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SAN or NAS to consolidate storage in SAP?

Bits & Bytes: A reader recently asked Consolidation expert Joel Lovell the following: I'm wondering which is best for consolidating storage in an SAP environment -- SAN or NAS? Read Joel's answer here.

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A reader recently asked consolidation expert Joel Lovell the following: I'm wondering which is best for consolidating storage in an SAP environment: SAN or NAS?

Here's expert Joel Lovell response:

I would have to say that for an SAP environment you would almost certainly want to consider a SAN solution. SAP typically expands into multiple components, such as business warehouse and supply chain management. These place a heavy manpower load for the entire IT infrastructure, especially for storage management and business continuity processes such as database duplication and backup. Factor in explosive growth in data and your storage requirements may quickly outstrip what a non-SAN solution is able to sustain. Storage consolidation is the key to improving operational efficiencies, and your storage vendor must provide you with a fault tolerant, high performance, scalable storage solution. This, your traditional 'enterprise' storage, combined with a SAN delivers a centralized environment with the following advantages:

  • Shared storage -- multiple paths to the same storage, increased distance from the host(s) to the storage, and high performance access to data.

  • High availability -- fault tolerance, disaster recovery, business resiliency -- SAN has numerous advantages.

  • Centralized management provides lower storage management costs.

  • Centralized storage makes possible improved backup times and performance, protecting data while minimizing production access to that data.

  • Improved utilization, dynamic scalability, allowing for the consolidation of resources.
  • SAP specific tools/features to look for:

  • Database snap-shot capabilities

  • Path failover

  • Performance analysis tools

  • Storage management tools

  • Clustering solutions

  • This was first published in April 2003

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