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Decide and deploy

Article Type: Feature          Published: 05-2012         Views: 2178   



David Barker of 4D Data Centres shares some thoughts for getting the most from a storage area network (SAN).

Storage has moved from being a secondary consideration behind processing capacity and memory (RAM), to being a primary consideration, especially when deploying new applications. This is because those applications are generating far more data through routine, everyday transactions, which is then combined with the requirement to store that data for longer. To make the best storage decisions, organisations need to ask some critical questions.

What do I need to consider during the planning stage?
Before you even start to design your SAN, consider how critical the data is, how fast applications accessing it need to run, how secure the data needs to be and, where you want to store that data.

Should I consider cloud storage?
The rise of cloud based storage has become increasingly evident over the last five years and it continues to be at the forefront of many peoples' minds when considering their storage requirements. While cloud storage does have its place, it isn't quite ready for widespread adoption. This is mainly due to the constraints of connectivity into offices and the security concerns around public cloud storage. As a rule of thumb, if you're not happy for your data to be released into the public domain, then don't place it on a public storage service - any system with multiple tenancy runs the increased risk of exposure.

Where should I store business-critical data?
Any data needing guaranteed performance and security should be hosted on a dedicated appliance and ideally in a data centre. That way you can take advantage of dedicated connections to help ensure performance.

Wherever your data is hosted you need to consider the read/write performance that your applications will demand. For storage this is measured in IOPS (Input/Output Operations per Second) and it is defined using three important metrics:


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