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Introduction to storage networks Flexible and redundant storage can solve many network problems, and storage

Introduction to storage networks

Flexible and redundant storage can solve many network problems, and storage area networks (SANs) provide the solution. In this class, you'll learn the range of current storage issues and settings and identify areas that provide tangible returns for an investment in storage networks. Along the way, you'll learn about SAN disks, host bus adapters, switches and management tools.

Lessons

1. Is a storage area network right for your organization? In this first lesson, you'll learn the role of storage network solutions in adapting your organization's network from a patchwork quilt of single-purpose servers to an interwoven fabric of storage resources.

2. Exploring virtual storage In this lesson, you learn what virtual storage is and discover its benefits. You also learn how using an all-in-one solution can help you get started quickly and easily and review migration and upgrade paths for moving your data.

3. Understanding SAN disk solutions In this lesson, you'll delve into the technologies behind SANs. You'll learn about data protection with redundant drives and data backup, as well as performance implications in designing a SAN.

4. Discovering SAN controllers, cables and connectors SANs are made up of two main components: storage devices, in the form of disk and tape drives, and networking components, which include adapters, cables and switches. In this lesson, you learn about the networking components of a SAN.

5. Exploring topologies and switches This lesson focuses on ways to interconnect storage network components. You'll learn about topologies and the role of switches and the services they provide. You'll also delve into more detail on the switches that tie a SAN together.

6. Managing and administering SAN software SAN systems require management to keep them running smoothly. This lesson covers using management software, zones, policy-based tools and LUN masking to ensure your SAN is secure and functioning efficiently.

Is a storage area network right for your organization?

In this first lesson, you'll learn the role of storage network solutions in adapting your organization's network from a patchwork quilt of single-purpose servers to an interwoven fabric of storage resources.

Welcome to Introduction to storage area networks

Welcome to Introduction to storage networks. Storage of your organization's data is critical to its business operations. Every day, users access, modify and share data that enables the organization to function. However, data storage can quickly become unmanageable when storage capacity must increase to accommodate the vast quantities of information created daily and stored for months or years. This class explains how to investigate your organization's storage needs and evaluate storage technologies to determine which best fits your requirements.

This class is geared toward IT personnel who are responsible for network storage planning for small and medium-size businesses (SMBs).

One solution to meeting data storage needs is using a storage area network

(SAN)—a centrally consolidated, virtual disk storage system that's separate from network traffic and shared by servers.

What you'll learn

The lessons in this class are designed to build on one another and give you practical information to help you make informed decisions when planning your network storage. Here's what the lessons cover:

Lesson 1: Is a storage area network right for your organization? covers options in storage technologies, explains how SANs can benefit your organization and gives you an overview of assessing your current and future storage needs.your network storage. Here's what the lessons cover: Lesson 2: Exploring virtual storage answers the question

Lesson 2: Exploring virtual storage answers the question "What is virtual storage?" You delve into the components and capabilities of the SAN infrastructure, including virtualizing and migrating your data.overview of assessing your current and future storage needs. Lesson 3: Understanding SAN disk solutions explains

Lesson 3: Understanding SAN disk solutions explains how you can use SAN disk components to set up virtual storage solutions while considering performance and redundancy factors.including virtualizing and migrating your data. Lesson 4: Discovering SAN controllers, cables and connectors

Lesson 4: Discovering SAN controllers, cables and connectors covers the network components—controllers, cables and connection technologies—that enable SANs to move data from disk to server.while considering performance and redundancy factors. Lesson 5: Exploring topologies and switches describes the

Lesson 5: Exploring topologies and switches describes the SAN switch protocol for interconnecting servers and disk arrays, which provides the expansion and management capabilities that make a SAN infrastructure such a huge advantage for your organization.enable SANs to move data from disk to server. Lesson 6: Managing and administering SAN software

Lesson 6: Managing and administering SAN software covers storage area network management and describes techniques for administering your SAN, such as using device zones and SAN utilities.infrastructure such a huge advantage for your organization. Each lesson includes an assignment to help you

Each lesson includes an assignment to help you to apply the concepts to your organization as well as a short quiz to check your comprehension of the topics. Along the way, you can interact with other students and the instructor on the message board. The message board is a great tool for reinforcing the concepts you've learned and applying them to your organization.

Get involved on the message board! You can exchange ideas, share your expertise and offer feedback to help you get more from this class.

After completing this class, you'll have a wealth of information available to understand how a SAN can provide your organization with the data storage and management tools it needs to efficiently provision cost-effective storage resources.

Now that you have an overview of what this class offers, it's time to get started with your first lesson.

Traditional data storage options

The amount of data an organization must store isn't always related to the organization's size and data storage needs can change rapidly. For example, when an organization adds new products or services, often its client database grows faster than planned.

Just because your organization is small doesn't mean your data storage requirements are small.

doesn't mean your data storage requirements are small. » HP SAN product & solution portfolio So

So how can an organization keep up with the need for more storage? These are the traditional storage technologies that have been used to solve this problem:

Direct attached storageNetwork attached storage The following sections discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each technology. To

Network attached storageDirect attached storage The following sections discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each technology. To see

The following sections discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each technology. To see them summarized and compared with SAN technology in an at-a-glance table, refer to the section on SANs later in this lesson.

Direct attached storage

Any storage that's physically connected to a single host machine can be considered a direct attached storage (DAS) system. The hard disk in a desktop computer or server is a simple example. DAS technology is fast because the storage system is dedicated to one host.

DAS systems can be made up of internal or external drives, which are an economical way to add storage. Internal drives include several technologies such as small computer storage interface (SCSI), parallel ATA (PATA) which is often times referred to as integrated drive electronics (IDE) and serial ATA (SATA). External drives typically use the same physical hardware as the internal drives, but add electronics to enable them to be used through an external interface. Examples of these interfaces include universal serial bus (USB), FireWire and external serial ATA (eSATA).

Although these drives are economical, they're limited to providing storage for the system to which they're attached. Therefore, expansion is more difficult than with other storage solutions. An alternative—network attached storage—enables any server on the network to use storage.

Network attached storage

Servers have a way of multiplying in an organization. You might add one for email and another as a shared application server for several departments. Before you know it, you have many servers handling important tasks, and each one requires separate storage. If you continue using a DAS system, your organization might end up purchasing a lot more storage than it needs. For this reason, shared storage technology can be of value.

A storage system that shares network bandwidth with standard server and user traffic is called network attached storage (NAS). Devices called NAS appliances share data over the network without adding multipurpose server software, which can be expensive and difficult to maintain. NAS systems are easy to operate and maintain and allow modest expansion. The hardware is usually affordable and provides some management functions along with the sharing capability.

NAS systems are subject to limitations of the underlying network's speed in accessing data. For example, a Fast Ethernet local area network (LAN) has a theoretical data transfer speed of 12.5 Mbps (megabytes per second). The actual speed of accessing data drops, however, when NAS appliances are using the network's bandwidth. Factor in network bandwidth for activities such as web surfing, printing and email and the available data rate for storage decreases even more.

What can an organization do to expand its storage so that it can be shared by servers yet have enough speed to be effective? SANs were developed for just this purpose, as you learn in the next section.

Realizing the benefits of a SAN

As mentioned, many networks are set up on a one-application, one-server basis with separate servers for each organizational function or department. With separate storage for each server, sharing data and resources is difficult and can slow network performance. As you add more servers, management can become time consuming, too.

In a SAN system, all those separate storage disks are grouped and consolidated in an array. Servers can then access the array as though it were a local storage device. This setup also provides a separate network that's used only for transferring data between storage systems and servers. This network is optimized for fast data transfer at speeds of 2 to 10 Gbps (gigabits per second).

transfer at speeds of 2 to 10 Gbps (gigabits per second). » HP Storage software portfolio

SANs are made up of several components, such as disk arrays and switches, as you'll learn in Lessons 2 and 3.

SAN components connect servers and storage in what's known as a SAN fabric. Figure 1-1 shows a typical SAN fabric.

No doubt, the term "fabric" was coined because storage and servers are interconnected with strands of fiber optic cables. These fibers are then woven into a fabric of connectivity.

These fibers are then woven into a fabric of connectivity. Figure 1-1: A SAN fabric is

Figure 1-1: A SAN fabric is made up of many interconnected fiber optic strands.

In many computer networks, workstations and servers have a single connection to the network, but a SAN fabric has multiple connections.

Redundant connectivity reduces downtime for users, which is important to ensuring high availability for data and network resources. A SAN's separate, centralized setup also reduces downtime and offers the following benefits:

Reduces the space required for a one-application, one-server setupalso reduces downtime and offers the following benefits: Eases the burden of management tasks, including backups

Eases the burden of management tasks, including backups and recoverythe space required for a one-application, one-server setup Reduces the incremental costs associated with adding storage

Reduces the incremental costs associated with adding storageburden of management tasks, including backups and recovery Increases the visibility into planning for storage growth

Increases the visibility into planning for storage growth as an organizationReduces the incremental costs associated with adding storage Improves security by separating storage processes from

Improves security by separating storage processes from normal network trafficinto planning for storage growth as an organization An important concept of SANs is the "virtualization"

An important concept of SANs is the "virtualization" of data storage. Because storage is centralized as a virtual pool of resources, you can allocate storage to servers as needed quickly and easily. With recent regulations mandating that some industries, such as health care, retain data for longer periods, many organizations are facing rapidly expanding storage requirements. Virtual disk

storage makes handling this "storage explosion" easier.

To understand the benefits a SAN can have for your organization, comparing the strengths and weaknesses of DAS and NAS systems with SAN technology is helpful. Table 1-1 compares the basic features of each technology.

Storage

DAS

NAS

SAN

feature

Storage

Limited to ports on the local server

Not limited

Not limited

capacity

Speed of

Fast

Somewhat slow

Very fast

accessing

storage

Ease of

Might require shutting down servers to add storage

Easy

Easy

adding

storage

Redundant

No

No

Yes

connectivity

Centralized

No

No

Yes

management

Ease of

Limited to host's physical ports

Allows modest

Quick and easy

expansion

expansion

Suited for

Yes

No

Yes

databases

Suited for file storage

Yes

Yes

Yes

Cost

Inexpensive

Moderately

Moderately expensive

expensive

Distance

Must be close (under 6 feet)

Up to hundreds of miles

Up to hundreds of miles

between

server and

   

storage

Backups

Each volume copied separately from server to tape

Each volume copied separately from server to tape

Can back up multiple volumes without server interaction

Table 1-1: Comparing storage technologies.

