Know Storage Area Network basics before you buy a SAN

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.
 

Easy To Follow Ideas About Search Engine Optimization That Will Really Help You

 

You could be the most ambitious person on the planet when it comes to creating a website with all the bells and whistles that people will love, but unless your visitors can find your site when they search specific terms, your efforts are just going to be wasted. Read these tips and make the most of your efforts.

 

On your website, headings are going to play a vital role in organizing information. So you need to use only a single H1 tag when you are putting your page together. You can use various subheading tags, like H2-H6, but keep things neat and clean by only using one main H1 tag.

 

To search engine optimize your website, don't include more than 150 internal linking hyperlinks on your home page. Too many internal links on one page can dilute a web page's search engine rank. Huge numbers of links also make it hard for visitors to find the information that they need quickly.

 

To ensure that your website is as easy as possible to crawl, keep your site architecture flat. Don't use too many sub folders, instead use descriptive names for each page. Keep your pages with the most competitive keywords in their names, close to the root folder, so they will gain a higher page rank.

 

A great way to optimize your search engine is to provide use internal links. This means you have an easy access to links within your own site. This provides an easier database for customers of viewers to use and will end up boosting the amount of traffic you have.

 

Find some SEO forums that take site review requests. Participate in the forums then ask fellow members to take look at your website. When someone you don't know well visits your website they can analyze it critically and unemotional, then highlight mistakes and suggest ways for you to improve your website's search engine optimization.

 

While purchasing a domain name may seem like the right way to go, many search engines do not recommend it. Some search engines have a long delay for adding new sites to their existing lists, and last thing you want is to delay getting new visitors. Using your existing website is more feasible, since the wait time for some engines is up to a full year.

 

Decide whether or not you want to use a link farm. Link farms are sites without content that just have thousands of links. This is generally seen as a negative thing. However, these do appear in search engines, and can help you rise in the ranks. It is your decision as to what is most important: rapport with other sites, or search engine rankings.

 

As mentioned at the start of this article, it's very important that you do not allow your efforts to go to waste. Learning the proper optimization tactics for the search engines out there is how your site or business goes from a simple start-up to being a legitimate and popular brand online. Use the tips you've just read to your advantage in SEO.

 

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