Simple SANs deliver savings

Customers and industry analysts say new low-priced storage area networks (SANs) can cut management costs by up to 70% for small and midsize business, compared with storage directly attached to each server.


Software vendor Quark purchased two 6TB Network Storage Module (NSM) arrays from LeftHand Networks about a year ago to store Exchange data, user files and software source code, says Mark Lawler, vice president of IT. He says he chose NSM for its ease of use and because it cost less than rival products from EMC and Network Appliance.

Although Lawler and his staff had to create volumes and authentication groups - "normal tasks you have to do with any SAN or NAS" - and had "never seen a LeftHand product before," they had the SAN up in two days, he says. Lawler estimates that his SAN has cut his storage management costs by 70% compared with the previous DAS system.

Hitachi installed the SAN for Silberman, but his staff was able to use the management software to reconfigure the array with only 30 minutes of training. He estimates that his staffers spend 20% to 30% less time managing the storage than they did before.

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