Learn data storage management best practices with SearchStorage.co.UK

Want to learn more about SATA and SCSI technologies, RAID levels and NAS/SAN management? Our Storage Basics series can help you to better manage your data storage resources.

As a data storage professional, you must be well versed in the technologies and strategies associated with effectively managing a storage environment. Antony Adshead, our UK storage bureau chief, has been consistently tackling the technology trends UK storage pros work with on a daily basis to help them better manage their data storage resources. Check out the best practices on this page to learn more about SATA and SCSI technologies, network-attached storage (NAS) and storage-area networks (SANs), read a RAID levels comparison, and find out about other data storage management technologies.


Data storage basics

SATA, SCSI and SAS: Which drive is right for your storage environment?
Knowing about Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA), SCSI and Serial-Attached SCSI (SAS) is an important factor in designing a cost-effective storage environment. Learn about the key differences between SATA and SCSI technologies in terms of performance so you can decide which types of drives are most suitable for your storage environment.

Which RAID level has the best price-to-performance comparison?
Configuring disk in RAID arrays brings a variety of benefits, most notably data protection and I/O performance. But which RAID level wins in terms of price vs. performance? This story answers that question by breaking down RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 5 and RAID 10 in terms of performance, protection and value.

Which RAID level is best: the dual parity of RAID 6 or the mirrored data of RAID 10?
Many storage managers have a hard time deciding which RAID level will provide the best availability and reliability. Should they use the dual parity of RAID 6 or the mirrored data of RAID 10? RAID 6 provides more usable capacity and can always protect against two simultaneous disk failures, while RAID 10 doesn't require special hardware and its rebuild times are faster. This story takes a closer look at RAID 6 and RAID 10 to help you determine which level is the best fit for your storage environment.

Defining storage-area networks, network-attached storage and unified storage
Network-attached storage (NAS), storage-area networks (SANs) and unified storage (a combination of NAS and SAN approaches) have a common element: they provide data storage capacity that isn't directly attached to servers. They pool storage on arrays of drives that are accessed by and independent of servers. NAS, SAN and unified storage differ depending on the network structure that servers and data storage use to connect to each other. Learn more about the differences in these technologies, including how each technology leverages different networking protocols to deliver and receive data.

How to define RAID levels
Looking for a level-by-level comparison of RAID technology? This story digs into the basics of RAID by discussing mirroring, striping and parity error checking, as well as how each of these concepts applies to RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1, RAID 1+0, RAID 4, RAID 5 and RAID 6.

How to troubleshoot SATA drive connection issues
Computer troubleshooting techniques identify troublesome components in a system through trial and error. A best practice is to use a methodical approach that starts with the simplest system features and moves to the most complex ones. With any hard drive, the place to start is with its most basic requirement: power. This story examines troubleshooting issues by taking a closer look at connections, operating systems and BIOS, and cache settings.

What are LUNs and what is their role in SAN management?
What is the definition of a logical unit number (LUN), and how do LUNs relate to volumes, zoning and masking in SAN management? This story takes a look at why operating systems must speak with physical disk in a language they understand, LUNs as logical drives, and LUNs as soft partitions. It also examines how SAN zoning and masking maintains security on the fabric, zoning for device-to-device authorisation, and an overview of LUN scaling and performance.

A comparison of incremental and differential backups
Do you know the differences between differential backup and incremental backup? This story compares the two backup strategies and the complications in terminology and technology that are associated with each one.

Read more on SAN, NAS, solid state, RAID