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We are looking at the potential business case around enterprise storage and I wanted to get peoples views on how this fits against an estate which consists of different flavours of server. These cover different vendors and although predominantly x86 also utilise SPARC and RISC based architecture in places.

My understanding is that although technically possible (anything is with enough time and money) the complexity around the HBA/Network cards etc... make deployment and management a complex and difficult task.

Any views?

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You will probably get a better response if you replace the managerspeak with specifics. What is 'enterprise storage' in your mind? How many servers/what capacity storage are you talking about? Is your existing archival/backup sufficient? Without any of this info your question is impossible to answer. Given that they all talk SCSI and standard IPs means that the fact that you have different platforms may well be irrelevant. – JamesRyan Dec 16 '10 at 11:27
It was just a general question to get some opinions on the matter. Also I am a manager and not a technician so apologies if my original question was confusing. However, in answer to your questions the Storage should be able to accomodate approx 400TB and 40000 IOPs. The entire server estate is approx 100-120 if this was to be rolled out across the entire estate. Backup etc.. is no problem. – user56149 Dec 16 '10 at 15:23

It can be done. The tricky parts are in the end-points. Each operating system has its own quirks surrounding how it likes storage presented to it, so storage devices need to be able to accommodate them. When I add hosts to my HP EVAs I have to specify an operating system, which tells the EVA how to present storage. ESX likes things different than Windows, even though both are running on the same model of server and HBA.

Actual FibreChannel fabric management isn't much affected by what's behind the HBAs.

Make sure your storage arrays can support the hosts that will be attaching to it, and you should be good.

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