The best way to expand a SAN


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When creating a SAN, you need to strike the right balance among performance, cost, scalability, high availability and ease of management.

SANs are growing in two ways: They're getting bigger and companies are adding more of them. SANs are no longer limited to large organizations and mission-critical applications; they're popping up in small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) and are increasingly used to serve all storage tiers. Fueling the growth of new SANs is rapid storage growth, the integration of geographically dispersed data, compliance, more stringent application requirements and the need for a higher level of redundancy.

With some SANs holding hundreds of terabytes of corporate data, it's imperative for a SAN to be reliable, scalable and have few, if any, performance issues. Growing a SAN involves balancing performance and high-availability (HA) requirements with your cost objectives in the following areas:

  • Overall SAN architecture
  • Switches and directors
  • Protocols
  • Storage arrays
  • Computing platforms

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This was first published in July 2006

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