That Darn SAN!

My friend Jeff pointed out this article at Network World, SANs Stall Server Virtualization. If you read it closely, you might be a little confused towards the end – is the SAN really the problem?

As the article looks for other potential culprits, it suggests “a huge lack of virtualization skills and expertise,” “misconfiguration,” “inexperience with the technology,” and “poor planning.”

Umm… is the author suggesting that you, the end user, might be the problem?

I, for one, don’t buy it. There should be no confusion – the SAN is the problem.

If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail – and a SAN is a big hammer.

SANs are inherently complicated and sensitive. They can be very fast if you know what you’re doing, but a big, expensive, slow mess if you don’t.

Of course, the rub is that server virtualization doesn’t actually require a SAN. In fact, if you look at the benefits of virtualization, the SAN approach is antithetical – not easily scalable, no resource sharing, no flexibility and a royal pain to configure.

Why should storage require you to have to learn so much to use it? A storage system should not require extensive planning to deploy or maintain. It should be seamless and transparent to grow the capacity or increase the performance capabilities.

Not to toot our own horn… but, what the heck, that description is Isilon IQ in a nutshell – simple to scale, easy to manage, and high-performance at an affordable price – without requiring you to become an expert to take advantage of it.

About the Author: Nick Kirsch