Develop cross-team collaboration and training

By David Strom Print this article Print

How can you keep your virtualized storage area network properly maintained? Try following these best practices.

Develop cross-team collaboration and training. Often, there are separate work teams that manage the SAN and servers, and they need to cooperate and cross-train so that responsibilities are shared for the operation of all network resources. One IT manager at a New York-based legal firm realized that they weren’t keeping the right set of hot spares for their SAN after upgrading to larger disk drives at their disaster recovery location—a decision that each group thought the other was responsible for tracking.

“Sometimes, it is hard to debug a performance problem between the SAN and the virtual servers that are using its storage because the two groups handling server and storage management start pointing fingers at each other,” Ruth says. “Very often, the SAN guys can’t tell how much data is passing by their switches or what its latency is because they don’t have the right tools to monitor these things. There are very few companies that offer large organizations instrumentation for their SANs.”

Ruth suggests looking at tools such as NetApp’s SANScreen, Symantec/Veritas CommandCentral Storage, Akorri Balance Point and Virtual Instruments’ NetWisdom for these purposes.

Finally, think about hiring a local VAR who has experience with your particular configuration and work that relationship. “Even the smallest SANs cost $50,000, and some companies don’t want to spend anything additional,” points out Adam Kuhn, a Washington, D.C.-based IT manager. “But they need to budget something for proper implementation by a good integrator.

“You need to know what the best practices are for your particular equipment, and you should leave it to someone who has done this hundreds of times.” Kuhn adds that you need to work with someone who knows “the secret sauce that makes it all work.”

This article was originally published on 2009-07-15
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.