Storage Area Networks:
Why we built them - How they perform

Michael F. Lavelle

Tuesday October 28th 2003 at 7:00pm
College of DuPage Bldg OCC Rm 128 A&B


Data Storage for later retrieval and display is a fundamental attribute of civilization. Samuel Johnson said, "Knowledge is of two kinds: we know the subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it. [Boswell]" The tools we use for storage and retrieval have moved from wild berry dyes, to chisels, to the printing press, to optical and magnetic media behind the net.

In the last several years, Storage Area Networks have replaced older forms of data storage in large Corporate Data Centers. Why were they built? How do they perform, relative to that which went before? What is likely to challenge and replace the SAN in the next few years? In many ways, as things change, they remain the same.

A pair of presentations describe the evolution of disk storage as it became a SAN, and how SAN-based filesystems perform in a large Corporate Data Center. The environment described is not comprised of "big iron". Rather, dozens of "entry-level" Sun and HP Servers running a few Oracle instances on each server is the reality. Also, the best performance is not achieved by throwing money at storage hardware. It may be a better filesystem.

Speaker Bio

Michael Lavelle is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin - Madison ('85) with a degree in Computer Science. He has been a UNIX Systems Administrator since 1988 working in large Corporate computing environments. In the mid-1990's he was the architect of the Motorola CIG Server-Pool/Xterminal environment, with LoadBalanced Application Launch. For the last 10 years, one focus of Michael's efforts has been UNIX Systems support for Oracle Databases and Applications.

Getting to the meeting

The next general meeting of UniForum Chicago will be from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday, October 28th, 2003, at the College of DuPage, building OCC - rooms 128 A & B.

        College of DuPage
        Building OCC, Rm 128 A&B
        22nd and Lambert
        Glen Ellyn, IL 60137-6599
Take 355 to Butterfield Rd (Rt 56).
Take Butterfield West to Lambert Rd, then Lambert Rd North to 22nd St.
Turn left and look for Lots 9 or 10 on the left side of 22nd St.
Walk south to Building OCC, Room 128 A&B is near the mid north-west corner of the building.

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