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Inventory is the first step toward a SAN

Issues and considerations when evaluating if a SAN is right for your company.

Inventory is the first step toward a SAN
Rick Cook

According to storage management vendor Tivoli Systems Inc. (an IBM Company), the best way to find out what you need in a SAN is to start by finding out what you already have. According to Tivoli, the first thing you should do once you recognize the need for a SAN is take an inventory of all the hardware and software in your company.

A current inventory is important because you need to know what you're going to be trying to connect to the SAN. Since interoperability is still a major issue for SANs, some of your existing hardware and software may hold compatibility 'gotchas' that you need to plan for. Tivoli points out that one of the advantages of the Y2K concern was that most large IT organizations prepared such an inventory as part of their preparations for Y2K and it is much easier to update the information than to start from scratch. However, be sure to update the information before you begin detailed planning for your SAN.

Tivoli has a white paper on planning for a SAN, titled "Sanity Check" on its web site. Although the paper discusses Tivoli and IBM software and services, it provides a lot of good information on SAN planning.

Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.

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Related Book

Storage Area Networks: Designing and Implementing a Mass Storage System, 1/e
Author : Ralph Thornburgh and Barry Schoenborn
Publisher : Prentice Hall
ISBN/CODE : 0130279595
Cover Type : Soft Cover
Pages : 300
Published : Sep 2000
The complete guide to SAN technology for every implementer and manager!

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