Download the authoritative guide: Enterprise Data Storage 2018: Optimizing Your Storage Infrastructure
In the past, companies kept pace with the enormous rate of storage growth management and infrastructure complexity by simply adding more capacity. Recently, though, as budgets have been reduced, IT managers have been asked to defer purchases and do more with fewer resources. At the same time, despite these constraints on IT resources, ever-higher levels of services are in demand and increasingly shorter backup and restore windows are needed, as application availability remains a top priority for companies. All of this is occurring even as the amount of data requiring backup continues to grow ever larger.
Advanced Storage Area Networks (SANs) provide one of the best approaches for addressing the explosion of data and its management. SANs help enable storage consolidation and deliver higher availability of critical enterprise data and applications. Furthermore, SANs facilitate improved storage resource utilization and more effective storage management.
SAN Components and Architecture
The primary driver in the rapid adoption of SANs has been consolidation, which increases utilization of storage and the management of storage growth at reasonable costs. Typical examples of storage applications driving the use of SANs include file sharing, LAN-free and serverless backup, and n-way clustering.
Effective SAN solutions should provide fail-safe disaster recovery processes, reliable storage and server building blocks, automated management via policy-based solutions, data protection software that scales with the storage network, and the ability to manage heterogeneous environments. The various components needed for a complete storage solution include:
- Data Services: Tools for availability, backup, and recovery processes
- Infrastructure: Host bus adapters (HBAs), directors, switches, and software for element management
- Management software: For managing the overall storage environment and for controlling the infrastructure
- Practices: Services for the initial assessment, implementation, and remote support of the storage environment
- Servers: From the workgroup to the enterprise, providing the computer applications and database resources necessary to drive the data
- Storage Products: The arrays and tape libraries for housing the data