The SAN is Dead…Long Live the SAN

For years, IT industry gurus have predicted the end of the SAN, the end of Fibre Channel, or the end of on-premise storage. This is not one of those predictions. We are not here to eulogize your SAN. (The SAN is survived by about a dozen virtualized servers, a reasonably priced flash array, and a no-name JBOD. A memorial will be held in the server room. Refreshments will follow in conference room B.)

For a number of reasons, we’re not seeing users rip out their SANs, but we are seeing their SANs adapt and survive in refreshed data centers. Like biological organisms, architectures must evolve or die.

We’ve covered the issues our users have with their SANs, and why they’re choosing Vicinity software to breathe life into aging SANs, already on this blog. To recap, Vicinity extends the utility of an existing SAN and marries it to newer storage, so they can be managed as one. With Vicinity, the SAN is viewed as one among many modular building blocks of storage.

Note the phrase “one among many.” Key to this architectural evolution – which need not be a revolution during which the king is beheaded – is the ability not only to extend the utility of the SAN, but to integrate it with other storage. The SAN is resurrected as another available destination, and the powers of data management, storage provisioning, data protection, and migration are transferred to Vicinity. The process does not require any downtime or delays, so systems remain fully available to applications and users.

While Vicinity does a great deal to squeeze more efficiency from the existing SAN, and repurpose it, there’s no question a growing organization needs to, well, grow. We expect that this scenario will sooner or later require the addition of flash or hybrid flash storage, cloud storage, inexpensive disk, or future devices that have yet to be invented to meet new performance and capacity needs. It’s likely Vicinity will convert your SAN, as it wails “I’m not dead yet,” to a less demanding role such as housing stale or infrequently accessed data.

Without Vicinity, adding new storage technologies means creating another “silo,” learning and manually managing a separate suite of data services. It also means risk, service interruption, and maintenance. While you cannot completely eliminate hardware obsolescence, you can deliver a consistent storage strategy and feature set across diverse platforms and network protocols to reduce complexity as your architecture is evolving.

So while we call Vicinity the SAN Extender because it adds new life to your storage, the truth is, this is also about adding new storage to your life. Whether done for financial reasons because you can’t afford to upgrade everything all at once, or tactical reasons because you need to support a new application workload or business process, come talk to us about how Vicinity can help.

(In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Toronto Home for Aging Hard Drives.)

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