Heterogeneous vs. homogeneous SANs
Please explain the differences between heterogeneous and homogeneous
Good question, as heterogeneous and homogenous are often used to describe storage and storage
networking environments. In a nutshell, homogenous refers to an environment where all
of the components are from the same vendor
directly or via a partner relationship.
Heterogeneous refers to a mixed environment with technology from multiple vendors. Think of
heterogeneous as an environment that has interoperable components, and homogenous as a propriety or
vendor-specific environment. So when a SAN
to as homogenous, it means that it is, for example, an all Brocade, Cisco, CNT, McData, or Qlogic
SAN. A heterogeneous SAN would involve components from multiple vendors, for example switches
running in interoperability mode.
Another example of a homogenous SAN would be a storage vendor-specific SAN that pairs switches
and adapters from a partner with specific storage solutions. Even though another vendor may use the
same partner switches and adapters, a storage vendor may not support certain other vendors'
storage, thus making it a heterogeneous storage environment.
This was first published in November 2004