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Storage Area Network

This service is suitable for IT groups that manage their own servers and require disk storage to be provided directly to those servers. The disk storage is provided from the Storage Area Network (SAN), which is managed by IT Services.

There are currently two types of SAN storage available. They have different capabilities and Service Level Agreements, and the cost varies accordingly. The following table gives a brief comparison.

  Type 1 - HP 3PAR InServ
(Performance storage)
Type 2 - Nexsan SATABeast
(Bulk storage)
Capacity Medium
(up to a few terabytes)
High
(multiple terabytes)
Performance
Storage access and transfer speeds
High Medium
Mirrored storage
Maintains a second copy of data in a different location
Yes No
Shared storage
For clustered servers
Yes Yes
Resilience
Protection against hardware failures
High Medium
Cost
High Medium

 

There are some limitations which are imposed on the use of this service. Some of these are in place because of the kind of equipment in use, some of them to allow the service to be run more efficiently.

  • In comparison to some other technologies, SAN storage is not a cheap storage solution
  • The host server must be connected to the storage network
  • Because of this, the host server must be in certain IT Services managed locations on campus
  • Host servers must be operated within a framework of change control
  • There will be occasional planned downtime (once or twice a year) for upgrades

For further details on these storage technologies, select Type 1 or Type 2 storage.