Because SAN technology offers different advantages from an NAS or DAS system, you might want to create a hybrid system incorporating each of these technologies. For example, a developer's server that's used to test new changes to a production application may need to be a very low cost implementation with little consideration for performance. This type of server may use very low cost DAS to support a small testing database. Production servers supporting the same application will no doubt support more users and require the performance and scalability that a SAN provides. To help you make that decision, assess the importance of the following factors as you compare the features in Table 1-1:

Performancefollowing factors as you compare the features in Table 1-1: Availability Scalability Cost As you can

Availabilityas you compare the features in Table 1-1: Performance Scalability Cost As you can see, SANs

Scalabilitycompare the features in Table 1-1: Performance Availability Cost As you can see, SANs offer a

Costfeatures in Table 1-1: Performance Availability Scalability As you can see, SANs offer a fast, flexible

As you can see, SANs offer a fast, flexible method for connecting consolidated storage to the servers in your organization. By efficiently allocating storage resources as they're needed, your organization will save both time and money by reducing the overspending on unmanaged DAS or NAS storage resources. As you delve into the technical details of SANs in upcoming lessons, these benefits will be even more apparent.

Now that you've seen what SANs can offer your organization, continue reading

to learn how to assess your current environment to determine whether a SAN solution is right for you.

Taking inventory and assessing your storage needs

To understand how your organization can benefit from using SAN technology, you need to take inventory of the storage you currently use and get a handle on your projected future needs. Getting an accurate view of your organization's overall storage picture can be daunting, especially if each department has its own standalone storage. If your organization has been adding storage over a long period for different functions—an email server one year and a database server the next year, for example—this task can be even more challenging.

year, for example—this task can be even more challenging. » NAS file and print solution storage

Although taking an inventory of this type of "server sprawl" setup can be time consuming, the results can help you present a compelling case for using a SAN. For example, scattering storage all over the network inevitably means duplication of IT management efforts. Upper management usually responds favorably to the potential for a good return on an investment (ROI) in SANs if you can show a reduction in the overhead of having several IT staff performing the same management tasks.

Although advantages such as redundant connectivity and more efficient backups are clear benefits of SAN vs. DAS and NAS to those working directly with the network, upper management might not view these advantages with the same weight as factors offering a clear-cut ROI, such as allowing the staff to do more in less time and efficiently allocating storage using centralized management tools.

The assignment for this lesson explains in more detail how to create an inventory of your current storage requirements. In general, you want to collect information such as the following:

Storage devices, including type (DAS or NAS, for example), capacity and locationyou want to collect information such as the following: Host machines Connection devices, such as switches

Host machinestype (DAS or NAS, for example), capacity and location Connection devices, such as switches and bridges

Connection devices, such as switches and bridgesor NAS, for example), capacity and location Host machines Any distance considerations—for example, LANs in branch

Any distance considerations—for example, LANs in branch officesmachines Connection devices, such as switches and bridges Applications, including performance and availability

Applications, including performance and availability requirementsconsiderations—for example, LANs in branch offices In addition, review your past growth in storage requirements

In addition, review your past growth in storage requirements to estimate how much your storage capacity needs might increase in the next year. The goal is to make sure your storage solution can handle future expansion without unnecessary downtime and management headaches as well as to keep the costs from spiraling out of control.

In upcoming lessons, you delve into the nuts and bolts of SAN technology and learn more about disk drives, SAN switches and network cards, external cabling and software management tools.

Moving on

In this lesson, you reviewed traditional data storage options and learned that SANs combine flexibility with high-speed connectivity and consolidate your organization's storage in a centralized virtual storage pool.

In Lesson 2, you learn more about SAN features and options for building a high-performance SAN to increase your data storage sensibly. Before you move on, complete the assignment and take the quiz for this lesson. In addition, visit the message board to introduce yourself, ask any questions you have and find out what your instructor and fellow students are up to. See you

there!

Assignment #1

Your assignment for this lesson is to make an inventory of your organization's current data storage. This task might sound easy, but even small organizations often have data spread over many storage devices, such as USB drives, server hard disks and NAS systems. Collect the following information, striving for as much detail as possible. You might find it helpful to put your information in a spreadsheet for easy reference.

List all storage devices (with make and model) used in your organization. Include each device's storage capacity (used space and free space), type of storage (DAS, NAS and so on), type of connection it supports and location.to put your information in a spreadsheet for easy reference. List the total number of host

List the total number of host machines (workstations, servers and so on). For each host, include the operating system (OS), type of connection it supports and applications running on it.NAS and so on), type of connection it supports and location. List all connection devices, such

List all connection devices, such as switches and bridges, including their type and connection speed.of connection it supports and applications running on it. List any distance considerations, such as LANs

List any distance considerations, such as LANs in branch offices that require storage.and bridges, including their type and connection speed. List all applications your organization uses with their

List all applications your organization uses with their current storage requirements. Include performance and availability requirements for users. You might also want to specify traffic patterns for applications, such as peak periods of use.such as LANs in branch offices that require storage. Calculate the total amount of storage your

Calculate the total amount of storage your organization uses.patterns for applications, such as peak periods of use. After assessing the current state of your

After assessing the current state of your storage situation, projecting future storage needs and understanding how a SAN can improve your data management are easier.

Quiz #1

Question 1:

How does a SAN differ from an NAS system?

A)

SANs use only fiber optics.A)

B)

SAN and NAS are different acronyms for the same thing.B)

C)

Network activity on a SAN is separate from other server and user traffic.C)

D)

Network activity on an NAS system is separate from other server and user traffic.D)

Question 2:

Which of the following is a compelling advantage you can use to convince upper management that a SAN's consolidated storage is the best option?

A)

Reducing duplication of IT management's time and effortsA)

B)

Using current network bandwidth for storage processingB)

C)

Reducing space requirementsC)

D)

Increasing data backup speedD)

Question 3:

True or False: An NAS system is faster than a DAS system because it uses the underlying network's data transfer rate.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

Question 4:

What advantages can a SAN offer over DAS and NAS solutions? (Check all that apply.)

A)

Lowest costA)

B)

Centralized managementB)

C)

Reduced downtimeC)

D)

Fast data transfer speedsD)

Question 5:

Which of the following storage solutions is the most difficult to expand?

A)

Storage area networksD) Fast data transfer speeds Question 5: Which of the following storage solutions is the most

B)

Network attached storageB)

C)

Server-based storageC)

D)

Direct attached storageD)

Exploring virtual storage

In this lesson, you learn what virtual storage is and discover its benefits. You also learn how using an all-in-one solution can help you get started quickly and easily and review migration and upgrade paths for moving your data.

Understanding virtual storage

Welcome back! In Lesson 1, you reviewed the storage technologies organizations often use, compared them with SAN technology to see the flexibility and efficiency SAN offers. We covered how, when compared with DAS and NAS technologies, SAN provided:

Unlimited storage provisioningwhen compared with DAS and NAS technologies, SAN provided: Superior management of consolidated storage Higher

Superior management of consolidated storagetechnologies, SAN provided: Unlimited storage provisioning Higher performance » HP Vmware You also learned the

Higher performanceprovisioning Superior management of consolidated storage » HP Vmware You also learned the importance of doing

management of consolidated storage Higher performance » HP Vmware You also learned the importance of doing

You also learned the importance of doing a thorough inventory and assessment of your current and future storage needs. As you work through this lesson, keep your Lesson 1 assignment handy. You can refer to this inventory of your current storage as you learn about SAN storage capabilities in this lesson.

Storage consolidation

Storage consolidation is a major benefit of using SANs. With consolidation, you can manage separate drives and drive array storage units as part of a larger pool. As you learned in Lesson 1, storage technologies are based on the building block of a single physical drive. Adding drives requires some sort of connectivity and power to make it possible to use the storage. By consolidating these connections within a storage unit, drive connections are made using an internal wiring harness that both eliminates clutter, but more importantly, allows each drive to be replaced independently should it fail.

Lesson 3 explains the details of how physical drives are connected in a SAN.

Each physical drive added to a server or storage unit, as shown in Figure 2-1, requires separate power and connectivity cabling to make it work. As storage units are filled with drives, more storage units must be added. Each storage unit also requires some kind of connectivity so that the drives in the unit can transfer data to and from systems using that storage.

Figure 2-1: Drives are aggregated into storage units. Building blocks of storage This growing collection

Figure 2-1: Drives are aggregated into storage units.

Building blocks of storage

This growing collection of drives housed in multiple cabinets (storage units) isn't useful without a way to manage all the raw storage, however. Management is where the power of SAN technology starts to shine. With SAN technology, the storage space on each drive is divided logically into storage blocks, as shown in Figure 2-2, that can be assigned as a larger group spanning multiple physical drives.

as a larger group spanning multiple physical drives. Figure 2-2: Logical storage blocks on a physical

Figure 2-2: Logical storage blocks on a physical drive.

These storage blocks are managed as a single virtual storage device called a storage pool. Managing storage as a pool makes it possible to allocate a portion of the storage to individual servers that are connected to the consolidated storage on the SAN. For example, when a server requires storage space, you can assign it as a group of storage blocks that might span many different physical drives in that storage pool. Virtual storage hides the underlying physical infrastructure's complexity so that you can allocate storage to meet servers' needs more easily.

As shown in Figure 2-3, physical drives have a number of storage blocks allocated to provide servers with volumes used to store data. These volumes

are allocated storage blocks based on a server's needs, as shown in Figure 2-

3.

based on a server's needs, as shown in Figure 2- 3. Figure 2-3: Storage blocks are

Figure 2-3: Storage blocks are allocated to server volumes.

