Introduction to SAN

Discussion in 'Storage' started by Marcel, Aug 20, 2004.

  1. Marcel

    Marcel Guest

    Hi all,

    I'm currently monitoring this ng because I need to learn some things about
    san. The differences between SAN and NAS are clear to me so that does not
    any additional explanation.

    My interests in SAN were raised when I received some hardware from a friend
    and started to read about it. It came clear to me that it's a storage
    solution that can be usefull for my network (multi-site home network.
    Yes, you may start rolling on the floor and piss you're pants and all the
    other crap :) ).

    I'm not interested is quantity, I don't need a lot of storage, it just needs
    to be solid
    and fail safe (thinking of RAID 50). It will be accessed by a few servers:

    One database server with the DB on the san running NetBSD maybe solaris (for
    small forum);
    One NAS server, so I can have access to the SAN when necessary;
    One server running virtual server software, the virtual drive images will be
    placed on the SAN;
    Two clustered servers (W2k3) that shares the users profiles to the lan.

    Yeah, still talking about that home network.

    What I already know:

    I'm running several raid arrays (scsi and ata)
    Not much scsi understanding, do know the basic stuff
    Know nothing about san.

    To make an already long story not too much longer, what do I need to know:

    How does a disk array show up on a computer with a HBA, anybody knows some
    links for a Introduction?
    How about raid, is it included in the disk array or is it a HBA task?

    I admit, a lot of text and I just hope that someone can answer my questions.

    Marcel, Aug 20, 2004
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  2. Marcel

    Marcel Guest

    I've got an compaq 7 port storage hub with gbic slots on his back, but I
    don't think
    that's what you meant. Should I see it as some sort of hardware security?
    Had to look up LUN at If I see it correctly than I should give
    each partition
    on an raid array a lun. Let's say the array is divided into two partitions,
    lun 0 & 1.
    Lun 0 for the db en lun 1 for the rest.

    After that I should create three zones, the first zone for the cluster that
    can only see lun 1,
    the second zone for the database server and can only see lun 0, the third
    zone for the NAS
    that can see both lun's.

    Am I correct when I say that lun's are placed in zones and zones are
    "mounted" to the HBA's??
    I'm searching on eBay for a disk array, the only brands that I see there are
    Dell, Compaq/HP, Sun.
    Do they also have onboard raid controllers?? I ask this because the most
    arrays that are passing through
    the ng are in my eyes the more exotic brands...
    Marcel, Aug 20, 2004
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  3. Marcel

    ahedge Guest

    I believe you understand that a SAN is just a network build around storage
    arrays that have networking skills.

    The HBA on each server is the entry point to one or multiple LUNs
    (volumes?) built on the array(s).

    Setting those LUNs and the RAID level is done on the array. Usually.
    However, some products can do that in software and outside of the array.

    The first thing you should choose is the networking protocol to connect
    servers and arrays. You have a choice of FC and iSCSI. In your case I would
    suggest iSCSI because costs less and is easier.

    You do need to learn more, but the learning can't be done on Usenet. There
    are plenty of good books on iSCSI. Also you can learn a lot for free here :,289142,sid5_gci940624,00.html

    Start by looking at SanMelody Lite and WinTarget

    Hope that this helps

    Good learning

    ahedge, Aug 21, 2004
  4. Marcel

    Marcel Guest

    Just did, will be delivered next week. I ordered the 2003 version, 1999
    version was also available.

    Thanks for the advice, I also would like to know wether my assumptions above
    were correct about zoning and lun's?
    Marcel, Aug 21, 2004
  5. Marcel

    Marcel Guest

    If one wants to protect all his data on the array, wouldn't it be
    better/easier to let raid and lun's be defined by the array and keep the
    hosts as dumb clients??,289142,sid5_gci940624,00.html

    I'm currently following the webcasts, thanks for the link.
    Marcel, Aug 22, 2004
  6. For that environment forget the SAN thing (especially the Switch) and
    buy yourself a reliable, dual controller RAID System with more than 2
    host ports.
    Have a look into DotHill SANnet II. The FC one does have 8 and the S-ATA
    up to 12 host ports .....
    Andre Dieball, Aug 26, 2004
  7. Marcel

    Marcel Guest

    I'm a eBay junkie and I couldn't find one. Getting these boxes new would
    probably be a lot more expensive then getting some "old" san hardware,
    although it looks very good, no question about that. Maybe you know some
    resellers in Europe??

    I currently watching an Dell PowerVault 650F that has actually everything I
    need. Any comments on that device??
    Marcel, Aug 27, 2004
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