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Controlling storage area network server sprawl

The size of my SAN continues to grow. What should I keep in mind to ensure that it doesn't get too big?

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As storage area networks (SANs) grow, customers will experience a number of issues: components may fail more often (because there are more of them), more effort is required to keep all SAN members on up to date firmware and driver levels, the impact of fabric downtime is greater.

As customers SANs grow, recommend reviewing the members of the SAN to determine if it is possible to divide the infrastructure into independent SAN islands. For example, critical applications may justify a smaller, more highly available SAN; meanwhile, development users may be moved to a lower cost SAN or iSCSI. By breaking it down into units, you can manage the SAN infrastructure and provide the best cost/performance/availability ratio.

This was first published in January 2007

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