As you can see in Figure 2-3, not all storage blocks on a drive are allocated to a server volume. The unallocated storage blocks are expansion space that can be assigned to a volume on another existing server or a new server that's added later.

Storage use

Determining storage allocation amounts is still more of an art than a science. Although you can estimate storage use fairly accurately for current applications, determining how new applications, new regulations or business growth can affect storage allocation is often difficult. In your Lesson 1 assignment, you reviewed the storage allocated to servers in your current environment. You might have noticed the following trends:

Some servers were using almost all the storage attached to them.environment. You might have noticed the following trends: Some servers had a lot of unused storage.

Some servers had a lot of unused storage.servers were using almost all the storage attached to them. Some servers had more than one

Some servers had more than one type of storage technology (for example, DAS and NAS).attached to them. Some servers had a lot of unused storage. These trends point out the

These trends point out the difficulty of allocating storage efficiently with traditional storage solutions. That's why many organizations continue purchasing new storage every year, even though they have quite a bit of unused storage. For these organizations, SAN's flexibility and efficiency in allocating storage can contribute to a positive ROI.

Allocating storage efficiently in your organization can save tens of thousands of dollars every year, not just in the cost of purchasing new storage devices, but in the management and installation time needed to add storage.

Now that you understand the rationale of virtual storage, continue reading to learn ways you can incorporate this technology into your organization.

Discovering an all-in-one solution

Some organizations, locations may not have employees dedicated to storage management. Even large organizations might not have IT professionals who are knowledgeable about using SAN technology. Also, in the past, switching to SAN technology has meant a sudden costly investment in new hardware and

software. You learn more about management software in Lesson 6, but for now, it's helpful to know that solutions are available that enable IT professionals to manage storage like a expert and make it possible for organizations to move to a SAN without a huge initial investment.

to move to a SAN without a huge initial investment. » HP All-in-One storage solution The

The task of allocating storage to server volumes from a consolidated storage pool can be daunting if you don't have a solution designed to walk you through the steps and enable you to manage storage easily. Luckily, a few vendors have entry-level products called all-in-one solutions that you can use to capitalize on the benefits of SAN technology.

Look for vendors that offer both all-in-one and enterprise-level storage solutions. All-in-one products often incorporate the expertise used to develop the more expensive enterprise-level products in a vendor's line but at a lower cost and with more simplified management tools.

By using an all-in-one solution that combines hardware and software, you can do the following more easily:

Consolidate your storage.hardware and software, you can do the following more easily: Reduce your data center space requirements.

Reduce your data center space requirements.can do the following more easily: Consolidate your storage. Reduce expenditures on extra storage. Manage the

Reduce expenditures on extra storage.your storage. Reduce your data center space requirements. Manage the storage your organization already owns more

Manage the storage your organization already owns more efficiently.space requirements. Reduce expenditures on extra storage. In addition, most all-in-one solutions have quick-start

In addition, most all-in-one solutions have quick-start guides and data migration utilities so that you can start using new storage solutions in your current environment quickly and easily. After all, you want to migrate your data to a new, more manageable storage platform as soon as possible.

Don't dismiss all-in-one SAN products as lightweight alternatives to the "real thing." Many all-in-one products have more features than your current solution.

Many all-in-one SAN products allow you to integrate your new storage into the current environment by leveraging the infrastructure that exists within your current network. For example, advanced SAN installations require multiple switches, fiber-optic cabling and training to maintain the new infrastructure. All- in-one solutions allow you to connect to your existing LAN switching gear with standard copper wiring and offer integrated electronics to manage new drives in the storage unit. We'll cover some of these connection details in Lesson 3 as we go over the connectivity options that are available when setting up a SAN system.

All-in-one solutions are an easy way to get started with SANs. What do you do, however, when you outgrow your all-in-one solution's capacity?

Understanding migration and upgrade paths

Storage growth is inevitable in organizations. As you've seen in this lesson, virtual storage allows allocating storage blocks to servers as needed and allocating unused storage to new servers you've added. However, at some point, you'll run out of storage. What options do you have?

At some point, your organization will need to add storage, and SAN technology can make that process easier.

will need to add storage, and SAN technology can make that process easier. » HP SAN

Adding storage

One option is simply adding more physical drives to your current setup. With a SAN's block-level allocations, this option is easier than with other storage technologies. New drives become part of the virtual storage device, and their storage blocks can be allocated as needed. When new storage is needed by expanding server volumes, it can come from many different drives in the SAN infrastructure. To make this process even easier, SAN management software controls how server volumes use storage blocks behind the scenes. SAN technology ensures that increasing storage by adding physical drives is done as efficiently as possible so that you don't purchase more drives than you actually need.

Migrating storage

Another option is purchasing a new storage solution and moving your current data to it. As with any technology, newer, faster or less expensive storage solutions that your organization wants to take advantage of will become available, or perhaps your organization has outgrown the capacity of the all-in- one solution you started with. When you purchase new SAN hardware, you need a way to move data on your current SAN infrastructure to the new hardware.

This migration can take place seamlessly, depending on how advanced the software is. Because of the abstraction of physical drives and the virtual storage allocated to server volumes, migrating data from one SAN device to another can be done by using block-level copying. Figure 2-4 shows the concept of block-level copying. Each block within the storage device is copied by the SAN, rather than by the server that may be assigned that particular storage block, to another storage unit. As long as the server and applications using data can access the virtual storage device, it doesn't matter where data is stored physically.

it doesn't matter where data is stored physically. Figure 2-4: Migrating data with block-level copying. Enlarge

Figure 2-4: Migrating data with block-level copying.

After storage is copied from one device to another at the block level, the virtual storage device remaps where data is located so that servers can start to take advantage of the new SAN infrastructure immediately. Block-level copying reduces downtime and increases flexibility, particularly for disaster recovery procedures, as you'll learn in Lesson 5 when we discuss SAN topologies.

components during a data migration.

Moving on

In this lesson, you learned how physical drives are divided logically into storage blocks that are allocated to server volumes. You have also seen how to use virtual storage to manage adding drives and migrating data without affecting the servers using that storage. In Lesson 3, you learn more about disk drive technology to understand how data is protected and how to improve storage performance with fiber optics. Before you move on, complete the assignment and take the quiz for this lesson, and then drop by the message board and chat with your instructor and classmates about what you learned in this lesson.

Assignment #2

For this assignment, assess the following for your current environment:

1. Determine which servers in your network have the most storage space.

2. List which servers have shown the most increase in storage growth over the past year.

3. Note the age of all your current storage devices.

These assessments will be helpful when you start to evaluate the process of building your organization's SAN solution.

Quiz #2

Question 1:

True or False: Servers connected to a SAN can use only specific physical drives for storage.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

Question 2:

In a SAN, the storage space on each physical drive is divided into which of the following?

A)

Storage poolsA)

B)

Storage unitsB)

C)

Storage drivesC)

D)

Storage blocksD)

Question 3:

True or False: Virtual storage makes it easier to allocate storage dynamically to meet servers' needs because it hides the underlying physical infrastructure's complexity.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

Question 4:

Migrating data storage with a SAN uses which of the following procedures?

A)

Server volume allocationA)

B)

Block-level copyingB)

C)

Storage pool copyingC)

D)

Virtual migratingD)

Question 5:

True or False: All-in-one SAN solutions are simply lightweight alternatives to enterprise-level SAN products.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

Understanding SAN disk solutions

In this lesson, you'll delve into the technologies behind SANs. You'll learn about data protection with redundant

drives and data backup, as well as performance implications in designing a SAN.

Meeting your disk space requirements

In Lesson 2, you learned how virtual storage works and how to add to your

existing storage solution. In this lesson, you see how to plan for your future

data storage needs by using a SAN. Although your organization might be supporting different platform-specific storage components, such as a NAS and tape subsystem for Unix and another for Windows, you can consolidate those different components into a SAN system to help manage data growth.

components into a SAN system to help manage data growth. » NAS file and print solution

Looking at the list of servers in your inventory from Lesson 1's assignment, you might have noticed a pattern of one platform or server type growing faster than another. In the consolidated SAN model, you no longer need to evaluate specific storage types; instead, you can evaluate overall growth patterns to determine your storage management plan.

A major benefit of a SAN is that you don't have to let storage capacity

purchased for one platform sit idle while storage for another platform is running

out of space. All storage can be allocated to where it's needed in the SAN.

Of course, not all storage can be evaluated with the same priority. For example, the storage your corporate databases use is probably ranked as more critical than archives of process documentation. This evaluation leads to some important architectural design implications that you learn about later in this lesson and in Lesson 5 when you explore SAN topologies. For now, consider the following types of storage your organization might have:

Databasesthe following types of storage your organization might have: File storage Data backups Archives Temporary storage

File storagetypes of storage your organization might have: Databases Data backups Archives Temporary storage Even within these

Data backupsstorage your organization might have: Databases File storage Archives Temporary storage Even within these broad storage

Archivesorganization might have: Databases File storage Data backups Temporary storage Even within these broad storage

Temporary storagemight have: Databases File storage Data backups Archives Even within these broad storage categories, there can

Even within these broad storage categories, there can be varying levels of importance. For example, your organization might value a customer database more than a database of parking assignments at the main office. Both are databases, but they have different levels of importance. You use this information to determine how to allocate storage in a SAN.

To plan a SAN successfully, know your data and understand its importance to your organization's operations.

While reviewing the types of storage your organization depends on, ask the following questions to help you determine the options you have:

How can an important database achieve the best performance?questions to help you determine the options you have: How can archival file storage be cost

How can archival file storage be cost effectively allocated?How can an important database achieve the best performance? What options are available to prevent data

What options are available to prevent data loss if a drive fails?How can archival file storage be cost effectively allocated? To answer these questions, you'll need to

To answer these questions, you'll need to understand the disk components that determine data storage speed and expense, which is the topic of the next section.

