As you might have gathered by this point, SAN hardware is made up of multiple components with many variables , specifications, and options unique to each. Most hardware decisions are made based on the features and standards supported by a particular components vendor. It is important when heading into a purchasing decision that you eliminate as many unknowns as possible.
Of the billions of things to keep in mind, first and foremost will always be ensuring that total I/O workload matches SAN resources. (Chapter 17 lays the foundation for I/O workload planning, while Chapter 18 sets out some guidelines in estimating basic SAN resources.) Consider the following.
Match server hardware- and software-supported releases with proposed storage and SAN configuration components. This will ensure the correct operating system level, HBA, and switch fabric release levels for compatibility. Also, verify the compatibility and features of the switch against the type of I/O workload you are supporting. Ensuring you can configure Class 2 support, at a minimum, will be important as you implement the workload processing into the environment.
It is paramount that a planned SAN configuration be compatible with the operations you are planning. If you are going to use an external tape library, ensure sufficient port and network resources for transmitting data across the SAN and LAN network. If instead you are going to employ an integrated tape library, understand the compatibility issues surrounding the additional equipment. Whether integrated or discrete, routing hardware must come under the same scrutiny as every other component in the configuration.