The SAN architecture, as previously discussed in Chapter 17, provides a level of storage scalability and capacity beyond traditional I/O infrastructures . SANs provide a rich set of opportunities to apply to several workloads that are standard within todays data center. Among these workloads are OLTP, web services, and data warehousing. OLTP, a foundation of most businesses by supporting their daily operations, is a significant consumer of storage capacity with strict access requirements. The increasing use of web services to provide an array of Internet transactional messages between customers, retailers, and suppliers, enables a significant value benefit to all involved; however, it pushes the performance and scalability envelope of the traditional I/O infrastructure. Data warehouse applications and their related brethren, the data mart, always move the storage capacity bar to its limits as the movement of data within these applications accelerates the need for wider access bandwidth.
This chapter will discuss the guidelines for estimating SAN configurations and explore key concepts concerning the deployment of SANs into these standard workloads. Key among these will be the identification of port requirements necessary to sustain a particular workload, as well as particular issues associated with the often-disparate processing characteristics of OLTP, web services, and data warehousing applications.