Step 6: Take advantage of storage area networks

Storage area networks (SANs) can offer much better performance than local storage. Find out how they can benefit your SQL Server environment.

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.


Spec your SQL Server hardware needs

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: Invest in good application design
 Step 2: Understand your workload
 Step 3: Know your memory support limitations
 Step 4: Choose a reliable hardware brand
 Step 5: Take advantage of 64-bit
 Step 6: Take advantage of storage area networks
 Step 7: Properly configure your RAID arrays
 Step 8: Use separate disk controllers
 Step 9: Choose and optimize your disks wisely
 Step 10: Optimize CPU activity and speed
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:   
Hilary Cotter
Hilary Cotter has been involved in IT for more than 20 years as a Web and database consultant. Microsoft first awarded Cotter the Microsoft SQL Server MVP award in 2001. Cotter received his bachelor of applied science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Toronto and studied economics at the University of Calgary and computer science at UC Berkeley. He is the author of a book on SQL Server transactional replication and is currently working on books on merge replication and Microsoft search technologies.
Copyright 2006 TechTarget
This was first published in January 2006

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