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Storage Area Networks

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Webfusion logoStorage Area Networks (otherwise known as SANs) – What are they exactly? – It’s a question that’s trickier to answer than you may think. My job has taken me off researching again – this time into those most noisy of places – server rooms. The one I went to was vast and belonged to an ISP – it’s staggering how much data these places handle and they told me they have other 1000 servers – a mixture of Windows and Linux operating systems, each with at least 5 disks in the RAID array. A quick calculation means this place had in excess of 5000 hard disk drives – all spinning and holding data.

A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a type of computer architecture where distant storage devices like disk arrays are attached to servers and set up in this manner they seem to be locally on the system. By sharing storage it can simplify things and will add flexibility as the storage doesn’t have to be physically moved around, a SAN environment may work with a variety of hardware from RAID’s to Network Attached Storage, as a result of the numerous components that may compose a Storage Area Network it could be rather sophisticated, the more sophisticated the system the bigger the odds of a failure in a single element, that consequently can impact the whole storage system.

By investing in a Storage Area Network it may supply adaptive storage direction and high performance, with a Storage Area Network enables one to allocate space to specific apparatuses or to hold the whole storage open or you may select who can obtain specific data. Storage Area Network systems seldom fail and when they do it is typically due to user error, typically within picture direction or an error with san direction characteristics, Storage Area Networks support large quantities of users, this makes it useful for companies who have a great deal of data but need it centralized in one accessible location. Because of the large quantities of users as well as the feature of the data that’s saved on Storage Area Networks they want continuous tracking and data recovery accessible twenty four hours a day.

Servers can be booted from your Storage Area Network this supplies advantages such as the fact if your server is flawed the Storage Area Network can be reconfigured to make use of the valid Component Quantity of the flawed server on a different server, Storage Area Networks may also be found in catastrophe protection, the reason being they are able to be crossed over distant places with an IP Wide Area Network, this empowers storage replication executed via disk array controllers, server applications or specialized Storage Area Network Apparatuses.

There’s a solution to gauge the operation and capacity of a Storage Area Network this is via quality of service, quality of service allows for the required storage operation to be preserved and computed for network users. The chief variables which influence Storage Area Network quality or service are; Bandwidth, Latency and Queue Depth. Bandwidth is the speed of the data throughput which can be found, latency is the time delay for a read/write function to happen and Queue depth is how many operations which are waiting to be ran to the discs. The essence of service can be influenced by matters like a spike in the level of data traffic from one user this subsequently affects the other users when quality of service services have been in area utilization and operation, causing their operation to reduce could be preserved and called.

When employing a Storage Area Network it’s important never to use over provisioning, this is where additional disk space is put into compensate for peak traffic loads yet where peak traffic loads can’t be called the additional capacity may cause bandwidth to be consumed entirely and latency to rise over time it is also called Storage Area Network degradation.

Link: This article is covered in more depth on the Data Recovery Reviews web site.

Written by Betty

January 29th, 2014 at 4:53 pm