storage provisioning

Storage provisioning is the process of assigning storage, usually in the form of server disk drive space, in order to optimize the performance of a storage area network (SAN). Traditionally, this has been done by the SAN administrator, and it can be a tedious process.

Storage provisioning is done in steps, which must be followed in a specific order. The storage must be configured for optimum SAN performance. Logical unit numbers (LUNs) must be assigned within the network. The administrator must be certain that the data storage and recovery routes will be available to all users when needed. Alternate routes must be put in place that can keep the SAN functional in the event of partial failure. The administrator must make sure that the SAN can accommodate expected future expansion. After everything has been connected and all the programs have been installed, the entire SAN must be tested before sensitive and valuable data is committed to it.

In recent years, automated storage provisioning, also called auto-provisioning, programs have become available. These programs can reduce the time required for the storage provisioning process, and can free the administrator from the often distasteful task of performing this chore manually.

This was first published in November 2006

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