Wrangling with a storage area network (SAN) is no joke. To say a SAN is complicated is a bit of an understatement. Yet, for more and more enterprises, the advantages of a dedicated storage network outweigh the additional complexity. Still, nothing happens in a vacuum. So, what is it that's driving adoption of SANs today? "Reduced costs, faster and larger capacity devices, smaller footprint requiring less power in the face of vendor consolidation and acquisitions," said Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst of StorageIO Group. "However, there are some other factors which are significant and perhaps overlooked, such as the continued development and adoption of automation tools to address transparent data movement in homogenous or heterogeneous environments, as well as automated event and cross technology domain correlation and root cause analysis tools, including configuration validation."
Below are the top 10 SAN tips of 2006, based on our readers' interest, covering such topics as iSCSI SANs, RAID striping, SAN performance tuning, balancing SATA and SCSI and more. Check them out now.
Careful configuration of an iSCSI storage area network (SAN) will usually preclude most problems. But if network performance is still slow, there are several adapter and switch settings that can help speed things up and alleviate network congestion.
2. Five tips for improving your SAN utilization
Improve the utilization of your storage SAN in terms of performance, capacity and availability. These tips can be applied in principally to Fibre Channel (FC), iSCSI or InfiniBand block-based SANs, as well as NFS or CIFS file-based network attached storage (NAS).
3. Price vs. performance: A RAID configuration Q&A
Which RAID configuration offers the best price-to-performance ratio?
4. RAID striping or concatenation: Which has better performance?
Designing storage for performance can be a very esoteric effort. Learn what variables you should take into account during the design process.
Advice on how to perform a smooth SAN relocation, saving everyone involved a great amount of time and aggravation. 6. SAN fine tuning: Get the most from your storage
The way key SAN components, principally host bus adapters (HBA) and switches, are configured will determine overall SAN performance. If you know what to look for and how to make adjustments, performance issues can be greatly reduced. 7. FC vs. iSCSI: Five tips in five minutes
How do you figure out whether FC or iSCSI is right for your environment? Check out the expert technical advice below, and get started learning about how these technologies compare, so you can make the right decision for your environment.
8. Balancing SATA and SCSI
Selecting the right combination of SATA and SCSI disk drives in your system is critical. This tip offers suggestions on how you can strike an effective balance.
9. ISCSI network configuration, design and optimization
It's a must to consider more than just cabling when designing an iSCSI-based storage network. Learn to look at the bigger picture when configuring or optimizing an iSCSI-based storage network.
10. SATA drives: Four worst practices
SATA drives have a few gotchas. Read about the four common SATA drive mistakes to avoid in your environment.
This was first published in December 2006