Ask the Expert

Questions for potential customers

What kind of questions do you ask the potential customer for their SAN implementation? Thank you for your prompt response.

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This is a standard questionnaire developed by Scott Eberts of HDS. I frequently use this with prospective customers to quantify a solution.

1. What server hardware are you currently using, what operating system software and version levels are you running, and how many servers do you anticipate the storage subsystems to accommodate? How do you expect the number of servers to grow (percentage) over the next 6 to 18 months?

2. Do you have any clients that need direct access to the storage subsystem? If so, how many? Approximately how much storage would be needed per user?

3. How much storage do you currently have in place? (GB/TB) How do you expect this number to grow (percentage) over the next 6 to 18 months?

4. How much data do you currently back up:

Hourly: __________ (MB/TB) Daily: __________ (MB/TB) Weekly: __________ (MB/TB)

What is your backup policy and schedule (always full, full then incremental, etc...)

5. What is your backup window?

6. What type of application(s) will be using this storage? (OLTP, batch, Web)

7. What are your anticipated transfer rates? (MB or Mbits/sec) Is there a mix of high throughput and high I/O ps?

8. What block size does your application(s) use?

9. What are your current Service Level Agreements (availability requirements)?

10. What software products are you currently using to control or manage your environment (Veritas, ISM Perfman, CA TNG, Patrol, etc.)

11. What Business problem or situations are you trying to solve with a SAN)?

12. What expectations do you have once you have implemented this storage solution? (e.g., better performance, easier management, etc.)

13. Please rate in order of your priority (1 = highest priority). (This question is used to determine the platform of choice) and do you require dual pathing into the SAN?

_____   Availability
_____   Performance
_____   Scalability

14. What is your timeframe for implementing this solution?


This was first published in May 2001

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