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Vol. 3 No. 12 February 2005

Scaling SANs

Vertical and horizontal scaling Vertical scaling is accomplished by replacing components with greater resources, such as switches with higher port counts. Horizontal scaling builds out a storage network with additional switches, inter-switch links (ISLs) and so forth. Storage area networks (SANs) must be able to scale as they grow to meet burgeoning storage demands. There are various techniques for scaling SANs from a switch and fabric perspective. The best technique is one that satisfies current storage requirements and accommodates future growth. The basic building block of a switched Fibre Channel (FC) storage network is the FC switch, which ranges in size from a few ports to hundreds of ports. Similar to Ethernet-based networks, an FC storage network (fabric) can be implemented using a single switch or as a fabric network with multiple switches interconnected using inter-switch links (ISLs). We'll focus on scaling individual FC SAN fabrics to add ports to support more servers and storage, and to improve performance. While ...

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Features in this issue

  • No-sweat SAN design

    Whether you're planning a new storage area network (SAN) or dealing with the growing pains of an existing one, SAN design tools can ease the process.

  • E-mail archivers keep companies legit

    Storage managers must deal with stricter government regulations and rapidly escalating e-mail stores. There are many e-mail archiving programs available, but finding the one that best meets your company's needs is the key.

  • D2D Backup: Disk's dual role

    In part one of a three-part series on disk-based backup, we describe how SAN disk-as-disk and NAS disk-as-disk work, as well as the pros and cons of each configuration.

  • Backup exec: Time to grow up

    New version of Backup Exec catches up with Windows growth.

  • Scaling SANs

    Horizontal and vertical scaling are two methods of improving a SAN's capacity and performance. We discuss how to choose the appropriate approach for your environment.

Columns in this issue