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Chapter 7. Management of SANs

Chapter 7. Management of SANs

Network management has one central objective: to maintain the stable transport of data across the network infrastructure. What is done with the data once it has arrived at its destination is normally outside the scope of traditional network management disciplines. As networking has emerged behind the server in the form of SANs, however, both the transport of data and the management of data are critical to stable operation. If two servers update the same file across a storage network, for example, data corruption can occur. And if the file's data is corrupted, the network's efficiency in transporting that data will not matter. Management of data resources, including file access, volume management, and data backup, is therefore as essential for SAN environments as is ensuring the reliable transport of data from one participant to another.

As long as the server/storage relationship was isolated from the network, storage management applications tended to be focused on the server—the direct owner of storage—and specific operating systems. Storage networking shifts the focus from the server to storage and enables storage management to address data issues apart from individual servers and independently of operating platform. With SANs, NT and UNIX servers are now able to share storage resources of a single RAID, and management of the RAID's resources may exist independently—for example, as a storage management entity—of either NT or UNIX environments. This abstraction from the previous server-centric model promises far more flexibility for resource allocation, volume management, and data security via backup.


  

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