The benefits of a SAN are apparent for any company that has gone through growing pains. A company will typically start with some office computers and upgrade to a server when they can afford it. However, it usually becomes apparent that storing all the data locally on each server is too much of a hassle and makes deployment extremely difficult. This is where the idea for SAN was born.
SAN stands for storage area network. You locate all of the data that you have there. It is simply a ton of storage disks that run on a separate network. You can give this network the most advanced bandwidth you can so that transfers work correctly. SANs have their own protocols, timings and many other great features. A virtual SAN appliance from PHD Virtual is a way to use VMware’s ESX hypervisor without having to actually purchase a SAN.
ESX was out of the reach of many small businesses when it came time to run the SAN simply because of costs. With this solution, you can run a virtual SAN without having to pay for one. It utilizes storage space that is already available on most ESX servers. It still allows you to use all the advanced features of ESX like vMotion, HA, and even DRS. Some may question whether this will be as secure as using a proper SAN, and the answer is yes. The data is replicated between all the hosts, providing what amounts to full failover support. Data integrity checks are also supported when a host fails or goes down.
The virtual SAN appliance from PHD Virtual may seem a bit on the complex side of things but the reality is they have well-documented features and tutorials to help get you up and running in no time. The documentation has been well received and a quick start guide is there as well.
Anyone looking at the costs of a traditional SAN to work with ESX needs to seriously consider the virtual SAN appliance from PDH Virtual. It has all the features of a real SAN at a fraction of the cost. On top of that, it will be easier to deploy than an entire SAN system. You will be up and running in no time. Its recommended specs are around 20 GB per install. You will be satisfied with everything that this solution offers for enterprise customers.