A Single View: Multi-Vendor SAN Infrastructure Part 1

By Brett Allison

One of the benefits of a SAN system is the fact that it is an open system. It’s always ready to communicate with other systems, and you can add storage and infrastructure from many different vendors as it suits your business and performance needs. However, just like a calculated job interview response, this strength can also be a weakness. Even if your distributed system can communicate with each other, it’s likely that your performance management solution is less “open” in this regard.

To properly manage the performance, connections, and capacity of your distributed system, you need something better than a bunch of vendor point solutions. You need to be able to manage your entire SAN infrastructure in a single view – otherwise the cost and hassle of having different performance solutions is not worth the benefits.

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Finding Hidden Time Bombs in Your VMware Connectivity

By Brett Allisontime bomb Brett

Do you have any VMware connectivity risks? Chances are you do. Unfortunately, there is no way to see them. That’s because seeing the real end-to-end risks from the VMware guest through the SAN fabric to the Storage LUN is a difficult thing to do in practice as it requires many relationships from a variety of sources.

A complete end to end picture requires:

  • VMware guests to the ESX Hosts
  • ESX hosts initiators to targets
  • ESX hosts and datastores, VM guests and datastores, and ESX datastores to LUNs.
  • Zone sets
  • Target ports to host adapters and LUNs and storage ports.

For seasoned SAN professionals, none of this information is very difficult to comprehend. The trick is tying it all together in a cohesive way so you can visualize these relationships and quickly identify any asymmetry.

Why is asymmetry important? Let’s look at an actual example:

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