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What are the merits of storage zone networks? | HP0-A17 actual Questions and VCE practice Test

TCO and ROI are a partake of the justification for SANs, however for many organizations the actual ground line is measured in more-tangible benefits.

by means of Alan R. Earls

The U.S. Air drive's 45th zone Wing, headquartered at Patrick Air obligate ground near Cocoa seaside, FL, exemplifies an almost literal "mission-crucial" storage enviornment community (SAN) client. It helps and manages zone launch classes for the department of defense, NASA, and commercial entities, and generates gigantic amounts of records having to carryout with house launches, any of which must breathe backed up or stored to give protection to against statistics loss.

"The threat of hurricanes and flooding on the Florida coast makes it completely considerable that they returned up their records," says Glenn Exline, supervisor of advanced applied sciences at the space Wing. "With their ancient storage system, backup took as much as 14 hours each day. With their SANs, they absorb reduced that to handiest two hours a day."

The Wing's SAN success furthermore can breathe regarded an controversy that storage networks may furthermore breathe justified by artery of whatever thing apart from a return on funding (ROI) study. The company's SAN setting up not handiest helped dramatically chop back the backup window, however it additionally helped to consolidate a network from 52 servers to 35 servers, simplifying server management. furthermore, with fewer servers on its community, the Wing expects to expend much less going forward to refresh its servers as partake of the substitute cycle.

while some agencies absorb managed to build together ROI and TCO reports to champion the controversy for SANs, different organizations find that bean counting is rarely price the trouble. instead, they cite limpid productiveness features, new alternatives, more advantageous reliability, and different advantages that they are proverb get SAN economics a no brainer.

based on John Webster, founder and senior analyst at the information Mobility neighborhood consulting company, when a SAN stint is within the offing, "everybody starts displaying up with an opinion—or a concern." commonly, people are on the shielding, worried that trade of any profile may absorb a penniless influence on how they carryout their job. "they approach to the desk saying, 'convince me.' many of these individuals may breathe unmoved with the aid of any benevolent of ROI argument. I inform vendors they should champion their customers allay the fears of inner consumers, certainly corporate protection officers and database administrators, if they are going to promote SANs successfully," Webster says.

Multi-step procedure

An illustration of the should promote internally—and the edge outcomes—is supplied via Bob Massengill, supervisor of technical functions at the Wake forest university Baptist scientific middle (WFUBMC), a scientific middle and instructing hospital in Winston-Salem, NC. Massengill's corporation carried out its first SAN in 2000, essentially to address two problems: an email gadget that saved plagued by disk screw ups, and a wish to expend prudently when the mainframe disk systems went off rent. "i used to breathe confronted with the option of staying with mainframe-most efficient storage or going to a SAN and additionally crucial to carryout anything about managing the disks on lots of of servers," Massengill explains.

conserving every cramped thing up and working had develop into very labor-intensive. What's greater, youngsters lots of the servers, notably those working home windows NT, were configured similarly, "we stored operating into the challenge of getting halfway via a undertaking on a particular server and operating out of disk house." The handiest functional acknowledge was to upgrade that server with extra disk storage. meanwhile, even though, loads of other servers had scarcely tapped their purchasable storage—meaning that generic means utilization turned into very low.

but getting purchase-in on the SAN from the a number of departments that felt they'd ownership over selected servers wasn't handy, remembers Massengill. He offered the prefatory partake of the implementation as a "proof of thought" developed round an EMC Symmetrix array, which become at the genesis install to champion just electronic mail functions and the mainframe. "At that aspect they felt it might at eventual grow tremendously, but from a funding standpoint they could not bank on it," says Massengill.

He needn't absorb involved. by means of late 2000, with the Symmetrix wholly mirrored, disk disasters stopped, mainframe I/O waits disappeared, and people retrieving ancient e-mails were "blown away" by artery of the better performance. "note spread speedy and fairly soon they had departments lining up and proverb they desired to approach aboard," recalls Massengill. What he did should agonize about, in fact, turned into being able to grow quick sufficient. "We started placing more users on the Symmetrix and populating their sixteen-port McData switches, and within six months they had outgrown them," he recollects. That led him to help to director-class switches from McData. "We build in a 64-port Intrepid and saved both 16-port switches in vicinity," he says. via then, storage on the SAN had rocketed from simply over 2TB to about 8TB. It now stands at 45TB.

however the SAN had no longer yet solved any of Massengill's problems. For the health center, offering the optimum level of patient supervision and scientific education depends on safeguarding data and making unavoidable that health facility information techniques are incredibly accessible. additional urgency turned into supplied by artery of the increasing safety and data retention necessities mandated by means of HIPAA.

