SAN. Test backup, automation capabilities, DR capabilities, and cluster capabilities. Try different HBAs and switches if you can to see how open they are. Most importantly, try out the management interfaces to find out which vendors products are the easiest to use, and most flexible in what you can do with the product. Then test services. This is the only way you will get a true indication of which product will be better for you.

Chris

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This was first published in October 2001

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