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How a Storage Area Network (SAN) Can Make Storage Worries Disappear

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SAN feature

As applications and critical data grow and grow, the most successful businesses in this modern era stand out for their ability to optimise efficiencies and do more with less.

In such information-rich times, storage capacity levels can be tricky to manage; firms that once relied on local storage are increasingly turning to a storage area network (SAN) solution to guarantee fast, continuous and secure access to the data they need.

Below we look at four key ways in which SAN can improve how we do business today.

Utilisation

The ace up SAN’s sleeve is disk utilisation. When unified through one centralised storage network, IT administrators can manage everything easily; the central pool of storage resources at network level can be divided and storage can be allocated to the servers that require it most.

The alternative to SAN would be to buy many disks and install them into large servers so that they can be expanded into. In practice, this means hauling around a huge amount of disk space that isn’t being used, typically reaching utilisation rate highs of around 40 per cent. With SAN, the average utilisation rate is double that figure.

Availability

Reliability is key for all IT infrastructures, and this goes up considerably through SAN storage which is generally more dependable than a DAS (direct attached storage) disk. No reboots are needed to replace or attached new disks, nor to configure RAID groups.

Minimising outages will have a positive impact on a company’s bottom line, making this aspect of SAN something that firms on tighter budgets need to take into consideration.

An hour’s worth of downtime varies between companies, but for larger organisations this can easily spiral into millions of pounds being lost. There’s no technology like SAN for bringing 100 per cent storage availability.

Management flexibility

If you’re relying on DAS, you will need to install disks manually in order to increase storage. However, with SAN, storage can be remotely attributed to a server. If the OS is up to the task, this can be executed without hitting any downtime and without a reboot being needed.

From having manual on-site hassle to being able to manage all storage issues remotely from anywhere in the world from a single console – that’s a definitive management advantage for SAN.

Backup and protection

Snapshots and data replication are essential safety nets when it comes to dealing with potential disaster scenarios. If a SAN is used for centralising data backup, recovery times can be hugely increased. At the same time, sharing tape resources and cutting out backup windows can bring costs down.

Data is also protected by zoning which separates workloads on a SAN while creating a barrier against non-related workloads so that application performance stays optimised. When zones are put in place, sharing a SAN throws up no problems for applications in terms of performance.

SAN also eliminates the chances of your data being stolen or copied by anyone using the same SAN as you.

The SAN will shine

Most of the cost benefits of using a SAN come incrementally over time from the reduction of operational expenses. Less floor space, reduced manpower requirements, application uptime and power consumption are just some of the areas that stand to significantly enhance.

Through Dell EMC products, companies can access end-to-end enterprise server and SAN storage solutions that include the software and hardware services necessary for modern day storage demands. Reaching out to the incredible flexibility of a SAN will enable your organisation to position itself for strong, secure and sustainable growth.

 

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Tags: Business, Digital Transformation