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Vol. 2 No. 9 November 2003

Sane strategies for SAN growth

Five years ago, the first Fibre Channel (FC) storage area networks (SANs) began to be deployed in production environments. At that time, the connectivity options were few, consisting primarily of eight- or 16-port departmental switches and 32-port director-class switches. Because these early SANs served primarily as SCSI-interconnect replacements in environments connecting a relatively small number of servers and devices, this limited expandability wasn't a major problem. How big is too big? Is there a point where the benefits of networked storage begin to diminish because of the liability of having all devices interconnected? As SAN node counts continue to grow, some companies have decided not to connect all devices to a single fabric. Unfortunately, they often arrive at this conclusion after experiencing a SAN event that has caused a major interruption. Even with redundant fabrics, certain component failures have the ability to disrupt I/O, causing applications to crash. The benefits of a large interconnected SAN include: ...

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Features in this issue

  • Defragmenting Disks Falls by the Wayside

    The deal on disk fragmenting

  • Too many SAN islands

    by  Jeff Moad

    One of the main challenges to growing SANs is the proliferation of independent SAN islands. We look at how and why a multinational financial services company consolidated many islands into larger ones, but stopped short of a single, unified SAN.

  • Sane strategies for SAN growth

    What's the right way to design storage networks for growth? There's no simple answer to that question, but understanding the implications of storage- or network-centric approaches will help you make the right choices.

  • New directions for switches

    With all of the recent acquisitions and new partnerships forming this year, finding the right Fibre Channel switch for you is even more confusing. This article will help you chose the right one.

Columns in this issue

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