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Vol. 7 No. 5 July 2008

Ask the Experts: SANs with multiple OSes

Q: We're upgrading a SAN with multiple operating systems (OSes). Should we run a different OS version in each fabric or upgrade both together? A. Assuming you have separate fabrics, and thus redundant access, you want to isolate the adapter, switch, storage interface port and software from path failure. It would make sense to upgrade one fabric and ensure it's stable with the ability to revert to the previous OS. Even if the hosts usually don't notice the upgrades, there's a chance of that happening. You also need to factor in the interdependencies of the different host bus adapters, as well as interaction with the switches and storage devices. If you upgrade one path and leave the other at the older version, try to upgrade the other path or fabric to the newer version as soon as possible. From a support and management standpoint, you'll be better off updating both. --Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst, StorageIO Group

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Features in this issue

  • Solid State: New frontier for storage

    Solid-state media is starting to show up as an option for traditional storage arrays because it offers higher performance and lower power consumption. However, there are still reliability concerns related to wear out, the slower write performance of flash cells, and issues related to array management and interoperability.

  • DLT-S4 tape drives at bargain prices

  • Here comes 8Gig Fibre Channel

    New 8Gb/sec host bus adapters (HBAs) and switch devices have started arriving. But with storage arrays incorporating the new, higher speed technology still months away, end-to-end 8Gb storage infrastructures are still in the planning stages. Storage managers can get a jump on their 8Gig configurations by upgrading switches and HBAs now, or by considering networking gear that supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

  • Server blades and storage

    by  Ellen O'Brien

    Many IT shops are moving from traditional rack-mounted servers to blade configurations in hopes of reducing power and floor space requirements in their data centers. But combining blade architectures with server virtualization can cause problems with I/O and storage systems.

Columns in this issue