Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Time to upgrade that aging SAN?

Upgrading older generation networked storage devices to the latest generation can be a great way to help save costs. These new frames have several advantages over prior generations to help reduce capital costs, and more importantly save operating expenses:

1) Virtual drive provisioning enables the SAN to present a large amount of capacity to a host, then consume space—only as needed—from a shared storage pool. This lowers total cost of ownership (TCO) by reducing initial overallocation of storage capacity and simplifies management by reducing the steps required to support growth.

2) Low power SATA drives can help to reduce power costs significantly, requiring 96% less energy per terabyte than 73GB 15k rpm fibre channel drives.

3) New Flash drives provide faster performance for IOPs intensive workloads meaning less drives needed to support these IO intensive applications (fibre channel requires you to add many more disks in order to acheive similar performance). Claims put the Flash drives at 30x performance compared to 15k rpm fibre channel drives. Combining high performance with low per drive power consumption yields a 98 percent energy consumption advantage per transaction.

Depending on how old your SAN is and the drives it can support, the advantages of newer generation, higher density fibre channel drives might also play a role in your decision - with the ability to add more capacity with less physical drives helping to reduce energy costs, space costs and growth costs even more.

A tool developed by Alinean for EMC can be used to obtain a quick estimate on the advantages of new generation SANs, not only compared to legacy solutions, but compared to other recent competitive solutions as well (no registration required to see analysis results / takes less than 5 minutes)
https://webmail.alinean.com/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=https://roianalyst.alinean.com/ent_01/AutoLogin.do?d=785338571252942930

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