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SAN Technology

The externalization of storage is one of the most important technology architectures to be adopted in distributed networking in the last 10-plus years. According to numerous studies of mission-critical applications conducted by Strategic Research Corp., server-bound storage is the greatest inhibitor to continuous access to data and is an impediment in achieving continuous operations.

Benefits to using SANs:
Availability: Due to its multiple levels of redundancy, it reduces the level of downtime associated with failures. A SAN allows for multiple physical connections to disks from single or multiple servers. Disk Utilization: Space can be assigned to any server that needs more storage space, thus allowing you to grow as needed with no downtime. This is referred to as storage on demand. The SAN enables more than one server to access the same physical disk, which lets you allocate the free space on those disks more effectively. Because you can use disk space more effectively, no space goes to waste, thus you don't need to buy disks as often as you used to.

Management: Storage is managed from a centralized location instead of on each server.

Reduced Data Center Rack Space: By consolidating storage on the SAN instead of on the servers, it means that more servers with smaller footprint can be used. This eliminates the need for larger bulky servers. Connectivity: The SAN uses Fibre Channel to connect to the servers allowing for faster and larger throughput or I/O. The SAN drives are also Fibre Channel.

Improved Disaster Recovery Capabilities: Since storage is located on the SAN, a server failure can be recovered much faster. SAN devices have the ability to mirror the data on the disks to another location. This can make your data safe if a disaster occurs. Vendor Consolidation: Pooled storage architecture can consolidate the number of vendors involved in providing infrastructure services.

Clustering Support: All SANs support server clustering. One of the reasons a SAN is purchased is to cluster multiple servers together while having the storage centralized on the SAN.

Removes the distance limits of SCSI-connected disks: The maximum length of a SCSI bus is around 25 meters. Fibre Channel SANs allow you to connect disks to your servers over much greater distances.

Better staff utilization: SANs enable more data management with fewer IT resources.




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