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How-To: Plan an iSCSI SAN

Think you're ready to build that iSCSI SAN? We give you tips on how to plan and configure it for enterprise success -- from paths to NICs to switches.

You finally got funding for your iSCSI SAN project. You convinced management that buying a new SCSI storage array with each new server cluster or purchasing one each time a server outgrew its internal storage cluttered up the data center and ate up the budget. Then you picked out the iSCSI arrays of your dreams and promised the powers that be that Ethernet is all you'd need to hook it all together.

Step-By-Step Screencasts
How To Plan an iSCSI SAN


Click on the images below to launch video screencast presentations and follow along as we configure a Windows server to use Jumbo frames and multi-path I/O.



Configure Your Network


Connect Your Server

Now comes the rude awakening. Just because you can run iSCSI across your existing network with your other traffic doesn't mean you should. Typical network applications are designed with the possibility of a network failure in mind, but operating systems expect their disk drives to be available all the time. An infected laptop that overloads your network for a few minutes could make servers that can't access their disks unhappy. So rule No. 1 in planning your iSCSI SAN is to place iSCSI traffic on its own VLAN and preferably on a completely separate, gigabit-speed network.

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