What causes IP storage networking bottlenecks?

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Poor choice of networking gear, such as mixing lower grade cables and older hubs along with switches or a heavy LAN traffic on the same backbone as the SAN, can seriously impact the IP storage traffic negatively.

Depending on the size of the network and skill set administering it, it may be best to segregate the LAN and the SAN segments by either two distinct subnets that merge at some juncture or by using VLAN security techniques.

Also, make sure IP storage is aligned with the requirements of the applications that need to use the resources are well planned prior to implementing the SAN appliance.

Properly configuring the host (Initiator) to handle the load and volume is another significant factor. If your application server is intended to use the IP SAN volumes for Exchange or SQL access, do not schedule snapshot operation during the busy periods when most users are on-line. Improperly scheduled services can also hamper performance.

This was first published in May 2007

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