As the size of an organization grows, the need for bigger storage also grows. Finally a moment comes when it is no longer feasible to store data in each server’s local hard disk. The more efficient method is to set up a SAN (Storage Area Network) and relocate all data into it.
Before proceeding to benefits of SAN, let’s have a look at the basics of SAN.
What is Storage Area Network (SAN)?
According to the Storage Networking Industry Association’s dictionary (and who knows better than them?):
A storage area network (SAN) is any high-performance network whose primary purpose is to enable storage devices to communicate with computer systems and with each other.
It is basically a collection of storage disks which run on its own network to ensure fast transmission speeds.This means that disk storage is seen by a server as if it were local and not on a network. Also worth keeping in mind is that a storage array by itself is not a SAN; a SAN is the combination of the shared storage array, the network and other devices as a whole connecting it to the servers or hosts.
Benefits of Storage Area Network (SAN)
There are many reasons why you may want to buy a SAN. Some benefits of a SAN include the following:
* Pool disk storage resources and allocate to systems as per need instead of allocating entire disks to systems.
* Storage is shared at the block level instead of at the file or directory level, which implies that individual systems can format the disk space as required or use raw volumes.
* SAN that does scale provides an extra application performance boost by separating high-volume I/O traffic from client/server message traffic, giving each a path that is optimal for its characteristics and eliminating cross talk between them.
* In case one of the disks in the SAN is faulty, the SAN is able to rebuild data from the faulty disk onto a spare disk, depending on the RAID technology practiced.
What type of SAN should small businesses buy?
There are two main types of SANs available: Fibre Channel (FC) and iSCSI, which are basically protocols used to access block-level storage.
iSCSI SANs are more accessible to small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) than Fibre Channel SAN solutions due to the cost of equipment. Also, it is required to acquire new skills to manage the Fibre Channel network when a FC switch is used. You can deploy an iSCSI SAN using a conventional high bandwidth IP network while leveraging existing IP network skills.
Components required to deploy a SAN
* Shared storage array with iSCSI ports.
* Storage management software.
* High-bandwidth dedicated IP network segment.
* iSCSI hardware and software initiators (host adapters)
Things to consider before implementing SAN
* Number of hosts supported – The storage array must be able to support the number of servers that will share storage.
* Redundancy – SAN must have include internal components redundancy and the ability to replace them without taking an outage.
* Data protection – Traditional data backup might still be required for offsite data protection though a SAN might come with data protection features.
The author has more than 10 years of experience in IT storage and networking
and enjoys writing on Storage Area Network (SAN). He is also into business selling storage, server and networking solutions to his customers in Toronto (GTA), Canada.
Become a Pro Blogger with these Tips
Creating a blog can seem overwhelming because there are so many option, possibilities and choices to make. The potential and ideas for blogs are infinite. The tips in this article are designed to help you to create a blog that will accomplish your goals and will reach the audience that your blog was created for.
Post original content on your blog, and include pictures or other content. Linking out to relevant sites, quoting experts in a field or adding videos can also make a post more interesting. Make sure you don't plagiarize, though, because people will stop visiting your site. Be unique and interesting with posts!
If possible, have someone else go over your blog posts before you post them. This is especially critical for internet marketing posts. People have a tendency to be blind to their own errors, so they will often miss problems with grammar, spelling, sequence, or logic. Another person may also be able to provide information you have left out or correct errors of fact.
When blogging, you should make sure that you make your RSS feed as obvious as possible. You can not expect other readers to find it if it blends in with all the text in your blog. This is why you should put it in a prominent position on your blog, and try to make use of the orange RSS icon if possible.
If you are going to blog, you need to make sure you choose a niche or market that you are passionate about. There are plenty of blogs out there, and there are just as many topics to choose from. Stay specific, and choose a blogging subject that you can create a successful blog with.
Break your blog up into appropriate headings and subheadings. This serves to make the material more palatable. Readers' have a tendency to scan the page for key concepts before they begin to read the entire blog. Headings and subheadings will help them get what they are looking for and ensure they stay on your page long enough to read the entire blog.
Try breaking your posts into manageable pieces. This is a very easy, but unfortunately ignored blogging tactic. Do not write like you are trying to run a marathon. Break up your posts in smaller pieces. This can help boost your SEO, and it can help create a clearer writing approach. This can actually help you think better.
Learn everything you can about topics related to your blog. The more quality information you can share, the better your blog will be. The greater your knowledge, the more readers will view you as an expert in the field. This will make the reader more likely to share links to your blog with their contacts.
Do not start a blog entry unless you are sure that you can sit down and finish the entire thing. You want to let your mind stay on task, and if you have to stop for any reason, it will be very hard to pick up where you left off.
You may want to have contests or giveaways on your site. This helps readers to become a part of your blog and increases their excitement about visiting. Readers are also likely to send links to contacts interested in the content of your contest. The giveaway can vary, depending on your site.
Make friends with other blogs that relate to your target niche. You can post useful comments on these blogs, and this will help promote your own blogging as well. Besides providing comments, some blogs will allow you to make guest posts, as this can be mutually beneficial to both of you.
The more blogs you write, the more ways potential readers have of finding you via search engines. The more people that successfully make their way to your site, the more visitors you will have actually reading your content. Use this guidance and watch your visitor numbers grow.
As you probably already know, creating a blog can be overwhelming at first, because the possibilities and potential for blogs are endless. The tips and techniques from the above article were gathered to help you create a blog that will get your message across to the audience that you are seeking to reach.
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