As was shown in Chapters 14 and 15, Storage Area Networks can be assembled and connected in a variety of ways. Switch options and device configurations are dependent on I/O workloads and recovery requirements. Once assembled and connected, the network as a whole has to be integrated into the data center infrastructure. Chapter 16 moves SAN configurations out of the abstract and into the data center.
Regardless of connectivity or configuration, viable SAN solutions are moving from single switch configurations to multiswitch configurations with numerous device attachments designed to deal with increasing workloads and even the simplest recovery and redundancy requirements. And though there are many ways to configure a switch, the basic starting-point configurations remain core /edge, meshed, and cascading configurations. All three present their own unique challenges when integrated into an existing infrastructure.
This chapter delves further into an external SAN connectivity beyond the node devices, which become the drivers for application usage. Storage configurations, the workhorses of SANs, are often called upon to provide multiaccess for the server population within the data center. One of the biggest integration challenges is in trying to throw the configuration into the support of heterogeneous storage components . Additionally, external forces driving new and enhanced storage media waiting to be included in the SAN can play a part in connectivity.