"A key challenge for us become facts integrity," explains Massengill. "The scientific seat became experiencing repeated media failures and corrupted information on tapes. since the clinic became leasing the tape drives, it determined to replace them with StorageTek T9940s when the leases expired early this yr."

considerations about capability and centralization of backup operations prompted the IT offshoot to ogle for a brand new solution. The medical seat obligatory additional storage means for its Unix and NT servers. They additionally desired to centralize backup operations in an ambiance that covered an IBM zSeries 800 mainframe, a Hewlett-Packard NonStop Himalaya S7000 server, and a network of Unix and NT servers.

The mainframe homes the patient accounting device, whereas patient remedy information dwell on the Himalaya. The medical middle uses the Unix servers for PeopleSoft fiscal and human materials applications, internet, and intranet purposes. in keeping with Massengill, the goals of the multiplied SAN mission had been to multiply protection and integrity for clinical facts records, patient accounting facts, and health facility administrative records; subside the variety of hours needed for each day backups; lessen the number of tapes needed for backups; and free the IT staff from tape mounting chores.

however, notes Massengill, the SAN wasn't suppositious to without difficulty limpid up those immediate wants. As a partake of the new SAN, a StorageTek virtual Storage manager (VSM) system changed into brought "to champion us maneuver as the inevitable adjustments boost state down the highway," he says.

The multiplied SAN was implemented early this 12 months. "In October 2002, they brought the open techniques servers over to StorageTek PowderHorn tape library silo, and in February 2003, they carried out StorageTek VSM and the mainframe piece going into the STK PowderHorn."

according to Massengill, incorporating the tape library within the SAN led to a subside in tape signify from about 30,000 to simply 600. It additionally saved flooring house and tape mount time. before the challenge, MVS operators absorb been mounting 1,000 to 1,200 tapes day after day, he says. Mount times absorb been approximately three minutes. "these days the staff has significantly fewer tapes to tackle and mount times are within the sub-2nd range," he says. "That capacity IT team of workers has time for system monitoring, proactive protection, and practising."

Integrating the tape libraries and SAN furthermore vastly diminished media disasters and decreased backup time by using three hours per day. "during the past," says Massengill, "batch cycles ran except 6 AM, so clients were unable to entry the device except those jobs absorb been finished." youngsters, hospitals originate admitting sufferers for day surgical procedure at 6 AM, so if jobs ran beyond that hour it impacted the admissions and medical staff. "nowadays these batch jobs are accomplished with the aid of 3 AM, providing more device entry to users," he says.

efficiency is vital

Becky Davidson, records supervisor for EDS/Sara Lee Bakery community, in St. Louis, faced fewer complexities in justifying a SAN, however eventually create similar proof features. She says the SAN became applied to wield a number of considerations, notably the deserve to boost the variety of connections into the company's IBM commercial enterprise Storage Server ("Shark"). "We desired to absorb dual paths and they wanted to attach a large variety of machines," says Davidson. Minimizing the cabling hassles associated with SCSI was furthermore a riding drive at the back of the SAN. Yet another goal turned into extended performance.

"We failed to absorb an terrible lot problem justifying the SAN both in the account or within EDS," says Davidson. in partake that became as a result of Sara Lee is becoming swiftly so it turned into effortless to demonstrate that without a SAN they would elope out of attachable disk house. "Our consumer changed into furthermore very concerned about performance, and they may display that multi-pathed Fibre Channel was sooner than SSA or multi-pathed SCSI," says Davidson. The EDS team was additionally capable of demonstrate that there became a improved discount rates per GB with a SAN.

opting for a SAN seller became furthermore effortless. "We elope IBM servers connected to IBM Shark and IBM tape drives so they went with IBM," she says. originally, they begun out with three 16-port 1Gbps switches from Brocade—one for pile and two for creation. As they grew they delivered a fourth sixteen-port switch for backup traffic. consequently, they added three edge switches to relate a 21-drive tape library. Altogether, they now absorb two 32-port 2Gbps switches, three eight-port 1Gbps switches, and the four 16-port 1Gbps switches.

"The biggest capitalize was flexibility," says Davidson. "If they wish to add another gadget they will just plug it prerogative into a change, zone it, and we're respectable to go."

On the downside, Davidson says that zoning can breathe tangled and the textile conception can even breathe a bit overwhelming. happily, Brocade's management GUI lets Davidson check issues out on the switches even if the statistics seat is observed elsewhere "so i will breathe able to inform what's plugged in, what's active, what is having problems, and what is never working."

Davidson says that the SAN solved a lot of issues, "but it surely does add more things to preserve music of."

