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Setting up an SQL server on a four-node SAN cluster

I am planning to setup an SQL server on a four-node SAN cluster. I am being offered Fibre hubs and Fibre Switches. What do you recommend? What are the pros/cons of each?
My recommendation would be to skip the hubs, and go with the switches for your four-node cluster. The reason being is that while hubs may be cheaper than switches, you also get what you pay for. Given that you are clustering your services, I presume for high availability, why take any chances on hubs with shared bandwidth and shared loop access? Switches have the ability to support loop devices -- for example, an older tape drive, should you have the need. With a hub all ports share the common bandwidth of the hub, which could impact your performance. Beyond performance, switches also have the advantage of providing better isolation of ports and subsequently various devices. Since you are clustering, I would also recommend implementing a pair of switches to create to separate paths to your storage for redundancy. The price of Fibre Channel switches and adapters continue to decrease in price, which makes redundant paths more affordable.

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Questions and answers from SAN School Storage area networks (SANs) have the ability to save a company money, hasten backups and help consolidate the data center. But, a SAN is not to be left alone. It's a complex, growing, breathing entity that constantly needs to be tweaked and upgraded.

So what is SAN School? If this is the first time you are asking yourself, "What's a SAN?" -- SAN School is for you. If you are implementing your first SAN and need implementation and migration help -- SAN School is for you. If you are far along in the SAN process and need to extend your SANs or connect SAN islands -- SAN School is for you.

The authors of "Storage Area Networks for dummies", Christopher Poelker and Alex Nikitin, are your SAN School professors. Through 15-minute Webcast lessons, they covered SANs from A to Z, from what a SAN is, to connecting those last nodes for optimal performance.

SearchStorage.com readers sent Chris and Alex received a lot of questions during each SAN School Webcast lesson. Since each lesson only lasted 15 minutes, they weren't able to answer all of your questions. Thanksfully, though, Chris Poelker was kind enough to answer them after each lesson.

The editors of SearchStorage.com have taken each of your questions and Chris's answers and posted all of them for you here. Also, if you missed any of teh SAN School Webcasts, click here

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