Step 6: Take advantage of storage area networks
Without question, storage area networks (SANs) offer much better I/O performance than local storage. Work with your SAN vendor to ensure that the final product provides optimal performance and reliability.
SANs are economical for large, enterprise storage needs -- rather than local-attached storage (i.e., internal hard drives, external RAID arrays and so on) -- and they offer high performance, high reliability and fast backups and restores. Local storage is swiftly moving to obsolescence in the enterprise, but it will live on for smaller shops, smaller applications or disaster-recovery sites.
For instance, one large publishing conglomerate uses SANs for its data centers and local storage (RAID arrays) for its disaster-recovery sites, as it only has short-term storage requirements at the disaster-recovery site. The disaster-recovery site doubles as a development/QA environment as well.