SANs Need to Be as Manageable as LANs

By Francis Chu  |  Posted 2001-04-02

In todays enterprise networks, it managers have to continuously allocate budget and other resources for storage to provide robust data availability and support for critical e-business applications. Companies that can effectively manage large amounts of data and make it readily available will have a significant competitive advantage over companies that cant.

This is where SANs (storage area networks) fit in. SANs provide fast-growing companies with an efficient way to consolidate storage, are scalable and include such advanced capabilities as storage virtualization, serverless backup and restore operations, and heterogeneous data sharing. But although SANs are well-suited to meet the data storage demands of enterprises and e-businesses, there are many challenges to overcome in order to harvest the benefits after implementation—and one of the biggest challenges is SAN management.

In a typical SAN, IT managers have to deal with a complex array of components from different vendors that includes Fibre Channel switches and hubs, host bus adapters, and storage subsystems. To manage a SAN effectively, IT managers must be able to configure and trouble-shoot the hardware systems as well as plan for future growth. Most of todays SAN hardware systems have their own management utilities, and usually one vendors management software does not work with another vendors SAN component.

At a recent SAN Vision Summit, Veritas Software announced partnerships with major SAN vendors to offer an end-to-end SAN management solution. Veritas announced that this summer it will release SANPoint Control 2.0, a comprehensive management solution for heterogeneous SANs. Also at the summit, Veritas introduced the QOSS (quality of storage service) as a service model that dictates how fast storage can be provisioned, the time needed to restore application data and performance guarantees for application storage. Veritas aims to provide enhanced QOSS in SANs with the integration of management and backup software products.

With the proliferation of better SAN management software and with vendors working together to improve interoperability, we are slowly but surely headed for the same extensive management integration and hardware interoperability in SANs that we see in LANs today.

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