Managing Storage Area Networks comes with a particular set of challenges.
To help you ensure that your company’s data is safe and that your SAN is configured in line with best practice, we’ve compiled a list of five essential tips that should ensure your EMC SAN runs smoothly:
1. Don’t use the vault drives for time-critical applications. The first five drives (0-4) of your SAN hold the Operating System for both storage processors. Using these drives for application data can negatively impact the response time.
2. Maintain host multi-path connectivity. Much of the emphasis around improving performance is put on the drives themselves but it’s equally important to regularly check all host connections and paths. A host may have registered paths that are logged in, but they may not have an active connection to the storage. Reliable MPIO software can help monitor and resolve many issues.
3. Ensure you have sufficient hot spares. Things do go wrong, even in the most scrupulously maintained Storage Area Networks so it’s good practice to configure one hot-spare for every drive type you have. Keep in mind that any hardware failure will need to be dealt with promptly and to have the correct type of drive (FC, SATA, SAS) and the correct speed of drive to cover all eventualities. EMC recommend one hot-spare per 30 drive type, however many sites have one hot-spare in each enclosure.
4. Balance the configuration of your buses. Effective load balancing is essential to avoid data bottlenecks and to keep your SAN running at maximum efficiency. Idle buses are wasted resources while over-used buses could spell trouble in the event of a failure so it’s good practice to distribute the load as evenly as you can.
5. Perform regular defragmentation. This is a particular issue for RAID groups that have been through multiple LUN bindings. It’s good practice to perform regular, periodic defragmentation to keep the available space contiguous. This will improve performance and utilize your available storage more efficiently. We recommend that this takes place outside peak hours as the process will impact the response time for the configured LUNs bound to the group.
Com-Com offers expert support and manufacturer-trained engineers to help keep your SAN running at peak performance. To find out how Com-Com can save you money on your storage maintenance contact us on 0845 643 1180 or visit our website.