Tip

SAN credibility

SAN credibility
Loren Brown

Put the SAN vendor to task. The vendor (SAN Engineer) should be able to whiteboard three or four specific solutions that the company has implemented and provide a discussion of the pitfalls and dependencies of the solutions. Specifically, ask about interchangeability of components and driver functionality as related to your end-storage devices and your applications.

What specific value does the functionality of the solution bring?
Better performance or flexibility?
Does it require a costly upgrade of software?

The vendor should know the best hba that works with a particular operating system and specific interoperability issues with the major switch manufacturers. Make sure you understand port cost and large- versus small-switch costs. This mainly pertains to a large fabric. If they cannot address these or your specific questions regarding functionality, look somewhere else.

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This was first published in July 2001

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