SAN getting to big

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SAN
My SAN seems to be getting bigger and bigger. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to manage it.

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If you find that you are running out of space, you might consider implementing a tiered storage model, where data that has been around for a while and not accessed frequently can be moved to less costly online storage (e.g., SATA drives). This will free of premium storage space and balance out the economics of storage. You should also consider moving data that has been in teir-2 let’s say to NAS and/or tape — tiers 3 and 4 respectively in this case for the sake of illustration.

Buy storage management software. You didn’t mention if you have multiple locations, multiple vendors, etc, but I’ve found the storage management tools from Symantec, AppIQ, and Onaro to be very useful. There is also a newer tool out from a company named Akorri that is very cool (has active performance monitoring from all your hosts without the use of host agents).

Consider purchasing an easier to manage storage array. 3PAR for example, takes 5 seconds to provision a LUN of any size or RAID type. 3PAR also allows you move data around on the backend of the array, from FC to SATA without taking the LUN offine. Talk to Myspace about how they grew for 3 years on 3PAR gear and didn’t have to hire additional storage engineers. (disclaimer, I used to work for 3PAR).

Is fibrechannel too complicated or expensive? Use iSCSI.

Is your SAN too complicated? Hire a consultant. They can write scripts, train new employees and help you with documentation and major products. Want to do Data Classification or ILM? Want to be SOX compliant? Don’t do all the hard work yourself, hire experts.

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  • HCream
    Ask yourself these questions: Why is it getting bigger? What kind of data are being stored and which grow the fastest? What is the rate of growing? Is this normal & predictable? Are any of these data duplicated or redundant? Can they be deleted, archived, compressed? When you know exactly what you got. You'll know what to do with them & plan for them.
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  • Magic8ball
    By too big do you mean storage, or size? If you are running out of space then you should consider an archiving product like archivus, or use your NAs storage to offload storage from your primary san storage. If there is too much data and you don't know where to start, then you should consider looking to your storage vendor for advice. I have mostly experience with HDS storage and I know there are several products to help you move and migrate storage. If you are looking to manage what is connected to what in terms of SAN management, there are many products like Hitachi Storage Service Manager (HSSM) or HP Storage Authority (same thing) but they can be very complex and difficult to implement because they are agent based. If you are looking for a way to determine what inventory you have you may want to consider a CMDB like Azazia, onaro, or something else, but it doesn't sound like that is what your referring to. SAN management is difficult and if you can't offload to tape then I would use older storage like NAS JBODS and offload unused aged data there. :wq!ben
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