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How easy is it to implement a NAS gateway?

Some vendors are saying that it's possible to drop a NAS gateway into an existing SAN. Is it as easy as that? And what about the costs?

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Yes, it is possible to put a gateway into an existing SAN and that is the primary way they are being deployed. Usually, some LUNs on a storage system are allocated to the gateway to use for filesystems and the NAS gateway treats them like dedicated devices. The administration differences are in setting up the LUNs in what is typically a resource shared storage system.

The cost savings are in the use and administration of the storage system that is part of the SAN and provides block data either for the SAN-attached servers or the SAN-attached gateway that provides the remote file system for IP-attached clients. The numbers are highly dependent on the environment but usually a gateway is used for consolidation of many independent file servers to a single, IT managed environment that can result in large administrative cost savings.

Randy Kerns

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This was first published in February 2004

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