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Vol. 1 No. 11 January 2003

Who should be charged with managing your SAN hardware?

Across the country, IT organizations are exploring the question of who should manage their storage area network (SAN): the network group, the systems group or a new group dedicated to storage. Analyzing the alternatives is partly a question of understanding the relevant skill sets. But it's also a question of ensuring that ordinary processes and troubleshooting can both be done in the most efficient way, involving the fewest amount of people. Why not network engineers? Can the network engineering group perform the same duties on a SAN? Up to a point,yes. Capacity planning methods for Fibre Channel (FC) networks are similar to those for IP networks if the focus is on the traffic flow. But beyond that, the similarity fades. In order to provide secure access to the SAN, the engineer will need to be more than just familiar with the Fibre Channel protocol (FCP) and there lies the difference with standard IP networks. Providing secure access to your SAN entails knowing where the entry points are, and what vulnerabilities lie at each ...

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