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Vol. 6 No. 2 April 2007

Unsnarl port traffic

You'll need to juggle the right number of ports on your switches and arrays to maximize performance and reduce the management complexity of your applications. At first glance, it might seem that the number of ports is a relatively insignificant factor when choosing a storage array, switch or host bus adapter (HBA). Application requirements, operating system support, device features, performance and scalability are all factors to consider--the number of ports is almost an afterthought. But the number of ports plays an increasingly important role in the application's availability and performance, as well as the cost of the storage device and how complex it is to manage. Think of ports as gates into arrays and switches; if these gates are congested, the fastest arrays and switches won't be able to live up to their potential. Therefore, the number of required ports into a storage system is determined by how much traffic the storage system must handle. Proper sizing of a switch or array begins by analyzing the connected storage ...

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Features in this issue

  • L.L.Bean overhauls its backup process

    With mainframe constraints slowing down its backup, L.L.Bean's IT group created a three-phase initiative to overhaul its entire approach to mainframe and open-systems backup and recovery.

  • Unsnarl port traffic

    Configuring the number of ports on storage arrays and switches shouldn't be a guessing game that results in an excess of ports and a big dent in your budget. To properly size a switch or storage array, you need to analyze the average and peak bandwidth requirements of each device. Monitoring current utilization rates will help you determine effective bandwidth requirements.

  • New tools trim primary data

  • New connections: SAS and iSCSI HBAs

    Serial-attached SCSI and iSCSI host bus adapters (HBAs) represent the latest in server-to-storage connectivity technologies. Tailored to specifically address the needs of two emerging storage protocols, these new HBAs can ensure that performance isn't sacrificed when one of these alternatives to Fibre Channel storage is deployed.

  • Snapshot: Users big on centralizing remote offices

    Users big on centralizing remote offices

  • Free up database space

    Database archiving is critical to the long-term management of an enterprise resource planning (ERP) application. Archiving can shorten backup windows, speed recoveries and improve the database's overall performance. But effective archiving means carefully selecting the data to be removed from the production application and moved to secondary storage, and ensuring that it remains available and adequately protected.

Columns in this issue

  • Storage Bin: Duplessie's theory of evolution

    Evolutionary changes in the storage world have opened the door to scores of smaller companies. Some of these startups have seized the opportunity, taking advantage of the current market dynamics. Good for them; but it's even better for you, with more choice and innovation than we've seen in a long time.

  • Hot Spots: Remote workers, stand up and be counted

    Remote-office workers need to share their experiences with corporate IT because there are many different issues associated with working remotely and a wide range of products to address those problems.

  • Best Practices: Balance workloads with RAID types

    Vendors will tell you how beautifully parity-based RAID works in their storage subsystems, making it almost unnecessary to use any type of striped/mirrored RAID protection. But if you don't match the workload profile of the application to how storage is provisioned in the array, you could wind up with a poorly balanced system.

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