Learn all about SANs

Before a SAN administrator can size their SAN, they need to know how much storage capacity and performance they need, what SAN protocol to choose, and the proper RAID level for the SAN array.

A SAN administrator has to answer several questions before deciding how to size a SAN. Do you go with iSCSI or Fibre Channel? How much money has been allotted to the purchase of a SAN? How much storage capacity and performance do you need? This handbook provides everything a SAN administrator needs to know about sizing a SAN, from choosing the right protocol to implementing the proper RAID level.

How to size a SAN

When sizing a SAN, before you even decide which vendor to talk to, you need to know what your requirements are, unless you want your vendor to make that decision for you. This tip will give you a rule of thumb to get things rolling.

How to determine a protocol for your SAN

Which transports and protocols should you use in your SAN? You'll learn the basic factors to consider in determining which protocols to use in your SAN.

Determining the number of drives in a RAID group

How many drives in a RAID group will it take to give you the performance you need for a database or email or file server, or for that new VMware implementation? Can you have too many drives in a RAID group, or even in the actual storage RAID array?

Related SAN information

Fibre Channel vs. iSCSI handbook

SAN availability and reliability

About the author: Joel Lovell is senior storage consultant for Storage Engine Inc. His specialty is high-performance storage and storage consolidation. He is EMC-trained in business continuity solutions, enterprise storage infrastructure and enterprise storage management. He previously was a strategic storage specialist for the Americas for Silicon Graphics and a senior systems engineer for EMC.

This was first published in May 2008

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