SAN maintenance best practices / checklist

What types of daily/weekly/monthly activities are require to effectively manage a SAN device? I appreciate this is very generic, but often organisations use a 2nd SAN as a repository for disk based backups, so having some assurances from a management perspective that this DR SAN is well managed/maintained/monitored is quite important.

Also from a contingency / support angle, what sort of arrangements / contingencies should you look for in terms of support if there was a failure of the entire device or a core component?
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Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)VMware and Virtualization ConsultantCommented:
We generally have SAN Management tools installed by the vendor, which monitors:-

1. Health of disks.
2. Health of volumes.
3. Space available on volumes.
4. Snapshot space
5. CPU/Memory info
6. Firmware of disks
7. Firmware of SAN controllers.

This information is fed into our Syslog Server, and also email alerts.

All our SANs are backed by 24x7x365 1 hour response Vendor Support, also SANs are also fed into the Vendor, for automatic dispatch of parts, e.g. disks, should a disk fail.

Often, the SAN vendor, e.g. NetApp, Dell Equallogic are calling us, asking us if we knew..... X has occurred.

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Mark BillExchange, AD, SQL, VMware, HPE, 3PAR, FUD, Anti MS Tekhnet, Pro EE, #1Commented:
It depends on your enviroment, I would have to question a firmware update in some enviroments.
However if you are serious about your IT and have enterprise class storage these systems should be more than suitable for a firmware update.

In short depending on your enviroment it may be best to apply a "its working leave it a lone policy"

Would definitely also recommend 3PAR by HP, best storage I have seen personally.

Onboard monitoring and 24x7x365 vendor support should be more than sufficient, also consider using something like PRTG or Solarwinds Storage Manager.

Its also dangerous for noobs to be touching SANS, I mentioned 3PAR above it took me many many months to really get the hang of what this SAN was/is doing on a daily basis.
If one does not understand these devices and is making critical decisions things can go wrong. Important rule for me is if you are not an expert stay with the GUI, stay away from command line.
andyalderSaggar maker's framemakerCommented:
Probably the most important health check is the background parity scrub where the controller reads all the disks and verifies the data is readable and parity/mirrors match. That's normally automatic but it can be turned off to improve performance.
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