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10 Essential Questions to Ask When Choosing a SAN Solution

by Nathan Zachary

When it comes to selecting a Storage Area Network (SAN) solution, there are many questions to consider to make sure the system you choose is optimal for both your individual and organizational requirements. From determining what type of SAN best suits your needs to understand the level of scalability required, this article discusses 10 essential questions that will guide you in choosing the best SAN solution for your business.

1. What are Your Current and Future Storage Requirements?

The first question to ask is what type of storage requirements you currently have and anticipate needing in the future. Are you running high-performance applications, such as databases or virtualization? Do you need a system that can scale quickly to accommodate a high volume of data? Answering these questions will help you determine which type of SAN best suits your needs.

2. How Many Hosts Will Connect to the SAN?

This question is important because it will affect performance, scalability and availability of the system. Knowing how many hosts need access to the SAN will help you understand the type of storage architecture that is best suited for your business.

3. How Much Bandwidth Does Your SAN Require?

The amount of bandwidth required will depend on the data transfer rate (DTR) needed to support your applications as well as any external sources or destinations that need access to the SAN. Understanding the bandwidth requirements of your system will help you choose an appropriate SAN solution.

4. Which Protocols Will Your SAN Utilize?

Different protocols offer different levels of performance, scalability and availability. Knowing which type of protocol is best suited for your SAN will help ensure that it is optimally configured to meet all of your business needs.

5. What Level of Availability Does Your SAN Need?

The level of availability your system requires will depend on the type of applications you are running, their SLAs and any other factors that could affect performance if there is a disruption in service. Knowing which features you need to ensure a high level of continuous uptime will help you select the best SAN solution.

6. How Will You Manage the System?

Managing the system is essential to maintaining peak performance and availability. Ensure you understand how managing your SAN will be handled, whether this is through in-house staff or a third-party vendor, as well as what kind of monitoring is available and how often backups will be conducted.

7. What Kind of Support Is Available?

Having a reliable, knowledgeable team available to answer questions and provide assistance when needed is essential for any organization using a SAN. Find out what kind of support options are available from the vendor, such as phone or web-based support and if there are additional fees associated with access to this support.

8. How Much Does the SAN Solution Cost?

Cost is a major factor in selecting any IT solution, and it’s important to consider up-front expenses as well as long-term costs associated with managing the system. Ask for an itemized list of prices so you can compare different solutions and choose the one that best fits your budget.

9. What Is the Onboarding Process?

Before choosing a SAN solution, make sure you understand how long it will take to get up and running. Ask for an estimated timeline of when the system can be operational as well as what kind of onboarding assistance is available from the vendor.

10. How Will Your SAN Solution Grow With Your Business?

Finally, you should consider how your SAN solution will grow and adapt as your business needs change and expand. Consider scalability options such as adding additional storage capacity or changing protocols if needed so that your system remains up-to-date for years to come.


These questions will help you identify the right SAN solution for your business and ensure that it is properly configured to meet all of your current and future needs. Take the time to research different vendors and ask these questions before making a final decision in order to make an informed choice about which solution is best for you. With the right SAN in place, you can be confident that your data is secure and available when needed.

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