Home from SAN training

Normally I would say that the best part of coming home from being away for a week was getting to sleep in my own bed. Not this time. The Hampton Inn that I stayed at had a Sealy Posturepedic Reserve Collection mattress … pretty much heaven on earth when it comes to sleeping. I think it is time to retire my 12 year old mattress. Now I just have to put that on my “to do” list.

So for my more technical audience, I thought I would go into greater detail about the topology and components that make up the SAN we are deploying at work. For many people, the term SAN is used just when speaking about the FC disk system. A SAN is actually comprised of much more than just the disks; it is made up of the servers, HBAs, FC switches, tape libraries, and the storage processors that attach to the back-end disks to the fabric.

Our server hosts are HP BL460c blade servers. Inside each blade server is a 2 port QLogic FC Mezzanine HBA. The two ports on the HBA match up to the two 4GB Brocade FC switches that are mounted in the rear of the HP C-Class chassis. Those internal switches then connect via ISL to two external Brocade 4900 series FC switches. Our disk storage system is an EMC CLARiiON CX3-80 with two redundant storage processors – each with 4 front-end ports that attach back to the 4900 series switches. What you end up with a topology that looks like my diagram below:

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