By Henry Baltazar  |  Posted 2006-06-26 Print this article Print

Tiered Storage

* What hard drive types do you support?

Check all that apply.

• Fibre Channel



• SAS (Serial Attached SCSI)

Fibre Channel hard drives provide the highest performance; SATA provides high capacity at a low price; and SCSI and SAS sit in the middle. An added benefit of SAS systems is that they often have the ability to work with SATA drives.

* Does your array support multiple drive types?

* If yes, can drive types be mixed within the array? (For example, can you have Fibre Channel drives and SATA drives in the same shelf?)

With ILM (information lifecycle management) growing in importance, more IT managers have been asking for systems that have both expensive and inexpensive disks. In these hybrid systems, data can be moved to cheaper storage as it gets older, without leaving the array (no need to buy two different arrays). We are starting to see new storage systems that have the ability to move data among storage tiers within a storage system (for example, moving old data from Fibre Channel disks to SATA disks).

Power and Heat

* Does your solution have redundant power supplies?

* What are the power requirements?

• For a single controller

• For a disk shelf

• For management node (if necessary)

• For a fully populated system (maximum number of controllers and disk shelves)

* How much heat does the array release?

• For a single controller

• For a disk shelf

• For management node (if necessary)

• For a fully populated system (maximum number of controllers and disk shelves)


* What server operating system platform(s) does your array support? Please list.

* On what operating system(s) does your management console run? Please list.

Data Protection

Most arrays today come with a number of different technologies for protecting the data stored on them. IT managers should rate the responses they receive in this section according to the needs of their environment.

* Does your array have asynchronous or synchronous replication capabilities?

* What network protocol do you use for replication (for example, iSCSI, Fibre Channel or proprietary)?

* Does your product support snapshots?

* How many? List per-volume and per-array values.

* Does your product support cloning?

Cloning is a feature that has become more common during the last year. An array with cloning can mount the image of a snapshot. For example, after taking a snapshot of a database volume, an IT manager can use the snapshot to make a clone of the volume that can be assigned to a different server. Cloning is a great tool for development environments and can come in handy for testing patches before rolling them out to production servers.

Pricing and Support

* Provide base configuration pricing.

* Provide pricing for a unit outfitted with maximum options.

* Provide pricing for support contract options and annual renewal fees.

Customer References

* Please list customer references.


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