Consolidating storage using a SAN or other technique can save an enterprise considerable amounts of money, and improve performance as well. Generally speaking, you can perform consolidation in one of three ways: move applications from multiple independent servers to a server cluster or to a single storage server; attach heterogenous servers to a storage device or using a SAN; and consolidate data on a common file system.
In a white paper on storage consolidation, Sun Microsystems Inc. offers a checklist to help determine if consolidation might benefit your business.
Among the questions you need to answer are:
- Is your storage growth difficult to predict and/or manage?
- Does your data need to be updated more often that it is currently?
- Are IT dependencies not fully understood, leading to incorrect management disciplines being applied?
- Is your business experiencing problems handling incoming Web traffic efficiently?
- Is your business experiencing problems scaling quickly and non-disruptively to meet growing demands?
- Are planned or unplanned service or maintenance outages disrupting production?
The complete list is available in the Sun white paper titled "Storage Consolidation: How to Reduce IT Costs and Complexity" on the Sun Web site at www.sun.com.
Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.