In a health-based institute, what would the principle benefits be of moving towards a SAN strategy?
It doesn't really matter what the application is in order to benefit from the capabilities that SAN provides. The same benefits would hold true for most organizations. The larger the requirements, the better the ROI is on SAN. What I mean by this is if you only have 5 to 10 servers in your organization, than the cost of implementing a SAN may outweigh the benefits.
If you need to manage many servers though, the payback can be enormous. Here is a listing of the basic benefits implementing a SAN provides.
- Increased disk utilization
- Deferring disk procurement
- Reduce data center rack/floor space
- Tape procurement deferral
- DR capabilities
- Improved DR capabilities
- On-line recoverability options
- Staff utilization for server management
- TB-per-DBA ratio decline
- Mgmt costs as a percentage of storage costs
- Improved overall availability
- Increased life of current disk
- Reduction of UNIX and NT servers
- Improve LAN/WAN performance, avoid upgrades
- Increase I/O performance, bulk data movement
- Reduced storage maintenance
- Reduce backup servers
- Reduce/eliminate batch, backup windows
- Improve/protect critical data
- Non-disruptive scalability
- Avoid data area network growth
- Impact to new/migrating apps
- No impact to applications development, testing
- Extending life of servers
- Reduce CPU load on servers
- Support server clustering
- Secondary security services
- Vendor consolidation
- Storage on-demand
For a large health care organization such as your own. All of the above will apply. Implementing NAS in conjunction with a SAN will also let you consolidate storage for file/print applications, let you re-deploy your current file/print servers and may let you consolidate all your backups through the SAN. Use NAS for low performance applications and file based access, and SAN for high performance applications and block-based access.
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This was first published in June 2002