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Tips on choosing SAN components for interoperability

Some good interoperability tips from Connex vice president of software engineering, Robert Wright.

It is common to add components to SANs as specific needs arise, which makes it also typical to have a heterogeneous network with components of varying quality and capability.

Economic reasons may prevent the replacement of older components in a SAN until they fail or become obsolete, but it is still necessary to manage all of the components. Standardizing on one "best-of-breed" vendor for each type of SAN component can minimize the complexity of heterogeneous SANs.

For example, standardizing on one switch vendor for each SAN installation provides the ability to cross-connect the devices for redundancy in the event one switch fails. Such a heterogeneous SAN based on "best-of-breed" devices and a mixture of older and newer components can present significant interoperability and management problems. The best way to avoid these problems that can occur in a heterogeneous (multi-vendor) SAN is to make device interoperability a consideration during the component purchase cycle. Also, you should select a SAN management application that offers a great deal of flexibility and robustness in working with current and forthcoming standards, features and proprietary interfaces of all the major equipment and software vendors.

About the author: Robert Wright is the vice president of software engineering at Connex, Inc.

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