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Handbook: Best practices for SAN expansion

Best practices for SAN expansion include options for integrating SAN and NAS or iSCSI and Fibre Channel, evaluating capacity planning tools, as well as upgrading switches, disk arrays and HBAs.

No matter how much storage capacity you squeeze into an array, it's just a matter of time until that space is completely filled. Users everywhere are challenging existing storage resources with applications that proliferate media-hungry data files. This is where SAN expansion technology comes in.

This handbook takes an in-depth look at SAN expansion technology and offers advice on the many elements involved, such as integrating SAN and NAS, switch upgrades, disk array replacement and capacity planning tools.

Best Practice No. 1: Expanding or replacing disk arrays
Even the biggest disk array eventually runs out of storage space. Tiered storage? Data deletion? No matter. At some point, you'll still need to expand or replace your SAN. Here are eight best practices for disk array expansion or replacement.

Best Practice No. 2: Switch upgrades and replacements
Switches must provide a mix of performance, reliability and management versatility, while maintaining a reasonable cost per port. Here are eight best practices for switch upgrades and replacements.

Best Practice No. 3: Host bus adapter upgrades and replacements
Learn how to maintain control over HBA selection, eliminate bottlenecks, boost availability and how HBAs will interact with FCoE. Here are seven best practices for host bus adapter upgrades and replacements.

Best Practice No. 4: Selecting a storage capacity planning tool
To select a storage management and capacity planning tool, first calculate how much storage is available and how much of your total storage capacity is actually being used. Here are eight best practices for switch upgrades and replacements.

Best Practice No. 5: Integrating SAN and NAS
SAN and NAS platforms are often interconnected so their respective benefits can be pooled. However, storage administrators must take care when connecting SAN and NAS. Here are eight best practices for integrating SAN and NAS.

Best Practice No. 6: Integrating iSCSI and Fibre Channel, and make it work
Although companies of every size are embracing iSCSI SAN technology because of its lower cost and relative simplicity, there are situations where iSCSI and Fibre Channel coexistence makes sense. Here are eight best practices for integrating iSCSI and Fibre Channel technologies.

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