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Network and Automated SAN Management: Storage beyond the Box
Today's IT challenges are a direct result of attempts to solve real business problems. The adoption rate of SANs for addressing these challenges has never been greater than it is right now, but even though SANs have proven to be excellent vehicles for addressing these challenges, some implementation and infrastructure issues remain.
Larger, more complex SANs demand tested, certified, turnkey solutions. Historically, in order to create a SAN solution, customers have had to go to multiple vendors to obtain the various components necessary. When integrated into the customer's SAN, these components have not always worked seamlessly together and have not always been tested for compatibility by the various vendors.
In addition, many customers in the process of trying to overlay storage solutions on top of existing legacy environments of servers, storage, and other components are tasked with integrating SAN solutions where the implementation and management of the SAN can be made very challenging by the complexity of existing environments.
Furthermore, customers are often attempting to solve more than just their immediate storage needs when they implement SANs. They may have other requirements, such as providing a data continuance solution or trying to facilitate consolidation. A customer's new SAN needs to address current storage needs as well as meet anticipated requirements for the future. All of these situations clearly illustrate the need for complete SAN solutions that are integrated, tested, and certified in order to ensure interoperability with existing environments.
Categories of Key SAN Solutions
Some of the major issues facing IT organizations today are data availability, reliability, scalability, performance, and management. While addressing data availability and disaster recovery, companies are also concerned with maximizing their storage investments, and they want to do so while meeting definable Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) or return on investment (ROI) goals.
At the same time, IT staffs are focused on the more mundane -- but no less important -- goals of addressing the technical demands that result from the proliferation of mission critical data operations. Such operations are those created by Internet-focused business operations and data-intensive computing environments. SANs are now being utilized to address a wide variety of IT challenges, including:
- Data Continuance
- High-performance computing (HPC)
- Mission critical computing