SAN-primarily based replication

much more upbeat in his SAN assessment is Gary Pilafas, a senior storage and programs architect at United Loyalty features, a unit of UAL Corp. (the mother or father of United airlines), in Elk Grove Township, IL. United Loyalty services operates an OLTP engine that requires statistics replication.

Pilafas makes consume of Hitachi's Shadow image to carryout aspect-in-time copies from one statistics core to another. With the SAN, says Pilafas, it is practicable to duplicate and then elope queries towards one server and reports towards one other. "You can not carryout this in a DAS [direct-attached storage] atmosphere without loads of pain," he says. Replication over an IP network is accomplished with the Fibre Channel over IP (FCIP) protocol.

In Pilafas' case, justifying the SAN changed into convenient since the industry had been locked into a pricey hosting arrangement with a storage functions company, so a complete ROI evaluation came about very immediately.

Between 2001 and 2003, United Loyalty features' SAN grew from 4TB to 25TB.

Pilafas says the SAN has additionally proven its price since it offers tall availability, that can assist industry continuance and company resumption capabilities. And the SAN furthermore helps the profits engine—the e-commerce entrance-conclusion for UAL Corp.

no longer so simple

however once in a while even wonderful effects will furthermore breathe colored by using doubts. Xcel energy, in Denver, developed a design to implement a SAN in 2000. at the time the project started, "we view they necessary extra issues than possibly they did," says David Czech, a storage programs engineer at Xcel. Xcel's SAN is based on a Hitachi records programs license 9960 array, McData switches, and a StorageTek tape library.

Xcel's SAN desires absorb been to consolidate storage, simplify administration, and enhance potential utilization. additionally, the company desired to breathe able to effectively replicate to an additional facility and to partake tape contraptions.

"Some of those things came about and some did not," admits Czech. whereas the SAN did get it practicable to consolidate to fewer storage instruments, nothing obtained easier. "I don't believe it made anything else easier to manipulate, and now there are lots of further steps concerned in allocating and troubleshooting things which are connected to the SAN," he says.

nevertheless, Czech characterizes the problems as on the entire annoyances. And he's now taking a ogle at utility apparatus to champion with SAN administration and storage resource administration (SRM). long term, Czech says he's looking at the overall company storage infrastructure and the competencies for virtualization. he is furthermore looking at the talents for consolidating RAID arrays within the SAN.

Richard Boud, technical account supervisor with Technica UK Ltd., an impartial storage consultancy in the UK, sees large and regular pace towards SANs amongst his shoppers. He says the simple advantages that clients survey as drivers for implementing SANs are here: flexibility in storage allocation; adapting to changing industry requirements; extended functionality, peculiarly backup enhancements (i.e., snapshots) and calamity restoration (i.e., far flung replication); greater statistics availability; centralization, certainly for commonplace features corresponding to backup; and simplified storage

Boud says that ROI and TCO measurements "are mentioned an terrible lot, despite the fact likely extra by using carriers than any one else. Most shoppers boost ROI and TCO claims with a colossal pinch of salt. They don't absorb the time, tools, or amend records to regard scholarship or exact ROI. instead, they favor to breathe offered with credible justifications and to utilize ordinary undergo to expound them where know-how can in fact help their infrastructure."

Alan R. Earls is a freelance author in Franklin, MA.

Consolidating SAN 'islands'

by using Robert Strechay

The transforming into deserve to consolidate isolated storage zone networks (SANs) stems partially from the incontrovertible fact that SANs had been configured in an ad hoc vogue to assist specific functions. These SAN "islands" sufficed for a while, however then functions had been prolonged and storage requirements accelerated.

at the equal time, IT specialists' mandate was to "do greater with much less." Even as the variety of SAN islands swelled with extra traffic and data, fewer greenbacks absorb been available to nominate specialists to re-architect the SANs.

as a result, businesses are recognizing that the handiest technique to develop whereas reaching return on investment (ROI) is to consolidate their data-middle supplies and applications, expanding the density and scalability of their storage networks. but this requires cautious planning of future storage networks which will scale past the island theory.

The emphasis agencies region on enterprise techniques to chop back downtime, management complexity, and cost varies. These elements are often not a partake of the SAN design manner, yet they may noiseless be.

even with utility and industry needs, most IT gurus are busier than ever, due to the pecuniary downturn. Layoffs and downsizing absorb sent personnel scrambling to steer more and more industry gadgets, yet functions proceed to roll out and information accumulates hourly.

because of a scarcity of substances, many IT departments took shortcuts with their early SAN deployments. They counted on efficiency beneficial properties without additional administration overhead and troubleshooting. When some SANs didn't fulfill neatly, or traffic grew too hastily, departments commonly attached their own direct-connected storage (DAS). If the applications the usage of DAS outperformed the SAN-connected purposes, the company instruments would require that corporate IT revert returned to supporting DAS for their applications.

