Chapter 7. Putting It All Together

In this chapter, I walk you through creating a storage area network (SAN) from scratch. Nowadays there are both legacy Fibre Channel-based SANs and newer iSCSI SANs, which run over common Ethernet networks. I tackle each one independently to avoid confusion between the two.

Since "age before beauty" may hold true with technology, our iSCSI SAN implementation will have to wait until I finish tackling the more established, slightly more involved, Fibre Channel–based SAN. If you prefer to go with the new stuff first, skip down to "iSCSI, You SCSI, We All SCSI." (Wow, what a cheesy section name.)

Read along to discover the steps of designing and building a fully functioning, redundant Fibre Channel–based SAN fabric. Then you see some of the ways to move your data from an existing server to your new storage area network. If you don't want to do all this yourself, check out the bonus chapter "Outsourcing SANs Solutions" (available for downloading from for details on outsourcing your installations. Otherwise, roll up your sleeves and read on.

Building a SAN by Hand

For all the setup in this pretend SAN, you'll do everything manually without the help of any fancy SAN management framework (see Chapter 11) or graphical user interface (GUI). I want you to get your hands a little dirty to help familiarize you with the underlying steps when setting up a SAN. After you understand these concepts, troubleshooting any problem in the future ...

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