Improving performance with disk components

As you learned in Lesson 2, the basic building block of SAN storage is physical drives. Not all drives are the same, however. These factors determine how fast data can be read to or written from a drive:

Number of platters and headshow fast data can be read to or written from a drive: Data density on each

Data density on each platterto or written from a drive: Number of platters and heads Platter rotational speed Bandwidth of

Platter rotational speedNumber of platters and heads Data density on each platter Bandwidth of the drive's connection »

Bandwidth of the drive's connectionheads Data density on each platter Platter rotational speed » HP Storage software portfolio An increase

rotational speed Bandwidth of the drive's connection » HP Storage software portfolio An increase in any

An increase in any of these factors can improve performance but also increase costs. Therefore, ranking the importance of your data storage is important to make sure your storage solution is cost effective. Your organization might decide to spend more on fast data storage for critical applications but be unwilling to spend much for data of lesser importance.

Platters and heads

Each drive contains aluminum or glass platters with a thin magnetic coating that stores data. The number of platters in a drive determines the drive's physical size, capacity (amount of data it can store) and how much data can be transferred in and out. Heads are mechanisms that transfer data to or from the platters; they're sometimes called "read/write heads." Typically, drives have two heads for each platter—one for each side of the platter.

In drives with more platters, more data can be read with each platter rotation (pass). For example, a drive with two platters has four heads that can read or write a certain amount of data with each pass. However, a drive with four platters has eight heads that can read or write twice as much information with each pass.

Data might not be read simultaneously with each head, or the next data might not be positioned where any heads are located, thus requiring the head to move to another location during subsequent rotations to get to data.

Data density

The amount of data a platter can store depends on the technology used. As the chemicals used to create this layer improve and heads can read data in smaller areas, the amount of data you can store in the same amount of space can increase. Because there are two main physical drive sizes, 3.5 inch and 5 inch, increasing the density of data stored on a platter is essential for getting large- capacity drives.

Although higher densities allow for larger capacities, the technology might not always translate to faster performance.

Platter rotational speed

Inside each drive, a motor spins the platter, allowing the heads to float over the platter's surface and read the data on it. As platter speed increases, so does the drive's power consumption, heat output and noise. This added speed reduces the time needed to make an entire rotation, however. If data is read on one pass before the head moves to another area to read the next set of data, it happens more quickly with a faster rotational speed. The following table shows different uses for platter speeds in rotations per minute (rpm).

Platter rotational

Typical use

speed

 

7,200 rpm

File storage, inexpensive server storage

10,000 rpm

Mid-range database storage, streaming video storage

15,000 rpm

High-use database storage, high-definition video editing storage

Table 3-1: Typical uses of platter rotational speeds.

You might think that using the fastest drive available is the best option, but keep in mind that the faster the platter rotational speed, the more expensive the drive is. For a database that doesn't get much use, for example, buying a 15,000 rpm drive isn't cost effective. You'll have more speed than you need, and power consumption, heat output and noise will be higher than necessary.

Connectivity bandwidth

Lesson 1 covered connectivity types for drives (SCSI, ATA, serial ATA and USB). These connectivity options enable data to be streamed from the drive to applications that need it. Some options are faster than others, which allow drive heads to pump data from the platter continuously. As you might imagine, the bandwidth of these connections can affect data flow if the heads can read more data than the connection can transfer. If the connectivity cannot stream the data as fast as it's read from the drive, the drive will buffer some of the data temporarily in a small on-board memory chip. However, once the RAM buffer capacity is reached, the drive will wait to read more data. This increases the potential delay as the platter spins and the data that would have been read moves farther out of position until the full rotation finally brings it back around to the head's position.

Considering your RAID configuration

You've been concentrating on the performance of data streaming from drives, but you should also consider how to protect data stored on drives. Component failures are inevitable, so planning for these failures is essential. The primary mechanism for managing data replication in a SAN is a redundant array of inexpensive drives (RAID) system. The following table describes the available RAID levels.

RAID

Description

level

RAID

Creates data "stripes" across multiple drives, which makes it possible to

0

read data more quickly than on a single drive but doesn't protect data if any drive fails.

RAID

Creates a mirrored drive set, in which data is written to two duplicate

1

drives simultaneously. If one drive in the mirrored set fails, the other drive can still operate and store all the data.

RAID

Creates a striped data set similar to RAID 0 but includes an extra drive

3

containing additional information called parity data. With this feature, if one drive in the set fails, lost data can be re-created so that the drive set can continue operating.

RAID

Similar to RAID 3, but parity data is striped across the entire group of

5

drives instead of being stored on one dedicated drive. Therefore, every drive can manage a portion of the drive set's parity data.

RAID

In this combination of RAID 1 and RAID 0, data is striped across a set of

10

drives and then mirrored to another set of drives. This type of mirroring removes the extra step of calculating parity data every time data is written to the drive.

Table 3-2: RAID levels.

of calculating parity data every time data is written to the drive. Table 3-2: RAID levels.

A SAN system can usually support every RAID level, so you can configure a

RAID level based on the storage allocated to the server. Some factors that help

you determine the right RAID level include the following:

Tolerance for delays in writing to the driveyou determine the right RAID level include the following: Performance effects during the RAID rebuilding phase

Performance effects during the RAID rebuilding phasethe following: Tolerance for delays in writing to the drive Tolerance for the RAID rebuilding process

Tolerance for the RAID rebuilding process when a drive failsdrive Performance effects during the RAID rebuilding phase Tolerance for writing delays When data is written

Tolerance for writing delays

When data is written to a RAID system, the RAID software (whether on a chip

or in firmware on the controller) must calculate parity data before data is written

to drives in the set. This calculation is usually rapid but still requires time. RAID

5 works for most applications; however, if the SAN volume using RAID has a lot

of activity, application performance might be affected. In this case, consider

using RAID 1 (mirroring) to eliminate the overhead of parity calculations. Just

remember that you'll spend twice as much on storage because every drive has

a mirrored duplicate drive.

Performance effects during RAID rebuilding

When a drive in the RAID set fails, every operation must undergo a RAID parity calculation to make up for the drive that failed. This process reduces the RAID system's overall read performance. Additionally, when a new drive is installed

to replace the old drive, every byte of data on the volume must be recalculated

and copied to the new drive. During this operation, the RAID system's

performance degrades.

Tolerance for RAID rebuilding when a drive fails

Most RAID hardware monitors idle periods to reduce the impact of the rebuilding process, at the cost of taking longer to rebuild data. During rebuilding, therefore, data is at risk of a secondary failure. RAID 1 (mirroring) has a similar rebuilding process, but read performance isn't affected as much because there's no need to recalculate parity data. However, managing a mirrored set requires twice as much storage.

Remember that RAID levels above 0 (simple striping) always require more drive space to protect your data. This drive space costs more but adds redundancy to your SAN for data protection.

These factors, weighed against the costs and survivability requirements you have for certain types of data, help you determine which RAID level to use. You have other options for storing backups of your data, however, that don't involve using drives. The next section discusses non-disk storage options.

Backing up data with non-disk storage

Storing data on a SAN has an often overlooked advantage. When you store data on traditional DAS systems, the server needs to spend cycles reading the data to back it up to a local or networked drive. So during backup operations, the server's performance is reduced, and the load on the local area network (LAN) increases. The time a backup operation takes is called the backup window. The more data a server has, the longer the backup window is. As you continue adding storage, the backup window might be longer than the "off hours" you've allotted for backups (usually nights or weekends). When the backup window spills over into normal work hours, the performance of an organization's day-to-day operations is affected.

work hours, the performance of an organization's day-to-day operations is affected. » HP Tape and optical

Organizations use three basic types of backups:

Full backup: All data on the volume is copied.Organizations use three basic types of backups: Differential backup: All data that has changed since the

Differential backup: All data that has changed since the last full backup is copied.of backups: Full backup: All data on the volume is copied. Incremental backup: All data that

Incremental backup: All data that has changed since the last incremental backup is copied.data that has changed since the last full backup is copied. The following table summarizes each

The following table summarizes each backup type's advantages and disadvantages.

Backup

Advantage

Disadvantage

type

Full

 

Takes the longest to complete and requires the most storage because all data is being copied.

backup

All data is copied, so you have a complete set of data if recovery is required.

Differential

This type is a good compromise between full and incremental backups. It requires less storage and takes less time than a full backup, and fewer data sets are needed to restore the volume to the last full backup than with incremental backups.

As the time from the last full backup increases and more files are modified, backups take longer and require more storage.

backup

Incremental

 

If recovery is needed, this method requires restoring the most data sets. The full backup plus every incremental backup since the full backup are needed to restore the current volume.

backup

This type is the fastest and requires the least amount of space because only data that has changed since the last incremental backup is copied.

Table 3-3: Backup types.

Because a SAN maps storage into virtual volumes and assigns them to separate servers, it maintains control over all storage components. Most SANs include a tape system for reading data directly from the SAN instead of through each server. This backup advantage reduces the amount involvement that the servers themselves as well as eliminating the LAN traffic.

For example, if your organization has five servers, with 100 GB of data allocated to each, the SAN-attached tape system can access all 500 GB of data through the SAN, instead of pulling data from each server. During a tape backup, the SAN can be instructed to create a snapshot, in which all data at a point in time is "frozen." During a snapshot backup, the SAN maintains any changes that would normally be applied to the file in a way that the data is actually written to after the backup of the file is completed. Unless a file is extremely large, the backup will usually complete without requiring a large number of delayed writes. Figure 3-1 illustrates this process.

Figure 3-1: SAN snapshots used to back up live data. Enlarge image With a SAN-attached

Figure 3-1: SAN snapshots used to back up live data.

With a SAN-attached tape system, the servers and the LAN aren't affected during backup operations. Backups can take place during working hours without affecting servers that handle user requests, and network performance isn't reduced when huge amounts of backup data are streaming over the LAN. Additionally, backup operations are homogeneous, so you don't have to manage different platforms for backup software and tape systems.

By consolidating the backups done over the SAN, the management time saved in just backup operations could save thousands of dollars per year in time spent swapping tapes and checking logs from multiple systems within an organization with less than a dozen servers.

Moving on

Now that you've seen how your organization can benefit from the disk storage features a SAN can offer and know how to protect your data from failures, in Lesson 4 you move on to explore the hardware used to create a SAN and connect your servers to a pool of managed storage. Before you move on, do the assignment and take the quiz for this lesson. Visit the message board to ask any questions and find out what your instructor and fellow students are up to. See you there!

