A beginners guide to SAN
Posted on 2004-10-01
i'm trying to evaluation whether SAN would be an appropriate option for my company. We need to set up a cluster with at least 2 TB of storage - and we'd like to be able to scale this. I know that I can have multiple SCSI DAS boxes - and scale it that way by having multiple scsi cards in my servers.
But this is messy.
Problem is that I don't know anything about SAN. Can someone give me an explanation of how it works and answer the following questions:
1. with SCSI DAS I'm limited to two webservers in a failover setup connected to a shared storage box - with SAN how many computers can be connected to one storage box?
2. does SQL Server 2000 support SAN? our cluster is running SQL Server 2000
3. Could I setup a SAN to begin with using two servers and one storage box? or is this too small to start a SAN?
4. where do switches come in? in my two server system - do they connect to a switch and then the storage box connects to the switch as well?
5. in this model - with two servers - how many storage boxes can they be connected to?
6. how do hard disk drives come up on the servers? i.e. does each drive in the storage boxes come up as a separate drive with its own drive letter?
7. in terms of cost - is there a cheap way for me to get into SAN? i.e. I can get two rack mounted IBM x345's for US 3K each roughly and a SCSI DAS IBM EXP400 for 2.5K US - is there any way for me to get into a two server and one storage box SAN for a similar price?
8. Where can i go to read about SANs? I obviously don't know much!