I am evaluating several proposed SAN configurations from various vendors. All of the vendors except EMC are proposing a single fabric solution (fabric switching at the local site, arbitrated loop at the remote site). However, EMC is telling me they do not support arbitrated loop and are proposing a full fabric solution. What are your thoughts on these types of configurations?
I would really have to see the Visio diagrams and know a bit more information before commenting on this. There is a lot to take into consideration when doing a SAN design:
- How many servers?
- What kind of servers?
- What OS types?
- What is the current backup method?
- What is the current backup software?
- Are there multiple backup engines in the environment?
- What type of tapes are used?
- Are you using libraries or direct connect SCSI tapes?
- What does the network look like?
- Do you want LAN free or Server free backup?
- What is the backup window?
- What applications are running?
- Are you using clusters of any type?
- What OS versions are running?
- What types of RAID are needed?
- How much storage is currently in place?
- How much storage is currently in USE?
- Will you be booting into the SAN?
- What to do with the current disks?
- Do you need high availability access or load balancing (more than one HBA per server)?
- How many servers REALLY need SAN based storage and what can use NAS?
- Is any SAN based storage currently in place? If so, from whom and what method of connection?
- What management framework is being used for server and storage management?
- Do you need any replication for DR?
- What type of replication, SYNC or ASYNC (what's the distance)?
- Will you use software or hardware based replication?
- Will you use IP or Fibre based connections to the remote site?
- What is the network bandwidth to the remote site?
- Can you provide QOS for replication traffic to the remote site?
- Do you need snapshots for online backups or instant restore?
- What HBA vendor do you prefer?
- What switch vendor do you prefer?
- Do you need Director class switches, or would a modular approach be better?
- How many IOPS do you need from the array?
- Will you be doing any streaming media from the storage array or is this just File/Print?
- Any real time applications like Dynamic Database web updates?
- If Web apps are used, is there a DMZ or firewall and what kind of security is needed?
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