Assignment #3

Review the importance of data on current servers in your network, and then assign a RAID level to each volume based on what you learned in Lesson 3. Using this list of volumes and associated RAID levels, re-calculate your storage needs based on the following formulas:

RAID 0: You shouldn't be considering RAID 0 because it affords no data protection.your storage needs based on the following formulas: RAID 1: Double your current storage space to

RAID 1: Double your current storage space to determine the total amount of storage required.be considering RAID 0 because it affords no data protection. RAID 3: Multiply your current storage

RAID 3: Multiply your current storage by 115 percent to include space for a RAID parity drive.space to determine the total amount of storage required. RAID 5: Multiply your current storage by

RAID 5: Multiply your current storage by 115 percent to include space for a RAID parity drive.by 115 percent to include space for a RAID parity drive. RAID 10: Double your current

RAID 10: Double your current storage space to determine the total amount of storage required.by 115 percent to include space for a RAID parity drive. Quiz #3 Question 1: True

Quiz #3

Question 1:

True or False: Always use drives with the highest platter rotational speed available in your SAN system.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

Question 2:

Which of the following RAID levels uses a single dedicated drive for parity data?

A)

RAID 0A)

B)

RAID 10B)

C)

RAID 3C)

D)

RAID 5D)

Question 3:

Using RAID 1 (mirroring) eliminates the overhead of parity calculations but has which of the following disadvantages?

A)

Data is at risk of a secondary failure during rebuilding.A)

B)

The RAID system's overall read performance is reduced.B)

C)

Costs increase because twice as much storage is needed.C)

D)

Application performance is affected.D)

Question 4:

True or False: The backup window is the time that elapses from one backup operation to the next.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

Question 5:

If the SAN volume using RAID has a lot of activity, and application performance slows, which of the following RAID levels should you consider using?

A)

RAID 1A)

B)

RAID 3B)

C)

RAID 5C)

D)

RAID 10D)

Question 6:

Which of the following backup types is the best compromise between backup window and number of data sets to restore if recovery is needed?

A)

Full backupA)

B)

Differential backupB)

C)

Incremental backupC)

D)

Partial backupD)

Discovering SAN controllers, cables and connectors

SANs are made up of two main components: storage devices, in the form of disk and tape drives, and networking components, which include adapters, cables and switches. In this lesson, you learn about the networking components of a SAN.

Examining networking components of a SAN

In the past few lessons, you've covered the basics of the SAN infrastructure. In Lesson 3, you examined drives—a SAN's data storage component—and options for using RAID to protect your data. In this lesson, you delve into the networking component of a SAN.

lesson, you delve into the networking component of a SAN. » HP SAN product & solution

The term "network" can have different meanings, based on your background. For some, it means routers and a LAN connecting workstations and servers. However, in a SAN, it's a hidden network that users don't connect to directly. It's composed of the following:

in a SAN, it's a hidden network that users don't connect to directly. It's composed of

Servers

Host bus adaptersCabling Switches Storage devices (disk arrays and tape drives) You might be thinking that these

CablingHost bus adapters Switches Storage devices (disk arrays and tape drives) You might be thinking that

SwitchesHost bus adapters Cabling Storage devices (disk arrays and tape drives) You might be thinking that

Storage devices (disk arrays and tape drives)Host bus adapters Cabling Switches You might be thinking that these components seem like the infrastructure

You might be thinking that these components seem like the infrastructure that makes up a LAN. The components do have similar names, and the connectivity between them might be similar. However, in a SAN, the network is a high- speed channel designed to move data between storage devices to servers and between tape systems and storage devices. Figure 4-1 shows how these components are connected.

Figure 4-1 shows how these components are connected. Figure 4-1: Networking components of a SAN. Enlarge

Figure 4-1: Networking components of a SAN.

Host bus adapters

A host bus adapter (HBA) is a card or device added to a server to manage the

transfer of information and enable the server to communicate in a certain way.

You're probably familiar with network interface cards that are used with desktops to communicate with a LAN via Ethernet. Similarly, wireless network interface cards are used to connect laptops via Wi-Fi to a LAN. These HBAs provide a communication channel over which data flows between a host and network devices.

SAN HBAs serve the same purpose: connecting servers to storage over a dedicated high-speed network that's separate from the LAN. However, HBAs are not simply network cards for your SAN. These cards offer high-speed processors that remove a large burden from the host's operating system and main CPU. Creating a "virtual drive" for your server's operating system, the HBA and its driver software mask the complex communications that goes on behind the scenes between the HBA and the rest of the SAN.

Additionally, HBAs offer the ability to manage communications to the SAN in a way that increases the overall throughput of your server's applications. The HBA creates multiple communications links to the storage devices on the SAN and manages them separately. For example, if one application on your server

is transferring a large bulk of data to a SAN storage device that's under a heavy

load, the HBA may have to wait to send data to that storage device. However, another application on the server may be accessing a database that's not

experiencing heavy loads, therefore the HBA can continue streaming the data between the server and the database without being affected by the other communications that are waiting.

Cabling

Data flows from a server's HBA over some type of cabling. This cabling can be copper, but often fiber-optic cabling is used for connectivity over longer distances and resistance to outside electromagnetic interference (EMI ). Copper cabling usually involves lower costs, but the main goal of a SAN is less about cost and more about protecting data integrity. However, as you'll see shortly, the types of cabling used in SANs can vary, depending on the

underlying network infrastructure. For example, Fibre Channel connectivity uses fiber-optic cabling, and iSCSI might use copper cabling through existing switches.

Switches

Switches, the backbone of a SAN network, provide connectivity between servers and storage devices. These devices are available in different networking technologies, and your decision on which one to use is usually based on your current infrastructure and your selection of other SAN components. Next up, you learn how to evaluate SAN networking technologies, considering factors such as available support, costs and flexibility.

Evaluating SAN networking technologies

Some LANs use networking technologies such as token ring, Attached Resource Computer network (ARCnet) and Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI), but Ethernet is the technology of choice for most organizations. It offers interoperability and many vendors to select from.

For SAN networking, you can select from the following technologies:

Fibre Channelnetworking, you can select from the following technologies: iSCSI InfiniBand » HP All-in-One storage solution Each

iSCSIcan select from the following technologies: Fibre Channel InfiniBand » HP All-in-One storage solution Each

InfiniBandselect from the following technologies: Fibre Channel iSCSI » HP All-in-One storage solution Each technology has

the following technologies: Fibre Channel iSCSI InfiniBand » HP All-in-One storage solution Each technology has

Each technology has benefits you should consider. Use the following factors as guidelines when you're evaluating SAN networking technologies:

Performance requirements: Is the connectivity speed of hosts an important factor? Can the SAN infrastructure manage the throughput of all the hosts' needs?when you're evaluating SAN networking technologies: Long-term strategy for applications: If the SAN is used for

Long-term strategy for applications: If the SAN is used for storing critical data, can you scale that storage easily?manage the throughput of all the hosts' needs? Availability or resiliency needs: Does the SAN require

Availability or resiliency needs: Does the SAN require 24x7 support, or can you allow downtime for maintenance? Does data need to be replicated to a remote location?storing critical data, can you scale that storage easily? Support for server platforms: Does the SAN

Support for server platforms: Does the SAN networking technology you've chosen support your network's hosts?Does data need to be replicated to a remote location? Equipment cost: Although initial costs for

Equipment cost: Although initial costs for equipment shouldn't be a high priority, given the SAN's advantages in protecting data integrity, management might ask hard questions if costs are too high.you've chosen support your network's hosts? Management cost: Management time and personnel can be hidden

Management cost: Management time and personnel can be hidden costs. Does your staff need to be retrained on the new technology? Make sure you allocate a budget for these costs.management might ask hard questions if costs are too high. Next, take a look at the

Next, take a look at the major SAN networking technologies you can use, keeping these factors in mind as you evaluate them.

Fibre Channel

Fibre Channel can be considered the Ethernet of SANs and is the standard that all major vendors support. It has been around for more than 10 years and is used in major corporations worldwide. If you want a mature technology with wide support, Fibre Channel is an excellent option.

IT professionals everywhere are familiar with Fibre Channel, so it's a good option if you want a standard SAN implementation with easy maintenance.

Fibre Channel does require an investment in switches and HBAs as well as

fiber-optic cabling to connect devices. However, this investment enables your organization to get full use of a SAN system that's built for the future.

Some main benefits of Fibre Channel include the following:

Time-tested reliabilitySome main benefits of Fibre Channel include the following: Broad-based industry standard Large install base Standard

Broad-based industry standardFibre Channel include the following: Time-tested reliability Large install base Standard for SAN systems iSCSI A

Large install baseTime-tested reliability Broad-based industry standard Standard for SAN systems iSCSI A new contender in the SAN

Standard for SAN systemsreliability Broad-based industry standard Large install base iSCSI A new contender in the SAN arena is

iSCSI

A new contender in the SAN arena is Internet small computer system interface (iSCSI), an IP-based standard for linking storage devices over a network. The iSCSI protocol runs on top of a high-speed LAN infrastructure as another Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) application, so you can use your existing network for a SAN without having to build a new infrastructure.

iSCSI helps reduce SAN implementation costs and startup time by leveraging existing infrastructure and familiar LAN cabling.

However, some potential challenges of using iSCSI include the following:

Competing with LAN traffic for available bandwidthpotential challenges of using iSCSI include the following: Requiring extra steps for installation Redesigning your

Requiring extra steps for installationCompeting with LAN traffic for available bandwidth Redesigning your existing LAN to accommodate SAN components

Redesigning your existing LAN to accommodate SAN componentsavailable bandwidth Requiring extra steps for installation When you use your current LAN infrastructure for a

When you use your current LAN infrastructure for a SAN's high-use traffic, competition for bandwidth could be a problem. Printers, workstations and other servers might be affected by traffic bottlenecks if the network isn't designed to handle the additional SAN traffic. When installing iSCSI, therefore, you might need to segment your network or add new switch ports to manage the SAN's extra storage devices. These changes could involve some network redesign, which may increase your time and effort. However, if your network is already built for high-use traffic and is designed to handle new applications, such as a SAN, iSCSI can be an easy way to deploy a SAN with your current hardware and cabling.

