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Designing an IBM Storage Area Network
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As we now appear to have safely navigated the sea that was the transition from one century to the next, the focus today is not on preventing or avoiding a potential disaster, but exploiting current technology. There is a storm on the storage horizon. Some may call it a SAN-storm that is approaching.
Storage Area Networks have lit up the storage world like nothing before it. SANs offer the ability to move data at astonishingly high speeds in a dedicated information management network. It is this dedicated network that provides the promise to alleviate the burden placed on the corporate network in this e-world.
Traditional networks, like LANs and WANs, which have long been the workhorses of information movement are becoming tired with the amount of load that is placed upon them, and usually slow down just when you want them to go faster. SANs offer the thoroughbred solution. More importantly, an IBM SAN solution offers the pedigree and bloodlines which have been proven in the most competitive of arenas.
Whichever way you look at the SAN-scape, IBM has a solution, product, architecture, or service, that will provide a comprehensive, enterprise-wide, SAN-itized environment.
This redbook is written for those professionals tasked with designing a SAN to provide solutions to business problems that exist today. We propose and detail a number of solutions that are available today, rather than speculating on what tomorrow may bring.
In this IBM Redbook we have two objectives. The first is to show why a SAN is a much-sought-after beast, and the benefits that this brings to the business world. We show the positioning of a SAN, the industry-wide standardization drives to support a SAN, introduce Fibre Channel basics, describe the technical topology of a SAN, detail Fibre Channel products, and IBM SAN initiatives. All of these combine to lay the foundations of what we will cover with our second objective. This is to weed out the hype that is associated with SANs. We show practical decisions to be considered when planning a SAN, how a SAN can be created in a clustering environment, how a SAN can be created to consolidate storage, how to extend distances using a SAN, and how to provide a safe environment that will failover if necessary.
To support our objectives, we have divided this book into two parts: the first part shows why you would want to implement a SAN, as well as the products, concepts, and technology which support a SAN, and in the second part, we show the design approach and considerations of a SAN, and how this can be further expanded and exploited.
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