The functions doubtless would absorb labored exceptional on the SAN if it had been correctly designed. lamentably, few IT stores had the imperative talents. And the style SANs were marketed failed to champion both. SAN device became regularly bought via OEMs—constantly the major apparatus vendors. in this context, SAN apparatus became a sliver of the generic buy. With vendors and consumers giving cramped concept to future boom of the storage network infrastructure, no miracle many early SAN installations upset.

Yet, many other OEM-provided SANs worked first-rate. They met many valued clientele' deserve to champion software deployments and to inexpensively leverage existing storage arrays. The users furthermore may leverage their OEM service shrink to find aid with deployment and ongoing SAN management.

Storage community renovation—ranging from executing strikes, adds, and changes to adding or combining ratiocinative unit numbers (LUNs)—regularly requires a carrier cognomen and an on-web page consult with from an oem technician. This OEM dependence reduces the IT department's visibility into storage network issues.

Outgrowing a SAN usually capability adding one other island, or growing the latest SAN with extra switches and inter-switch hyperlinks (ISLs), which will furthermore breathe tangled and lead to interoperability and efficiency issues. Unpredictable ISL performance has in partake resulted in the deployment of isolated SAN islands.

moreover, SAN administration is 5 to 10 years at the back of natural LAN and WAN community administration. customary LAN management capabilities, corresponding to notification of congestion or different faults, are not largely available on SAN switches.

despite the fact SAN islands absorb confirmed value, many companies are outgrowing them. while they add further and further SAN islands, they reduce the ROI of the presently deployed SAN islands because of the bigger cost of management. it breathe time to devise for strategic, long-term storage networks.

Political impediments

Getting everybody on the equal SAN consolidation crew is complicated as a result of personnel shortages and political concerns. Few adept storage gurus exist: there may breathe perhaps one storage architect for every 10 LAN/WAN network architects. This reflects the fact that storage is not considered as a partake of the community side of IT but, rather, as an outgrowth of the functions facet.

Storage has transitioned into the server administrator's domain. however in most instances, server administrators are too industrious to breathe trained enough about storage networks. Compounding concerns is the longstanding mistrust between server administrators and conventional network directors (neither group thinks the other is responsive ample), which additional complicates SAN consolidation initiatives.

regardless of these difficulties, some organizations are starting to reply to the fallout from SAN island multiply by using their storage networks the selfsame fashion they carryout their LANs and WANs. The political motive is evident: enterprise devices are satisfied with the LAN and WAN services, so let's treat SANs the selfsame manner. IT corporations furthermore respect the reliability, predictability, scalability, safety, and visibility they profit by means of having a unified structure, as adverse to an advert hoc assortment of divorce networks.

Put the "N" back in SANs

today's SAN islands are customarily fewer than 100 ports, youngsters many IT retail outlets await growth into hundreds of ports. SAN consolidation refers to either connecting distinct SANs together or collapsing varied islands into bigger, superior-coordinated SANs with shared resources.

additional stimulating the pressure toward SAN consolidation are new disk array architectures that permit distinct purposes to boost skills of dissimilar entrance-end ports. here's another reason groups are looking to consolidate their data centers, servers, and storage. In doing so, they should believe re-architecting their storage networks for the future. here's especially actual for organizations which are on the grounds that enforcing "storage pooling" or "virtualization," which may complicate probably the most considerations at the flash existing in SAN deployments.

through treating SANs greater fancy LANs or WANs, storage community architects can operate with a higher inner profile and breathe capable of check with company units, administration, and other IT devices. this can aid them carryout a far better job of planning for SAN scalability, manageability, protection, and availability.

a couple of change vendors are addressing some of those concerns with a brand new class of "intelligent" switches, characterized with the aid of enhanced administration, more advantageous community segmentation, tall availability, and scalability. however whatever additional SAN apparatus you believe, believe in terms of constructing a storage backbone network and deploying components in a extra controlled method.

As organizations grow, so should their SANs. until recently, SANs had been now not very flexible, and most absorb been proprietary. but the trade is maturing and companies are introducing extra-flexible SAN items.

they are furthermore working collectively in a considerable number of associations, such because the Storage community trade affiliation (SNIA), to multiply specifications. These are any safe signs, however for SANs to consolidate and develop they exigency to breathe designed in a distinct fashion than they've been so far.

organizations should breathe watchful their software necessities after which explore a backbone community with a tiered architecture. with the aid of treating SANs greater fancy LANs and WANs, they'll now not only yield greater long lasting and expandable architectures, however furthermore enlist greater assist and enter from different IT businesses and enterprise units.

