Ask the Expert

Gateway management strategy

My company is looking at the possibility of implementing a NAS (to go along with our SAN) to handle the workload of the file servers.

Is there an advantage to running a NAS filer (say from NetApp) within its own system, from the vendor, with a complete disk enclosure over using a NAS head in front of your SAN device and using the disk attached to your SAN array?

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To gateway or not to gateway. The issue is one of management strategy. If you're adding NAS and you already have a SAN and management practices for allocating resources, a gateway may fit your overall strategy for storage management much better than having a NAS box with completely separate allocation and management controls.

There are several NAS gateways available and I'm impressed with most of them. So, if you have a SAN and management controls for storage, putting in the gateway is probably a good step for you.

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in April 2003

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