Leveraging Storage Area Networks to Drive Data Storage Efficiency

By CIOReview | Tuesday, September 27, 2016
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Today,efficiency of an organization lies in identifying ways to remodel their existing network infrastructure to fulfil their compute and connectivity needs.Implementing SAN in an enterprise environment supports the process of storing massive amounts of data that can be integrated with time-sensitive applications. Primarily, the technology focuses on data that resides in relational databases. Yet, the end users are always required tostore their personal files on a private cloud or on local drives.Elevating the level of efficiency and convenience for enterprises, SAN technology is fabricated with the ability to use multiple types of hard drives in databases and email servers.

According to Gartner’s report on Storage Area Networks,when it comes to the ever increasing storage requirements, Host Bus Adapter (HBA) and Fibre Channel (FC) systems markets excel in the SAN arena. Currently, Ethernet transceivers are being replaced with the Fiber Channeltechnology on a large scale, resulting in a total throughput of about 10 Gbps being delivered. Future scenario also predicts the possibility of speeds boosting up to 100 Gbps. The research firm also states that the storage data center delivers high quality services to its customers and effectively gains considerable benefits from the high level of data integrity and optimum performance offered by Fiber Channel systems.Furthermore, to achieve superior levels of data reliability, Fiber Channel architecture ensures the delivery of all data packets in a highly sequenced manner.

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Gartner’s shipment trend analysis indicates that enterprises purchasing the SAN infrastructure invest in the Fiber Channel, considering it as their trusted storage network protocol. Additionally, by the year 2017, Fiber Channel technology vendors are expectedto introduce the next technology node of about 32 Gbps.

The Need to Implement a Suitable SAN Protocol

For small and medium businesses trying to incorporate their first SAN solution into the workflow, the iSCSI protocol is considered as a cost effective solution. It deploys efficient Ethernet adapters and switches that meet industry standards.

Notable Benefits of Adopting a SAN

Portraying itself as an elite solution compared to the other network storage options available, the SAN technology offers a wide array of benefits which include:

StorageVirtualization

Cited as one of the major benefits, software virtualization guidesenterprise network administrators in the process of assigning logical drives appropriately. Administrators have the freedom to effectively generate severalvirtual SANs in system. The latest SAN solutions are integrated with the ability to virtualize the storage components offered by different manufacturers.

High Availability

Through multiple data transmission paths, networks trigger specific mechanisms to enable a host server and numerousSAN based storage resources communicate with each other. Basedon the various implementation techniques, data paths can also be configured into simultaneous or failover paths. Apart from offering unprecedented fault tolerance abilities, the implementation also raises the level of bandwidth for the host and boosts the overall performance. The entire scenario portrays SAN as an innovative solution in terms of fault tolerance. Furthermore, asthe SAN storage resources residing in an enterprise are centralized, it facilitates enhanced control over data protection. Key features of centralization also include support for RAID and the feature of backing up critical enterprise data to remote locations.

An Effective Disaster Recovery Solution

Considering the nature of data and lack of stringent security, enterprises often encounter data loss and breaches. To tackle the situation, a typical SAN solution delivers optimum disaster recovery techniques. The process involves incorporating SAN separately away from the servers;thereby safeguarding business critical data in case of a physical damage at any point of the in-house network infrastructure. Additionally, dedicated storage switches also play a vital role in protecting the drives.

A successful SAN deployment is a result of an array of simple as well as productive tasks initialized in a perfect sequence. This also involves integrating the solution with standardized and industry approved networking components that helps enterprises reduce risks and experience considerable boost in productivity.