The explosion of data created by the businesses of today is
making storage a strategic investment priority for companies of all
sizes. As storage takes precedence, three major initiatives have
- Infrastructure simplification: Consolidation, virtualization, and automated management with IBM TotalStorage can help simplify the infrastructure and ensure an organization meets its business goals.
- Information lifecycle management: Managing business data through its life cycle from conception until disposal in a manner that optimizes storage and access at the lowest cost.
- Business continuity: Maintaining access to data at all times, protecting critical business assets, and aligning recovery costs based on business risk and information value.
Storage is no longer an afterthought. Too much is at stake. Companies are searching for more ways to efficiently manage expanding volumes of data, and to make that data accessible throughout the enterprise; this is propelling the move of storage into the network. Also, the increasing complexity of managing large numbers of storage devices and vast amounts of data is driving greater business value into software and services.
With current estimates of data to be managed and made available increasing at 60 percent per annum, this is where a storage area network (SAN) enters the arena. Simply put, SANs are the leading storage infrastructure for the global economy of today. SANs offer simplified storage management, scalability, flexibility, availability, and improved data access, movement, and backup.
This IBM Redbook gives an introduction to the SAN. It illustrates where SANs are today, who are the main industry organizations and standard bodies active in the SAN world, and it positions IBM's comprehensive, best-of-breed approach of enabling SANs with its products and services. It introduces some of the most commonly encountered terminology and features present in a SAN.