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Upgrading storage? Virtualize your data center with it!

Well that is what these guys did. Do note that they were all DAS (my version of Virtualization 1.0). you knew that RAID 5, 6 or even 10 is still a sort or virtualization, right?

"Direct attach storage was not a good way to allocate disk space. We had files spread out all over the place. We knew we had the disk capacity we needed but it did not quite work out: we had a haphazard approach with files stored all over the place and plenty of work moving them around," a situation that was less than optimal for the company's fleet of home-grown applications and the SQL Server database supporting them.

The obvious answer was a storage area network (SAN), which O'Connell quickly decide must use Internet Protocol connectivity.

"Fibre Channel is more expensive to get into," he says. "There is a lot more equipment to buy. So we started looking at iSCSI and saw that EqualLogic was backed by Microsoft. Then we saw a demonstration of their array and fell in love with it."

"It was not the entry-level SAN that most people would think it would be. iSCSI can do everything you imagine."

That "everything" included going into operation without the need for the company to acquire a single new piece of networking hardware.

"We are using our existing Gigabit Ethernet switches," O'Connell says. "We purchased no networking infrastructure whatsoever."

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