Robert Strechay is director of technical advertising and chief consumer advocate at Sandial methods (www.sandi in Portsmouth, NH.

make the most of your HBAs

through Mike Smith

to a couple conclusion users, a number bus adapter (HBA) offers handiest a benchmark physical and facts connection from a server to a storage network. but storage administrators recognize that HBAs accumulate tips in regards to the fame and activities of the entire storage enviornment nework (SAN), and that tapping that assistance can animate them manage more storage, greater reliably, at less can charge.

A Fibre Channel HBA is fancy a computer on an add-in card, with its own processor and actual-time working device. not fancy a network card, which effectively passes packets between the community and server, an HBA performs lots of the protocol processing labor that a community card passes on to the server CPU and keeps tune of the status of every I/O transaction.

as an example, when an utility on the server considerations a request to the storage network, the server operating apparatus passes that request to the HBA driver, which programs the request, places it in an I/O queue, and then transmits it to a storage device or switch.

all the artery through this manner, the HBA driver keeps an awareness of the fitness of any SAN add-ons and hyperlinks, which can play a role in reducing charges whereas expanding the reliability and performance of networked storage.

The up-entrance cost of a SAN will furthermore breathe dwarfed by artery of the continued fees of managing, troubleshooting, and upgrading the network. These costs surge every yr because the quantity of statistics raises and the storage community becomes more complicated as users centralize statistics. Yet with any these calls for, companies are beneath obligate to reduce their storage administration budgets.

right here's how choosing the proper HBA can support:

Simplified firmware updates—Updating firmware for a single HBA isn't a complicated method, but making unavoidable the firmware for each HBA in a SAN is at the preempt revision stage can furthermore breathe a frightening assignment—chiefly in SANs with a entire lot of servers. Centralized administration methods can monitor firmware revisions on each autochthonous and remote HBAs and might enable far flung and simultaneous firmware updates on as many HBAs as vital. via doing away with the deserve to upgrade firmware server-by means of-server and enabling directors to get consume of a single device to manage gadgets across the SAN, organizations can chop management prices and multiply SAN uptime.

Driver compatibility across product generations—Compatibility of drivers throughout assorted generations of HBAs permits storage directors to deploy the drivers needed to maintain the SAN operating (or multiply its capabilities) devoid of going to the cost and energy of replacing HBAs. It additionally allows for a gradual introduction of next-generation adapters with minimal disruption. This simplifies administration, protects hardware investments, and reduces the downtime necessary to replace HBAs.

decreased complexity—No storage administrator desires to scan multiple consoles to gain scholarship of what is wrong in a storage network, plenty less physically music down failed contraptions. applications that supply management of multiple kinds of SAN hardware permit administrators to reduce the variety of purposes required to exploit the SAN, which reduces complexity and administration time. as an example, an administrator could consume the selfsame administration application to rezone a SAN and replace HBA firmware. The merits are increased administrator productiveness and SAN availability and performance.

Centralized storage administration—intelligent HBA firmware can enable managers to reset or re-initialize ports on the entire HBAs in a SAN, test information paths from a single factor, and remotely upgrade firmware. This reduces management fees and deliberate downtime.

issue detection/prevention—The real-time monitoring accomplished via HBAs permits them to instantly learn physical disasters of SAN hyperlinks. it will probably boost a server operating gadget tens of seconds to value this benevolent of failure. but the HBA can realize an issue inside a second and straight notify software agents working on the server to redirect the request via a functioning hyperlink.

This reduces downtime through speeding the fail-over fashion from a failed component to a working counterpart.


Most HBA vendors animate the business-usual benchmark HBA API, which gives guidance corresponding to model numbers, firmware revisions, and topology for HBAs, but no longer other SAN components. despite the fact, HBA providers are partnering with storage subsystem, switch, and management utility carriers to consume the suggestions gathered by means of HBAs to deliver SAN-extensive monitoring and administration.

Most HBA providers additionally animate management necessities such because the cloth apparatus management Interface and security standards such as the Fibre Channel Authentication Protocol (FCAP) and Authenticated CT (commonplace Transport).

The greater pressure you might breathe below to bring reasonably-priced, incredibly accessible storage, the greater consideration get certain you pay to your HBAs. by using making replete consume of the information that HBAs assemble about SANs, directors can chop costs and multiply reliability.

Mike Smith is executive vp of global advertising at Emulex ( in Costa Mesa, CA.

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