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Would you recommend SAN for my new network?

I'm working on building a new network, running a Win2k single master domain with multiple OU's. We will be running Exchange and a few off-the-wall programs. I'm thinking about SAN and was wondering what you would recommend. It will be connected via fiber channels.

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To paraphrase everyone's favorite home decorating maven, "SAN's are a good thing." One of the improvements in Windows 2000 over NT4 is improved SAN and clustering support, so as long as you are using SAN hardware that is on the Hardware Compatibility List, you almost can't go wrong. Most if not all of the major hardware vendors & OEM's have their own SAN solutions, so if you are using a specific vendor's servers, investigate that vendor's SAN offerings, as it might make like that much simpler.

If you are looking to implement multiple-node clustering and not just a network-attached storage solution, make sure that you opt for Windows 2000 Advanced Server, as the vanilla release of Win2K server doesn't support it. Also, ensure that your "off-the-wall" programs will support clustering, as not all do.

This was first published in August 2002

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