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Transforming Your Enterprise Magazine

Fall 2008
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Large Enterprise Business

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A SAN for all reasons

Storage area networks are traditionally used for mission-critical storage: new flexible storage server gateways enable enterprise SANs to support consolidation of storage, security and backup.

A SAN for all reasons

There was a time when data sources were simple. They were clean and tidy. They were easily stored and managed. And they were inherently structured. Today, data sets take numerous forms, many of which are unstructured: audio, video, photos, graphics, documents and the like. More dauntingly, their numbers are on the rise.

“Unstructured data sets—particularly files—are growing faster than any other data type,” says Dirk Kunselman, Storage Server Product Manager at HP, “and organizations are looking for a place to store them.”

IT teams have three options for storing their new, unstructured information sources, Kunselman suggests. They can implement more general purpose servers to house the data, adding to their administrative burden and foregoing the performance, flexibility or file tools dedicated file servers offer. They can purchase network access storage (NAS) devices, which centralize file management and scalability, but come with their own limitations. Or they can look to the storage area network (SAN).

“Organizations typically use their SAN for mission-critical applications only,” says Kunselman. “As a result, many are underutilized. Why not take advantage of that capacity and use a SAN for general purpose file sharing and storage?”

Service to the SAN

Two reasons spring to mind: cost and complexity. It can be expensive and difficult to connect general purpose servers to a SAN through traditional Fibre Channel links. For these reasons, most organizations have continued to use SANs purely for block storage and handle their everyday file shares elsewhere. But if SAN access barriers are removed, storage array benefits can be extended to unstructured file content and standard application servers.

HP now offers ProLiant Storage Server gateways that not only deliver file services to the SAN, but use iSCSI connectivity to attach more general purpose servers as well. Through iSCSI-to-Fibre-Channel-bridging, IT teams can boost the value of their array by adding file, iSCSI and management services. And because HP ProLiant Storage servers and HP StorageWorks arrays share common engineering, IT gains optimal performance and management interoperability.


“By using a SAN for unstructured data and everyday file sharing purposes, organizations can truly consolidate storage, backup and security.”

“By using a SAN for unstructured data and everyday file sharing purposes, organizations can truly consolidate storage, backup and security,” Kunselman says. “Not only does this approach improve speed and reliability, but it’s also a great way to maximize the investments already made in a SAN.

“We can certainly help organizations with their conventional server or NAS storage,” he continues. “For the best availability, flexibility and scalability, however, a ProLiant Storage Server gateway into a SAN is a fast and economical way to add file services.”


Related links

»  HP ProLiant Storage Server Demo
»  HP ProLiant Storage Server Product Tour
»

Table of contents

Introduction

» Virtual for all the right reasons

Strategies

» The green standard
» Common Ground: Turning distress into ‘de-stress’

Feature

» Rethinking virtualization
» From IT tool to business enabler
» Virtualization beyond IT
» Built for virtualization
» IT leasing makes sense in tough times

Experiences

» The perfect virtual fit
» Selective outsourcing
» HP fuels The Indy Racing Experience
» Stepping up to service delivery
» The power of partnership
» Dressed for success

Solutions

» Pick-and-choose-support
» Getting the most out of outsourcing
» Teaching the data center to think green
» Storage briefs
» Data deduplication eases storage headaches

Technologies

» Mission-critical blades now available
» Taming the wild petabyte
» PDM moves up
» New 8P server addresses capacity, growth needs
» Storage for all sizes
» A SAN for all reasons
» Security without walls
» Putting petabytes to work for your company

Supplement

» The great leap forward
» Puzzled by power?
» The partner portfolio
» Server management simplified
» Two worlds as one
» The better road to open source
» Two blade servers in one
» Feedback
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