Q

Looking for basic storage metrics

I am doing a research project and I'm having extreme difficulty finding "basic" metrics for the storage market. The questions I need answered are these:

1. What is the average size of a SAN in TBs?
2. How many servers are typically connected to a SAN?
3. How many SANs are deployed in North America (roughly)?

Hoping you can help.
I can't provide the answer to the last part and the first part I can only answer from my experience, as I have never done a study on those metrics.

This question would best be proposed to a company like IDC that tracks these types of metrics. In my experience, there is no "average" size of a SAN. It varies widely by company. Small single fabric SANs can have as few as two to four servers. Larger multiple fabric SANs within the same company can have THOUSANDS of servers spread among hundreds of fabrics worldwide.

The total capacity in TB would then depend on the applications being used in the SAN and the total server count. Let me put it this way, I have seen a single fabric consisting of just a few very large servers, doing data archiving, that has hundreds of terabytes connected. I have also seen a single dual-fabric SAN located in one geographical location with over two hundred servers connected to it. So the answer is, it varies widely.

I have no idea about how many SANs are deployed in North America. Trying to get a very accurate answer to that question may be hard to come by since a lot of the larger companies will not divulge information like that for security reasons.

Chris

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This was first published in March 2003

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