The lowdown on SAN

What is it? At its most basic level, SAN management software manages the interactions between host servers, storage units and disk arrays, and handles both relatively simple tasks, such as device management, and more sophisticated tasks such as virtualization, resource management, automatic failover configurations, disk space monitoring, intrusion prevention and policy management.

An emerging category of storage management software is based on the Common Interface Model (CIM) and Web-Based Enterprise Management (WBEM) technology and can handle multiple network protocols, multiple network topologies including SAN and network-attached storage, and the hardware of multiple vendors.

When do you need it? You need CIM and WBEM or similar open-systems management software if you require interoperability among multiple vendors' storage hardware and software.

When don't you need it? If you are satisfied with a single-vendor SAN, the proprietary software bundled with that vendor's hardware generally will work well.

Must know info? Storage vendors are heeding users' calls for open-systems software that will allow customers to manage multivendor products within a single management application.

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