* Is dual pathing required for fault tolerance?
* What is the distance between servers and the storage they need access to?
* How much storage do we need?
* What is the current amount of storage we have?
* How much of that storage is currently utilized?
* What is the current backup method?
* Do we need remote access to data from servers in other buildings on campus?
* What is the budget?
* Who is the dedicated resource that has the skills to manage everything once it is in place?
* Can we get by with a cheaper FC-AL- (Fibre Channel arbitrated loop) based solution?
* What RAID types do we need?
* Do we need to take snapshots of data periodically?
* Is there a need for off-site data recovery?
* What operating systems do we need to connect? What are the versions, do they support Fibre Channel?
* What server models do we need to connect?
* Do we need to connect up a mainframe also? Answering these questions will help you in determining the type of SAN you need whether you should purchase NAS or SAN and, if a SAN what class of equipment would work best. There are other questions that you need to ask any storage vendor to get a good idea of what they have to offer before you buy. Here is a sample of those questions from chapter 15 of my book: Developing the RFI Several common issues are part of the decision-making process in every storage acquisition. These include: * Product descriptions
* Company viability
* Supported platforms
* Disaster recovery
* Power consumption/floor space requirements
* Product lifecycle
* Training Click here for Part 2.
This was first published in September 2003