Buyer's Guide

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SAN basics: All the tools you need to purchase a storage-area network

If you're in the market for a SAN, this guide walks you through the purchase process from start to finish. It also provides details on some of the top SAN system options on the market.


As one of the most widely deployed types of storage among enterprises, the list of SAN array vendors and the models they manufacture can seem endless. Whether you've purchased a SAN before or this is your first foray into enterprise storage, finding a jumping off point can be a daunting task.

This SAN basics buying guide will help you to determine if a SAN fits your needs, or if NAS or DAS might better suit your business goals. If a SAN does make the most sense for your environment, you then need to consider how the array is architected, the data protection features you require, and your compute and capacity requirements. Once you've narrowed down your needs, you can compare the various arrays against each other.

This lesson in SAN basics outlines the most important criteria to consider during the purchasing process, and provides an overview of some of the top SAN arrays on the market.

1Buying a SAN-

Three steps to securing the right SAN

The following articles provide expert advice on the different stages involved in evaluating networked storage options. Start with SAN basics to understand how the technology compares to other types of storage, and then move on to consider all the features a SAN offers to determine the ones that are the most essential to your business. The result: The knowledge to compare SAN vendors against each other.


Step 1: Evaluating SAN, NAS and DAS

Do you know how SAN, NAS and DAS differ? Learn the SAN basics here, and when the technology might be more beneficial than alternative approaches. Continue Reading


Step 2: What SAN criteria to include in a request for proposal

This article outlines the areas to consider when comparing products in the SAN market. You'll discover why capacity, data protection and networking, among other areas, are so important. Continue Reading

2SAN system options-

Overview of popular SAN product offerings

A complete directory of the SAN options available on the market today would span pages. To get you started with your search, we offer a short list of some of the most widely used arrays on the market complete with product capacity and other feature descriptions.


Hewlett-Packard MSA 2040 array

The HP MSA 2040 is a rack-mountable modular SAN array equipped with features such as automated tiering and snapshots. Continue Reading


EMC VMAX storage array series

The EMC VMAX family of SAN arrays is designed for large enterprise environments and supports combined block- and file-level workloads. Continue Reading


3PAR StoreServ 7000 series SAN arrays

The HP 3PAR StoreServ 7000 series offers three SAN configurations for large enterprise environments. Continue Reading


IBM DS8870 SAN platform

IBM's DS8870 platform targets large enterprises; it is available in an all-flash or hybrid configuration. Continue Reading


HDS Virtual Storage Platform G1000

The Hitachi Data Systems VSP G1000 array can provide block or file storage with a number of features such as storage virtualization and RAID. Continue Reading


NetApp FAS8000 array series

Four NetApp FAS8000 array models provide all-flash, disk or hybrid storage to large enterprise environments. Continue Reading


Hitachi Unified SAN platform

The HUS VM SAN platform provides block- and file-level storage to enterprise environments with a maximum raw capacity of 64 PB. Continue Reading


IBM Storwize V7000 arrays

The IBM Storwize V7000 ship equipped with hard disk or solid-state drives and provide a number of features such as RAID and replication. Continue Reading


HP 3PAR StoreServ 20000 family

HP offers two models of its 3PAR StoreServ 20000 arrays: the hard disk drive-based StoreServ 20800 and the flash-based StoreServ 20850. Continue Reading


Fujitsu Eternus DX8700 S3 array

Marketed to highly virtualized environments, the Eternus DX8700 S3 offers a maximum capacity of approximately 4.6 PB. Continue Reading


Fujitsu Eternus DX8900 S3 arrays

The DX8900 S3 hybrid array is Fujitsu's newest edition to the Eternus storage array platform. Continue Reading


Oracle FS1-2 storage arrays

Available in all-flash and hybrid configurations, the Oracle FS1-2 storage array can provide petabyte-scale capacity to virtual environments. Continue Reading


HP XP7 Storage SAN

The HP XP7 Storage array provides high-availability and disaster recovery features for virtualized data centers with high capacity requirements. Continue Reading

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