InfiniBand

One of the newest SAN networking technologies is InfiniBand, which offers support from major manufacturers but is still fairly new. Unlike the Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) bus used with other networking technologies, InfiniBand can carry multiple channels of data at the same time to improve throughput. With a low-overhead protocol and high-speed throughput, InfiniBand could overtake Fibre Channel in the future.

The Infiniband specification provides for both copper and fiber optic cabling standards. With copper cabling, you have a limited distance of about 45 feet (or 15 meters) while fiber optic cabling provides for connectivity up to 900 feet (or 300 meters). An organization investing in Infiniband technology for a SAN would want to invest in the fiber optics to ensure that there are not expansion limitations once you've implemented your SAN.

Even with these benefits, you need to consider a few drawbacks. Because InfiniBand is still fairly new, its support isn't as broad as Fibre Channel support. Also, as with any emerging technology, some early-adopter issues need to be worked out before InfiniBand can be considered ready for widespread use. Currently, even with large names backing the technology, there are few second-tier providers that are offering products based on Infiniband. This may limit your options when your organization purchases equipment to build out

your SAN. InfiniBand could still be an excellent selection for your organization, however. Major companies, such as IBM, Microsoft, Dell, HP, Intel and Sun Microsystems use it, and it has been used in super-computing applications around the world. However, compared to the Fibre Channel support base, InfiniBand still can't be considered the standard SAN implementation.

After deciding which networking technology you want to use for a SAN, you need to select an HBA. Next up, you learn some factors to consider when picking one.

Selecting an HBA

After selecting a SAN networking technology, the HBAs you decide to use have an effect on throughput (performance), reliability and scalability. In this section, you review some key decisions to make when you're evaluating HBAs to use in your SAN.

Vendor recommendations

When you're building a SAN, consider HBA recommendations from the vendor of your SAN switching hardware and storage devices. Vendors typically recommend their own HBAs for use in a SAN, but try to get unbiased opinions from them, if possible. If not, most vendors have a list of supported HBAs on which they've tested their equipment, which you can find on their websites or in their support documentation.

Port speeds

While port speeds are a factor of both the HBA and the switch, you'll need to determine what speed you'll be implementing. Often, this is a factor of pricing for the HBA. Faster cards are more expensive, and your budget for these HBA cards could quickly be exhausted by purchasing the fastest cards your switch can support.

As a general rule, increase the budget for connectivity to storage devices where many servers will be connected while maintaining the more affordable connectivity for typical servers within a server farm.

Cabling type

As mentioned, you want to select an HBA that supports the cabling and other infrastructure components you're using. Most vendors offer the type of card you need for your platform. If you're using more advanced topologies, such as server blades, or a less common server platform, however, you might need to use HBAs from different vendors to fit your network's needs.

HBA management tools

Most HBAs include configuration and management software. If you plan to use a single vendor for all SAN components, managing HBAs over the SAN with the vendor's software is usually adequate. However, if you're using an enhanced management tool, make sure it supports the HBAs you've decided to use in your environment. The HBAs you select may offer diagnostic options that will help keep your servers reliably connected to the SAN. These HBAs can contact the management tools to offer a warning in case the HBA is experiencing high error rates or memory issues.

Enhanced features

Some HBAs have enhanced features that offload tasks the main CPU might have to perform to communicate on the SAN as described earlier in this lesson. These offload features, such as drive virtualization and data transmission optimizations using a high-speed CPU on the HBA can dramatically reduce the load on a server's processors and improve its overall performance on the SAN.

Moving on

In this lesson, you learned about the major networking components of a SAN:

HBAs, cabling and switches. You also learned different options for SAN networking technology and factors to consider when selecting an HBA. No matter what your choice for these components, make sure you consider factors such as performance, reliability and scalability so that your SAN can serve your organization's needs in the future. Before you move on, do the assignment and take the quiz for this lesson. In addition, visit the message board to ask any questions and find out what other students have to say.

Assignment #4

Review Lesson 4's list of factors to consider when selecting a networking technology for your SAN, and then do the following:

1. Review Lesson 1's inventory to make sure you understand your network's needs.

2. Research the main networking technologies discussed in this lesson: Fibre Channel, iSCSI and InfiniBand. As you're researching, keep in mind the important factors to consider and your current network infrastructure and requirements.

3. Select a SAN networking technology that best fits your organization's needs, and then write a memo to management explaining your selection.

Quiz #4

Question 1:

Which of the following is a SAN networking component? (Check all that apply.)

A)

SwitchesA)

B)

Host bus adaptersB)

C)

WorkstationsC)

D)

CablingD)

Question 2:

True or False: Fiber-optic cabling should always be used in a SAN for protection against EMI.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

Question 3:

In what way does InfiniBand differ from other SAN networking technologies?

A)

It can carry multiple channels of data simultaneously.A)

B)

It uses your network's existing infrastructure.B)

C)

It's considered the Ethernet of SANs.C)

D)

It's been available longer than the other networking technologies.D)

Question 4:

Which of the following is a benefit of iSCSI networking technology? (Check all that apply.)

A)

Wide vendor supportA)

B)

Reduced SAN implementation costsB)

C)

Easy installationC)

D)

Makes use of your existing LAN infrastructureD)

Question 5:

Which of the following factors should you consider when evaluating networking technologies for your SAN? (Check all that apply.)

A)

Equipment costA)

B)

Management costB)

C)

Installation timeC)

D)

Performance requirementsD)

Question 6:

Which of the following might require using an HBA from a different vendor to find one that fits your network's needs? (Check all that apply.)

A)

Blade serversA)

B)

Advanced management softwareB)

C)

Enhanced HBA featuresC)

D)

Less common server platformD)

Exploring topologies and switches

This lesson focuses on ways to interconnect storage network components. You'll learn about topologies and the role of switches and the services they provide. You'll also delve into more detail on the switches that tie a SAN together.

Understanding basic topologies

In Lesson 4, you learned about the networking components of a SAN, such as host bus adapters, cabling and switches and the options you have for networking technologies. In this lesson, you explore some options you have for designing your SAN.

you explore some options you have for designing your SAN. » NAS file and print solution

A topology is a physical layout diagram showing how network devices are connected with each other. Figure 5-1, for example, shows how servers and storage are connected.

for example, shows how servers and storage are connected. Figure 5-1: A topology diagram showing interconnectivity.

Figure 5-1: A topology diagram showing interconnectivity.

When designing your SAN, you can select one of the following topologies:

topology diagram showing interconnectivity. When designing your SAN, you can select one of the following topologies:

Ring

CascadeMesh Core/edge Each topology has benefits, but the preferred design for building a SAN is

MeshCascade Core/edge Each topology has benefits, but the preferred design for building a SAN is usually

Core/edgeCascade Mesh Each topology has benefits, but the preferred design for building a SAN is usually

Each topology has benefits, but the preferred design for building a SAN is usually the core/edge topology. You learn more about these options in the following sections.

Ring topology

As shown in Figure 5-2, devices in a ring topology are connected in a closed loop, with the last device connected to the first. This topology was prevalent in the early 1990s with IBM's Token Ring technology. However, problems with one device on the network can affect all other devices. Data being sent through the network could stop at the device having problems, or errors might be propagated to the other devices on the network.

might be propagated to the other devices on the network. Figure 5-2: A ring topology. A

Figure 5-2: A ring topology.

A similar technology called Fiber Distributed Data Interface (FDDI) uses two

counter-rotating rings to improve reliability. If a device on one ring failed, data could be re-routed over the other ring. With the introduction of new topologies, however, ring and FDDI have become less common.

Cascade topology

In the cascade topology, devices are connected in a branching configuration to

make network expansion easier. As you can see in Figure 5-3, however, if

switch A fails, the devices behind it (labeled B and C) are isolated from the rest

of the network and lose connectivity. Therefore, this topology doesn't work well

for connecting storage devices.

doesn't work well for connecting storage devices. Figure 5-3: A cascade topology might isolate devices behind

Figure 5-3: A cascade topology might isolate devices behind a failed switch.

Mesh topology

The mesh topology, shown in Figure 5-4, is an excellent design for small SANs. By connecting each device to all other devices, device or link failures don't isolate any device. However, as a network grows, this topology can be

expensive to expand and could become unwieldy to manage.

expensive to expand and could become unwieldy to manage. Figure 5-4: A mesh topology works well

Figure 5-4: A mesh topology works well for a small SAN.

Core/edge topology

The core/edge topology is the most flexible and cost-effective option for building a SAN system. As Figure 5-5 shows, it consists of a partial mesh between devices on the SAN; it's not a full mesh because not all devices are connected to each other. Devices at the edge of the SAN are connected to edge switches, which are connected to core switches. Because each edge switch is connected to at least two core switches, a link or core switch can fail without isolating devices on the network. When you need more connectivity between devices, this design can be expanded easily by adding edge switches to core switches.

be expanded easily by adding edge switches to core switches. Figure 5-5: A core/edge topology. In

Figure 5-5: A core/edge topology.

In addition to selecting a physical layout for connecting SAN device, you need to consider other factors in your design. As you learn in the next section, one important consideration is incorporating redundancy into your SAN to make sure you don't lose critical data after a network failure.

Continuity management options

Organizations sometimes overlook the need to consider operational continuity, which is the capability to resume operations after a disaster. One way to ensure operational continuity is to build redundancy (also called resiliency) into your SAN. Although adding redundancy increases costs, being able to maintain your organization's operations after a network failure is essential. To help you determine how much redundancy you need, ask management the following questions:

redundancy you need, ask management the following questions: » HP Storage software portfolio What's the

What's the organization's cost per hour during normal operations?the following questions: » HP Storage software portfolio How does storage downtime affect the organization's

How does storage downtime affect the organization's operations?organization's cost per hour during normal operations? How long can the organization tolerate unplanned downtime?

