We are looking into SAN storage. I have been reading up on it for the last couple of months.

We will probably purchase some consulting. For the time being, can anyone suggest a way I could familiarize myself with the process of administrating a SAN without actually having the hardware?

  • 4
    You do know that every SAN has a different interface don't you? the only commonality is the use of a screen, keyboard and sometimes mouse - you could practice using those if you like - otherwise you might need to narrow down your selection.
    – Chopper3
    Jul 21 '11 at 20:57
  • I suppose some intricacies like zoning and managing volumes on the server side is what I'd focus on. Thank you Chopper3. Going to give a go to Starwind's product and NetApp's simulator. Jul 22 '11 at 23:14

Take a look into the NetApp Data ONTAP Simulator, if you can.



You can very easily set up a small SAN environment in VMware or virtualization tool of your choice. I got started by downloading openfiler and installing it in a VM, but there are many other choices, including FreeNAS, roll your own with Linux or FreeBSD with the file sharing protocols of your choice, and probably lots others.

  • And that'll work real well to help the OP administer a NetApp.
    – womble
    Jul 21 '11 at 21:24
  • 2
    @womble It WILL help them administer a NetApp, or any other SAN on the planet, because it will help them learn about the underlying technologies used in a SAN, and understand some of the things that they will need to worry about, like protocols (iSCSI, NFS, et al), file system types (vmfs, ext3|4, zfs, et al), networking (1Gbps, 10Gbps, MTU, tuning) and client configuration. Jul 21 '11 at 21:49

HP have a VSA Appliance that you can run on VMware ESXi for 60 days. You can also get an OpenFiler appliance for ESXi too.


EMC has the celerra VSA for testing as well: http://nickapedia.com/2010/09/12/ubertastic-celerra-uber-vsa-v3-unisphere/

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