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SAN controller and SVC.

Posted on 2009-12-29
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Are both the terminologies above the same? or could they be different in a SAN environment?

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Question by:anushahanna
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by:dovidmichel
ID: 26145724
If you are talking about a SAN Volume Controller then yes they are the same.
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by:anushahanna
ID: 26145784
I mean just a controller of a SAN: is that the same as SAN Volume Controller.

In other words, do they tell SVC as SAN Controller also? (leaving out the Volume word)..

If yes, how significant or otherwise is the word volume in there..

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by:dovidmichel
ID: 26145965
A SAN Volume Controller SVC is used to manage a data volume on a SAN.

I've not heard of a "SAN controller" or a "controller of a SAN".

The heart of the SAN is the switch but it is not a "controller".

What function is this "controller of a SAN" supposed to fulfill?
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by:anushahanna
ID: 26145993
perhaps it is just word plays..

you can see such usage, as an example, in http://www.bitpipe.com/detail/PROD/1116399704_923.html
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by:dovidmichel
ID: 26146228
thanks that helps a lot.

They are talking about a device to control data volumes on the SAN. So they are all the same thing.

I was thinking like this, a SAN has a switch at its heart. Connected to the switch are the computers, tape library, and data volumes. The data volumes could be anything from simple just a bunch of disk, to a full blown NAS Filer.

So this SAN controller does not let you manage all the devices in the SAN but a storage volume.

Based off a quick review of the link it looks like a nice product, in providing full features for just a simple bunch of disks. This would be apposed to buying a full featured SAN storage device.

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by:anushahanna
ID: 26146610
when you say 'control data volumes' or 'storage volume', are you talking about the IO traffic?

So even though the above is a SVC, even though they call it a SC, it is a limited version of what a SVC could be, right?

From your perspective, what would be the major bullet points of a full featured SAN Storage Device?

Do you have any experience/input on IBM SVCs with their TotalStorage Systems?

Thanks

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dovidmichel earned 2000 total points
ID: 26148199
more than just I/O, but I/O is the heart of it.

Yes, it seems so.

Bullet points? mmm, no. Each install is different so features need to fit the needs.

I'm not a proponent of a SAN in a Box type setup that HP and others offer. If the needs are limited enough to be fulfilled by that then I think iSCSI is a better fit. Ethernet installations can be upgraded to 10gb/s if speed is whats needed. With very little new administration work required. Also they are easy to upgrade little at a time.

I don't know of a singular definition of just what a SVC is, rather it is determined by who is selling it as so many things are these days.

Yeah I know this is not much help. OK next question.

Limited. IBM makes solid stuff, good performance, good reliability, etc. Their SVC is a very high end thing. It visualizes storage and in a way even the SAN. It runs on a cluster of Linux systems, connects SANs, and presents different views front and back end.

OK for what it is worth here is my bottom line.
There is a short long road, and a long short road.

The short long road is when you jump right in and make quick choices, a real short path but it is long because you never get to where you really wanted to be.  

The long short road is when you take more time that you ever imagined to research and plan it out, but in the end you get whats right. Start with your needs, how much storage, what level of availability, do you want to keep it all in-house, what growth rate is expected, who needs access, do gov. regulations apply for example health industry, do partner guidelines apply, what level of security, backup. Speak with the heads of various departments that will have access as to what they want. Speak with facilities about any requirements they may have. get the idea. There is more to it and I'm sure there are some good SAN planning guidelines online. The next step is research what is out there that will fill the needs. Speak with sales reps, give them the doc detailing your needs and see what they have to offer, and ask for their ideas as well in planning it out. Look for someone who will be more of a partner rather than just a reseller, that is unless you want to hire someone to manage it. But the idea is the right vendor will have good ideas to help with the planning, and be able to provide clear roadmap for the implementation, provide training, and ongoing support.

I know there are some other experts here that specialize much more than I do in SAN installations, so you may want to keep this open. My specialty is data protection, so I'm working all the time with SAN but from a different perspective.
 
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by:anushahanna
ID: 26148333
Thanks for your excellent insights, dovidmichel.
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