How long can the organization tolerate unplanned downtime?storage downtime affect the organization's operations? How much is the organization willing to spend to avoid

How much is the organization willing to spend to avoid unplanned downtime?How long can the organization tolerate unplanned downtime? With this information, you can better estimate the

With this information, you can better estimate the financial impact of unplanned downtime and budget for a redundancy solution. The following table compares costs and redundancy features of the major topologies to help you make a decision.

Factor

Ring

Cascade

Mesh

Core/edge

topology

topology

topology

topology

Tolerance to

Poor

Poor

Good

Good

failures

Performance

Good

Good

Better

Best

Scalability

Some

Some

Poor

Good

Cost

Low

Low

High

Medium

Table 5-1: Comparing topologies.

Redundancy within a topology permits individual failures to reduce the likelihood that connectivity to one or more components are lost. If your organization has a low-tolerance for unplanned downtime due to its expense or criticality, spending more on a topology that offers good redundancy would offer a way to reduce the amount of unplanned outages. Obviously, the more redundant the connectivity is, the more components that need to be purchased, installed and maintained over time.

After selecting a topology, you have other options for adding disaster recovery features. For example, if you use a core/edge topology, you could design a multi-building SAN that can isolate switch failures to a specific building or floor, as shown in Figure 5-6. Being able to isolate switch failures improves performance and redundancy because a single failure doesn't affect the entire network. Also, if you plan thoroughly, you could expand your SAN to favor local hosts based on their proximity. By adding storage devices that are connected to local edge switches rather than connected to a switch on the other side of a core switch, you could reduce the amount of traffic flowing over the core switches, which allow more throughput for connections that have to traverse the core switches.

flowing over the core switches, which allow more throughput for connections that have to traverse the

Figure 5-6: A multi-building SAN that incorporates core and edge switches.

Networking technologies haven't been mentioned because they usually have no effect on the SAN topology you select. If you're creating an iSCSI SAN on top of your existing LAN, however, you might need to consider whether your current LAN topology is capable of handling the extra SAN traffic.

Now that you understand how to select a topology, keep reading to learn what features to look for in SAN switches to create your network topology.

Exploring switches

Because SANs in a core/edge topology with Fibre Channel networking technology are the most common, this section uses this setup to explain switch features you should consider for your SAN. SANs that are built on a LAN using iSCSI would have similar topology considerations. In addition to the SAN traffic, the LAN switch design would also need to incorporate heavy usage internet and intranet traffic as well as printers and workstations. The same core/edge switch design would apply to an iSCSI SAN.

Basic switch features

design would apply to an iSCSI SAN. Basic switch features » HP Vmware SAN switches have

SAN switches have several basic features that provide connectivity for edge devices, such as servers and storage, as well as core switches. Each connection, or link, to a switch is made over a copper or fiber-optic cable. One end connects to the network device, and the other connects to the switch port. You can set the connectivity speed on a switch port manually or configure it to negotiate the highest possible speed automatically.

In addition, other integrated components are used to report the status of a port and manage ports remotely by using desktop or web-based management software. Typically, high-end switches have more management and reporting features, but many entry-level switches incorporate these helpful features, too.

Web-based management software is a convenient alternative to desktop software but might not offer as many features such as auto-discovery or real-time statistics.

Environmental factors have become a concern lately, so reducing power consumption and cooling requirements is an important consideration. Most vendors now offer energy-efficient switches with reduced power consumption and cooling. In addition, look for power supply redundancy options to increase your network's capability to withstand electrical fluctuations or outages. Even entry-level switches now offer redundant power supplies that can be plugged into two different circuits in the data center.

Zoning

You can set up zones for switches that enable you to segment traffic for improving security and conserving bandwidth. If you create a zone for financial data, for example, only servers added to the financial zone have access to storage in that zone. With this setup, you can help prevent unauthorized access to financial data, which improves security.

In addition to creating zones to secure data, adding zones can reduce the likelihood that any one storage device gets overloaded. By creating multiple

zones and assigning devices and servers to each zone, you can break up the traffic going to each of the devices so that requests are services more quickly and the traffic within that zone is managed. If your organization created only one zone for all devices, it may be possible that the servers within the SAN could saturate the bandwidth to the storage devices.

Devices can be a part of more than one zone, too. For example, if you want all devices in your SAN to share the backup system, you could configure all devices to be part of the backup zone to give them access to the tape backup unit. Zoning is a powerful tool for managing servers and data and is discussed in more detail in Lesson 6.

ISL trunking

Interswitch links (ISLs) are another option for connecting SAN switches. Switch links are combined to create a "trunk" or bundle of links that act as a single connection. This option increases bandwidth, so it can handle more traffic. Also, it improves redundancy because if one link fails, other links in the trunk can continue transmitting data. Figure 5-7 shows an ISL trunk in a topology diagram.

data. Figure 5-7 shows an ISL trunk in a topology diagram. Figure 5-7: ISL trunking combines

Figure 5-7: ISL trunking combines several switch links.

If you're building a SAN that uses a different technology (such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet with iSCSI), make sure you look for the same types of features discussed in this section. Many major vendors support these features in iSCSI products to give you the same flexibility and capability of Fibre Channel SANs. Your current LAN switches may already be capable of some of the features listed in this section which would allow your organization to more easily implement an iSCSI solution.

Moving on

In this lesson, you learned some topology options for connecting SAN components. In addition, you learned the importance of incorporating redundancy into your SAN topology and reviewed some features to consider when purchasing a switch. Lesson 6 puts together what you've learned in previous lessons and reviews management options for your SAN. Before you move on, do the assignment, take the quiz for this lesson and then drop by the message board and chat with your instructor and classmates about what you learned in this lesson.

Assignment #5

For this assignment, do the following:

1. Review your organization's needs by looking over your assignments for previous lessons—selecting a RAID level, networking technology and so on.

organization's needs for cost, scalability, performance and redundancy (capability to tolerate failures).

3. Write a memo to management explaining your selection of a SAN topology.

Quiz #5

Question 1:

Which topology can be unwieldy to manage when the network expands?

A)

MeshA)

B)

CascadeB)

C)

Core/edgeC)

D)

RingD)

Question 2:

True or False: Devices can be part of only one zone in a SAN.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

Question 3:

To plan for incorporating redundancy into your SAN design, what information should you get from management? (Check all that apply.)

A)

How long unplanned downtime can be toleratedA)

B)

Effect of downtime on the organization's operationsB)

C)

Cost per hour of normal operationsC)

D)

Budget for preventing downtimeD)

Question 4:

How can you expand a core/edge topology easily?

A)

Add edge switches to core switches.A)

B)

Add more ISL connections.B)

C)

Add core switches to edge switches.C)

D)

Set up more zones.D)

Question 5:

ISL trunking offers which of the following advantages? (Check all that apply.)

A)

Increased bandwidth between switchesA)

B)

Shorter distances between switches and end devicesB)

C)

Improved redundancyC)

D)

All of the aboveD)

Question 6:

Which of the following is a disadvantage of web-based management software for switches?

A)

Difficult to learnA)

B)

Inconvenient to useB)

C)

Usually offers fewer featuresC)

D)

Available only for high-end switchesD)

Managing and administering SAN software

SAN systems require management to keep them running smoothly. This lesson covers using management software, zones, policy-based tools and LUN masking to ensure your SAN is secure and functioning efficiently.

Exploring SAN management software

In Lesson 5, you explored SAN topologies and learned more about switches, which provide connectivity for your SAN. To take advantage of all the power a

SAN offers, in this lesson you learn how to select the best management software for your solution and explore other options for managing your SAN.

solution and explore other options for managing your SAN. » HP StorageWorks modular disk arrays Most

Most SAN vendors have different packages of management software with features for administering and reporting on SAN resources. These packages can be divided into three major categories:

Web-based softwareThese packages can be divided into three major categories: Low-functionality workstation software Premium-functionality

Low-functionality workstation softwarebe divided into three major categories: Web-based software Premium-functionality workstation software The following

Premium-functionality workstation softwareWeb-based software Low-functionality workstation software The following sections explore features of each category.

The following sections explore features of each category.

Web-based software

Web-based software usually has fewer features than workstation-based software. It can perform simple tasks and basic reporting but typically isn't used for an enterprise-level SAN system. Web-based software does offer the following benefits, however:

No software to installsoftware does offer the following benefits, however: Can be used from any workstation or even a

Can be used from any workstation or even a remote locationthe following benefits, however: No software to install Performs simple tasks easily Typically free or included

Performs simple tasks easilyCan be used from any workstation or even a remote location Typically free or included with

Typically free or included with equipment purchaseor even a remote location Performs simple tasks easily For a small or highly mobile organization,

For a small or highly mobile organization, web-based software can be the perfect management solution.

Low-functionality workstation software

Low-functionality workstation software generally offers more resource- allocation functions than web-based software. In addition, some low- functionality software can generate a topology map of your SAN and reports for every device. The software must be installed from a CD/DVD and is usually run from an administrative workstation. Some vendors will include this type of software for a modest fee. Other vendors may even freely distribute a limited version of their premium-functionality software. Even if there is a cost to this software, the added benefits are often worth the small cost. Most low- functionality software also includes the following features:

Produces a complete picture of your SAN resources for better visualizationfunctionality software also includes the following features: Manages multiple switches Automates tasks for efficient use

Manages multiple switchespicture of your SAN resources for better visualization Automates tasks for efficient use of staff time

Automates tasks for efficient use of staff timeresources for better visualization Manages multiple switches Uses industry-standard interfaces to manage multi-vendor

Uses industry-standard interfaces to manage multi-vendor platformsswitches Automates tasks for efficient use of staff time Premium-functionality workstation software

Premium-functionality workstation software

Premium-functionality workstation software adds more enterprise-level features for capacity, performance and reporting. This software is typically more expensive than the low-functionality software discussed previously. But the added costs for the premium-functionality can often provide a great deal of added benefit in terms of efficiency. Software in this category enables you to do the following:

Plan for allocating storage capacitySoftware in this category enables you to do the following: Support storage infrastructure lifecycle management Monitor

Support storage infrastructure lifecycle managementto do the following: Plan for allocating storage capacity Monitor performance of your SAN components Get

Monitor performance of your SAN componentscapacity Support storage infrastructure lifecycle management Get notifications for events such as low disk space or

Get notifications for events such as low disk space or high resource usemanagement Monitor performance of your SAN components Keep in mind that vendors release updated software versions

Keep in mind that vendors release updated software versions constantly to stay competitive, so you might be able to find some high-end features in a less expensive low-functionality package. Make sure you do your homework on

which features are important to your organization when evaluating management software for your SAN. If you decide to purchase a premium- functionality package, make sure your organization really needs the features that it's paying for.

