Integrating SAN and NAS

Integrating SAN and NAS
David Gabel

Assuming you have both of these technologies in-house, you'd like to be able to effectively integrate them into a seamless whole. Or, if you're thinking of getting into the SAN and NAS business, you're thinking that you'd like to get that mix of products that integrates into that seamless storage architecture that you've been hoping for all these many years.

Can you? Well, no. "You cannot buy a fully integrated NAS and SAN product today," says Auspex's second

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Storage Architecture Guide, available for free download. But you can learn the state of the art as of right now, so you're armed and ready as you venture into the SAN/NAS arena.

The Storage Architecture Guide (SAG-2) offers a tour of the state of the art in storage architectures for both technophiles and businesspersons. For example, one of the earliest topics in SAG-2 is "Should you put business benefits or IT infrastructure benefits first when planning for NAS and SAN integration?" Now the answer should seem obvious: Yes. But is the answer really all that clear? Does one of those benefits take precedence over the other? If so, which?

While the business guys might glom onto that topic, techies will be more comfortable with the second chapter, which details the differences among the various storage architectures extant, and looks into trends as the technologies mature.

There's more -- a lot more. You can check it out at the link. Now Auspex sells SAN products, so expect that there will be some company propaganda in SAG-2. Also, you download this guide in a PDF file, but before you can do that, you have to fill out a form with name, business address, phone and e-mail. But it's probably worth it to get this full-featured road map to storage architectures.

Additional Resources:
1. Are NAS head devices the only way to achieve SAN/NAS integration?
See what NAS expert Randy Kerns has to say about this. He also offers some advice regarding other approaches being used to capitalize on SAN storage with file access that can be used for NAS.


2. What is Fibre Down?
Recently, QLogic Corp. announced what it called "the beginning of a new era in Fibre Channel connectivity" by integrating Fibre Channel ports directly into servers and workstations at the motherboard level, without the overhead of host bus adapters that require PCI expansion slots. But to what benefit? See what storage networking analysts have to say in this tip.


3. Can SAN directors help expand my storage environment?
This was an interesting discussion on our searchStorage networking forum recently. Poster Skatesea was looking at InRange's FC9000 and McData's ED-6064 as possible SAN directors to help expand their environment and wanted to hear about other people's experiences. Read input from Harddrive, YiannisP and Ntrian, then add your own.


4. How can I ease the move to network storage?
Here is a look at some very practical options to help transition from a direct-attached storage system to a NAS or SAN. Issues addressed include speed, reliability, maintaining data integrity, and minimizing disruption. The article also discusses the pros and cons of vendor training.


David Gabel is Executive Technology Editor at TechTarget.

This was first published in October 2001

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