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By Henry Baltazar  |  Posted 2005-04-04 Print this article Print

As a planning tool, san advisor 5.2 is easy to use, and it let us create design files that simulated what would happen if we made additions or changes to our SAN. In the simulated environment, it took only a few clicks of the mouse to add equipment to our SAN. When adding equipment such as switches or arrays, SAN Advisor 5.2 helped us determine the right specifications and configuration for new hardware.

For example, when we tried to add a new array to our test SAN, SAN Advisor 5.2 walked us through basic configuration decisions, including how many disks to install and what types of disks to use. In addition, SAN Advisor 5.2 warned us when new components werent configured correctly or if our design changes did not meet industry best practices.

After wed created a simulated storage array, SAN Advisor 5.2s connection tool helped us figure out the best way to connect the array to the SAN, telling us the switches and ports to use.

Click here to read about how EMCs acquisition of Smarts will help it to provide improved troubleshooting of faults across SANs. Using SAN Advisor 5.2s design comparison tool, we quickly generated checklists that described in detail the necessary steps for upgrading a current design to a new one. This comparison functionality is extremely important because it makes it easy for high-level storage administrators to create task lists for lower-level staffers to implement.

The comparison tool can be used to validate implementation changes to the SAN. After an implementation is done, the senior IT manager can use the comparison tool to make sure the snapshot of the new SAN configuration matches its design correctly.

SAN Advisor 5.2 is linked to EMCs Auto Update service. When new interoperability guidelines or best-practice recommendations become available, that information can be added to the software quickly. Using this information, IT managers can rapidly identify outdated hardware, firmware and drivers on their SAN.

SAN Advisor 5.2 does not import performance data into its design files or snapshots. We believe EMC should add this information in future revisions of SAN Advisor because it will enable IT managers to plan upgrades and avoid creating bottlenecks. Competing products do not yet offer this capability, but this is something we expect to see in most products in this space during the next few years.

SAN Advisor 5.2 can export data in the form of PDF and spreadsheet files, which should make it easy for IT managers to e-mail or print out their SAN designs.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.


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