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Vol. 1 No. 11 January 2003

SAN Newbie: Consolidation Easy, but Expensive

Thinking about embarking on a server consolidation project? Eighteen months ago, so was John Penfield, CIO for the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet of Kentucky. But after careful deliberation, he chose to implement a SAN as a less drastic solution that addressed most of the challenges faced by his group. The situation was this: At the helm of a largely Windows and Oracle shop, Penfield woke up one day "to a whole bunch of little servers in the back office" - 50 or so. "And they weren't alike either." Some were out of capacity, and some had mountains of unused disk space. "We were always faced with the situation of needing just one more disk drive, but not having an extra slot available. I worried about our ability to maintain them, or running out of space." Unisys was contracted to do a server consolidation study, and came back with a surprising recommendation: as a first step, forgo server consolidation, and implement a SAN instead. At first, Penfield was wary. "There was some risk: We had never done ...

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