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Top five storage area network (SAN) management tips for SMBS in 2009

Read about our top five SAN management tips for SMBs in 2009. Learn when it is right for a SAN and the differences between iSCSI and FC SAN.

Storage area networks (SANs) are popular in most data storage enterprises today. Many small- to midsized businesses (SMBs) have not yet adopted SANs into their environment, but as time progresses and storage needs increase for SMBs, it is becoming more and more clear that SANs are essential to have in their data storage environments.

Natalie Meek, practice manager at GlassHouse Technologies, also feels SANs are important for SMBs. "A SMB should always consider implanting a SAN during any large hardware purchases," said Meek. "Most vendors have the ability to include SAN components into the entire quote therefore SMBs should not hesitate to include SAN options in any new storage hardware acquisitions."

Meek went on to say that the popularity of SANs has increased in 2009. "In the last year, many SMBs are considering implementing or enhancing an existing SAN in their environment because the additional features a SAN provides can benefit not only the storage environment," said Meek. "It can also assist in faster backup operations, the ability to replicate to a co-location facility and other features which might not have been feasible or within a SMB budget previously."

To help you learn more about SAN management for SMBs, we've compiled our five best SAN SMB tips from 2009. Whether you want to know the signs that tell you you're ready for a SAN, SAN options for SMBs, the pros and cons of direct-attached storage (DAS), network-attached storage (NAS) and SAN, or the differences between iSCSI SAN and Fibre Channel SAN, we have all the information here on

TIP #1-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ten signs you're ready for a storage area network
SANs are considered a necessity for most large enterprises, but at the same time, they're becoming increasingly popular and essential for SMBs as well. So how do you know when it's right to move from direct-attached storage (DAS) and network-attached storage (NAS) to SANs? In this tip, read about the top ten signs that you're ready for a storage area network, including signs like growing storage needs, network congestion and overgrown data backups.

TIP #2-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Storage area network options for SMBs
Although many SMBs are looking to incorporate SANs into their data storage environments, for some SMBs, it's not always necessary to have a full-scale deployment. More importantly, sometimes a SAN isn't the best solution for an SMB. In this tip, learn about storage area network options for SMBs, including alternatives to SANs for SMBs, good SMB SAN packages and how to speed up SAN storage.

TIP #3-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Data storage for virtual environments: Pros and cons of DAS, NAS and SAN
DAS, NAS and SAN are all popular ways to consolidate data and reduce costs in enterprise data storage. However, many SMBs have a hard time deciding which one is the right fit for their virtual environment. In this tip on data storage for virtual environments, learn about the details of DAS, NAS and SAN, and the pros and cons of each technology.

TIP #4-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Server virtualization pushing SMBs towards SANs; iSCSI-based SANs help them stay afloat
Andrew Knippen, network administrator at Citizens National Bank wasn't rushing to get rid of his servers' internal or direct-attached storage. They had served his small community bank well over the years. However, when he moved to server virtualization, it became apparent that he needed a more powerful and shared storage network. But rather than getting costly and complex technology for SMBs, Knippen started off with an affordable, easy-to-manage, entry-level iSCSI-based storage area network. Learn how the demand for server virtualization technology is making some SMBs turn to SANs and how iSCSI-based SAN technology is a manageable solution for their storage networking woes.

TIP #5-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fibre Channel SAN versus iSCSI SAN: Reliability and performance
The debate between Fibre Channel SAN and iSCSI SAN was heated in 2009. How can you tell which one is right for your SMB? What are the features of each technology? This tip briefly reviews the history Fibre Channel and iSCSI SAN technology, and compares the reliability and performance of both technologies to help you make a better decision on which one to choose for your company. Read all about Fibre Channel SAN vs. iSCSI SAN and their reliability and performance in this tip.

To help you stay up to date on SANs for SMBs in 2010, bookmark our page on SANs for the latest news, tips and tutorials on SANs for SMBs.

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