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Following sound SAN design strategies allows you to reduce the number of SAN islands, strengthen your primary SAN, make storage easier to manage and provide more data protection.
Project-based and departmental SAN islands are multiplying faster than rabbits and are relatively inexpensive, easy to build and require little planning. But SAN islands carry a hidden cost: The benefits of isolated SANs vanish rapidly as more of them are added to the storage infrastructure.
A SAN island's single-purpose nature makes it very uneconomical, and the aggregate cost for storage and storage management of small SAN islands can be eye-opening. This wasn't an issue during the dot-com years when funds seemed inexhaustible, but the ensuing economic dip ushered in an era of consolidation and centralization; in other words, doing more with less. SAN consolidation has the following benefits:
- Simpler storage management
- A higher degree of storage resource utilization (capacity, bandwidth, storage controller, I/Os, storage management staff)
- Increased reliability of the storage infrastructure
- Enables tiered storage
- Simplified compliance and disaster recovery (DR) processes
This was first published in December 2006