By Alan Earls

How many times have you nodded off reading an analyst's report? While often impeccably well researched, analysts can also be a bit long-winded or can get carried away with predicting the future, sometimes on rather flimsy evidence. Bob Zimmerman, an analyst at Giga Information Group, has come up with a report that is an antidote to all the too heavy (or too fluffy) stuff you've read on SANs in recent years. His "Decisions to make before installing your first SAN" (Giga document ID: RPA-092000-00001) delivers a concise, information-packed review of some important rules of thumb as well as a good basic overview of the SAN industry as a whole.

In fact, whether you are actually contemplating a first SAN installation or are a bit of a veteran, this report is valuable reading.

Zimmerman emphasizes the critical importance of planning and of working with an experienced implementer. He boils advice down to nuggets and valuations, such as, "For your first SAN, the vendor you select may account for up to 40 percent of your success...SAN hardware is important, but as long as you choose from the major vendors, it is only a 20 percent to 25 percent contributor."

Within the report Zimmerman touches on who the key players are among software and hardware vendors and also offers tips on "expectation setting" and on working with them. He even boils down this already well distilled bunch of information into a series of bullets

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in the concluding section. In short, its something that probably should have been titled, "The Five Minute SAN Expert."

Additional resources:

About the author: Alan Earls is a freelance writer in Franklin, Mass.

This was first published in October 2000

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