Now that you know what to look for in management software, keep reading to find out other management options you have for your SAN.

Managing resource access

Managing resource accessibility is critical to maintaining SAN security. You can manage resource access by designating device zones and LUN masking.

Designating device zones

As you learned in Lesson 5, you can divide your SAN devices into zones to make sure data is accessible only to resources allocated to a zone. A small SAN might have only one zone, but larger SANs could have many zones. Zones are useful for simplifying management and increasing security.

useful for simplifying management and increasing security. » HP All-in-One storage solution You can compare using

You can compare using SAN zones to setting up groups to manage user rights. When you're assigning permissions to users for network resources, often you set up user groups to make this task easier. That way, you don't have to assign permissions separately to each user. You assign permissions to a group you create, and then add users to the group as members.

The same is true of SAN zones. You can assign devices to zones as an easier method of managing rights to storage resources. As with users who can be members of more than one group, devices can be placed in more than one zone so that they can access several different storage resources. Tape backup systems, for example, are typically given rights to all, or many, zones to make the backup process more efficient. Figure 6-1 shows a switch assigned to both Zones A and B.

Figure 6-1 shows a switch assigned to both Zones A and B. Figure 6-1: A device

Figure 6-1: A device can be assigned to more than one zone.

You can create the following types of zones, explained in more detail in the following sections:

Hard zoningzones, explained in more detail in the following sections: Soft zoning World Wide Name zoning Hard

Soft zoningin more detail in the following sections: Hard zoning World Wide Name zoning Hard zoning Hard

World Wide Name zoningdetail in the following sections: Hard zoning Soft zoning Hard zoning Hard zoning, the strictest type

Hard zoning

Hard zoning, the strictest type of zoning, is configured in the device hardware and actually prevents devices from communicating and accessing resources outside their zones. Because it's implemented in hardware, it's fast and secure. Consider hard zoning for highly confidential information, such as financial data

or personnel records. one drawback of hard zoning is its lack of flexibility. After you've configured zoning for device hardware, changing zones can be more time consuming than with other zoning types.

Soft zoning

Soft zoning, as the name implies, is configured in device software as a filter for accessing resources. With this type of zoning, when a device "sees" the SAN, it can see only the resources it has allowed to access in its zone. Therefore, modifying your setup to add or overlap zones is easier than with hard zoning. Soft zoning is less secure because servers or devices in other zones might be able to guess device addresses (discussed in the next section) and access resources outside their zones. However, most SANs aren't open to network devices outside the SAN, so this disadvantage isn't major for most organizations.

Worldwide naming zoning

An even more flexible zoning type is World Wide Name (WWN) zoning. A WWN is a unique identifier assigned to the HBAs of SAN devices, and resource access is then filtered based on WWN. With this zoning, you can recable a SAN if needed without re-assigning ports and devices to the correct zone. Management is easy with this zoning type, but a rogue HBA could be added to the SAN and use a valid device's WWN to access sensitive information.

Next up, you learn about another option for streamlining management: LUN masking.

LUN masking

Another useful option for easing SAN management is logical unit number (LUN) masking. You give each device in a SAN a unique LUN identifier for addressing and allocation purposes.

So why would you need to hide, or mask, a LUN address? Contrary to what its name implies, LUN masking isn't done for security reasons. Mainly, it's used to prevent Windows servers from trying to write their own volume labels on non- Windows devices, such as Linux or UNIX. This attempt to write over LUNs on other devices can cause corruption of data stored on them. In addition, if a LUN is written over with a Windows volume label, you might not be able to use that device on another platform besides Windows.

If you mask a device's LUN address, Windows servers don't recognize the device as non-Windows and don't attempt to overwrite the address. You can then unmask the LUN as needed for other non-Windows systems using that LUN. Premium-functionality management software and some low-functionality versions can handle LUN masking automatically for you.

Implementing policy management

As you've learned throughout this class, you have several SAN components to manage, both physical and virtual: zones, addresses, ports, links, switch connectivity, bandwidth, storage allocation and more. All these management tasks can be overwhelming for SAN administrators.

Using aliases

can be overwhelming for SAN administrators. Using aliases » HP Storage software portfolio To simplify these

To simplify these management tasks, you can use policy-based management

tools to handle many functions automatically. For example, instead of allocating storage or zones only by using WWNs or LUNs, which are usually strings of letters and numbers, you can create an alias, such as Sales Server, that's easier to remember. In other words, your management software keeps track of WWN or LUN addresses so that you don't have to.

Giving devices easy-to-remember aliases makes SAN management easier.

Using policies

You can also set up policies, or rules, that automate which resources are assigned to certain zones or perform routine configuration checks to make sure resources are allocated correctly.

Additionally, policies can help manage alerts to conditions that may affect the servers or the storage on the SAN. For example, you could set a policy that sends alerts based on when a volume approaches some capacity threshold. Typically policies can be set on the following general types of conditions:

Availability: Setting the number of redundant paths to data within the SANcan be set on the following general types of conditions: Backup: Specifying how often to back

Backup: Specifying how often to back up certain volumesSetting the number of redundant paths to data within the SAN Capacity: Alerting when a volume

Capacity: Alerting when a volume becomes too fullSAN Backup: Specifying how often to back up certain volumes Interoperability: Alerting when devices may not

Interoperability: Alerting when devices may not work with other devices on the SANvolumes Capacity: Alerting when a volume becomes too full Performance: Monitoring application-level response times to

Performance: Monitoring application-level response times to ensure service- level agreementswhen devices may not work with other devices on the SAN Security: Setting the permissions on

Security: Setting the permissions on which servers have access to particular storage resources using zones and LUN maskingresponse times to ensure service- level agreements Because SAN management software enables you to abstract and

Because SAN management software enables you to abstract and consolidate resources, you can manage more resources with fewer people. The reporting features in this software are also useful for auditing your SAN to ensure consistency and monitoring performance.

Now that you understand the options for managing a SAN, you're ready to build

a SAN for your organization's storage. The next section reviews what you need to know to be successful.

Starting smart with your SAN

This section wraps up the class by reviewing guidelines for setting up and using

a SAN solution. With these guidelines, you can start smart and create a SAN that serves your organization for years to come:

Assess your overall storage needs for the organization, not just by department.a SAN that serves your organization for years to come: Plan for storage growth to make

Plan for storage growth to make sure you're purchasing cost-effective storage devices.storage needs for the organization, not just by department. Review your options for networking technologies, and

Review your options for networking technologies, and then pick one that provides the performance and support you need.sure you're purchasing cost-effective storage devices. Determine how you're going to migrate data to your new

Determine how you're going to migrate data to your new SAN, and then plan for how your server resources will be affected during the transition.pick one that provides the performance and support you need. Select a SAN solution that's the

Select a SAN solution that's the right size for your organization but is capable of growing to meet your storage expansion needs.server resources will be affected during the transition. If your organization doesn't need a high-end solution,

If your organization doesn't need a high-end solution, remember that an all- in-one solution might be a good fit.is capable of growing to meet your storage expansion needs. Select a RAID level that protects

Select a RAID level that protects your data yet offers the performance your applications need.remember that an all- in-one solution might be a good fit. Use a backup solution that

Use a backup solution that can read data directly from the SAN.your data yet offers the performance your applications need. Select a SAN topology that offers the

Select a SAN topology that offers the growth, performance and redundancy options your organization needs.a backup solution that can read data directly from the SAN. Use SAN management software to

Use SAN management software to streamline access to common functions and make configuring security and storage capacity easier.that offers the growth, performance and redundancy options your organization needs. » HP Tape, disk-based backup

access to common functions and make configuring security and storage capacity easier. » HP Tape, disk-based

Document your network by using the management tools you've selected.Review your growth and capacity planning objectives often to make sure you have storage ready

Review your growth and capacity planning objectives often to make sure you have storage ready when your organization needs it.network by using the management tools you've selected. Moving on In this lesson, you've learned how

Moving on

In this lesson, you've learned how SAN management software can ease the administrative burdens associated with a SAN and reduce the personnel needed to manage your storage infrastructure. As always, take the quiz and do the assignment before moving on. If you haven't signed on to the message board for this course, now is a great time to do so. Ask questions and interact with the instructor and other students to get feedback on the solutions you're considering. See you there!

Assignment #6

Now it's time to put together everything you've learned in this class. Review the guidelines at the end of Lesson 6 to help you determine the best SAN solution for your organization. Then starting with the topology diagram you've created for Lesson 5's assignment, expand this diagram to illustrate your entire SAN system. Label all hardware components, such as cabling, switches, backup devices, HBAs and storage units, and then include the model and make for each device. Finally, put together a proposal for management that specifies the networking technology, redundancy features and SAN management options you're using and then include a cost estimate for your overall SAN solution.

Quiz #6

Question 1:

Reconfiguring zones is easy with which type of zoning? (Check all that apply.)

A)

Hard zoningA)

B)

WWN zoningB)

C)

LUN zoningC)

D)

Soft zoningD)

Question 2:

True or False: Low-functionality workstation software is the best solution for a small or highly mobile organization.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

Question 3:

Why should you use LUN masking?

A)

To improve securityA)

B)

To create an easy-to-remember identifier for devicesB)

C)

To prevent Windows servers from overwriting LUN addresses with their own volume labelsC)

D)

To allow Macintosh and UNIX devices to work togetherD)

Question 4:

Which of the following is the most restrictive type of zoning?

A)

WWN zoningA)

B)

Soft zoningB)

C)

Strict zoningC)

D)

Hard zoningD)

Question 5:

True or False: Policy-based management tools handle certain tasks automatically, so you can manage more resources with fewer people.

A)

TrueA)

B)

FalseB)

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