On the host side, use of multi-core servers along with network interface cards (NICs) that offer Teaming and Offloads that can punch through the media more effectively will help optimize application performance. On the target side, map your applications to the right RAID levels for good provisioning.
Make sure you fully understand the best practices for the desired application's use of RAID levels. For example, databases like their log files to reside on LUNs protected with RAID level 1, but want the actual databases to reside on a different LUN protected with RAID level 5.
Also, most block-based applications offer optimization techniques for best use of RAM in the server along with Ethernet packet sizes.
Additionally, if your IP storage is within a closed LAN loop and the NICs and switches offer Jumbo frame sizes, use them. You'll get a better bang for your buck.
This was first published in May 2007