Making use of a SAN (storage area network) provides some incredible benefits. I won’t go into depth but at a high-level you often get:

1. Excellent hardware redundancy for data storage, more-so if you are using multiple arrays but even most enterprise single arrays can provide N+1 redundancy. Now we can tolerate power failures, and drive failures, and switch failures, etc…

2. Extra options for historical data integrity/backup/dr – Most enterprise SAN’s support features for volume snapshots and rollbacks. Some even support advanced features specific to protecting MS-SQL and I am sure other database products. Our implementation also provides some great options for DR, like being able to replicate data/volumes from a production SAN over to a different SAN in a different network/datacenter.

3. Administrative ease… managing storage volumes for all of your systems from one interface makes life much easier.

4. Online disk resizing — did your database run out of disk space? You have plenty of space available on your SAN though on which the volume is hosted? No problem, just increase the size of the volume on the SAN (often something you can do while the volume is online and being used) and then increase the partition in windows to take up the new volume space (also an online operation).

For these reasons (and I am sure many many more), SAN’s have become a staple in a lot of enterprise networks. But let me talk about some pain points, particularly in older SAN implementations and particularly around iSCSI and older networks.

My list of reading grows… I follow very few blogs at present but I just came across this author today while doing some other reading:

Might be worth taking a glance, he seems like a pretty sharp guy looking to share some help with the rest of the IT community!


I have been a Chrome user since shortly after the browser launched. I contend that no other Browser can quite match Chrome for speed and clean UI design.

However, in light of the recent NSA scandals and growing privacy concerns, Firefox had caught my eye again as being a browser that is wholly open-source in nature.

So I have given it a go… a really strong go. I pretty much switched off of Chrome entirely. This was no simple task. As a person that does a lot of research I often find myself handling 30 or 40 tabs at a time and have a fairly extensive bookmark library. However I am soon going to be switching off of firefox and back to Chrome or something else… Here is why… (more…)

I was reading a quick post today from one of the few bloggers that I currently follow and, as usual, he had some good insight into some current technological trends… namely the growing inclusion of touch-screens on everything. His article is worth the read and it will pique your interest if this is something you at all care about (I realize the vast swathe of humanity out there really doesn’t :)…).

Read it here:

He also made a statement about how multi-monitor setups are crutches for those of us who don’t do good window management (I disagreed :)…). I went to write a “quick” response and realized I had a post on my hands. Happens every now and then…

You see, I have been in-and-around the tablet scene for several years now and have watched android grow from version 1.6 all the way up to 4.4. I have probably owned/used 40+ tablets in my time, mostly Android however a fair bit of Apple has been mixed in. I have also been doing hardcore IT work now for a while (going on 4 years I think?) and use a traditional desktop (ancient though they may be…) and laptop for most of that. So I have my feet firmly planted in both worlds. I agree that the idea of a converged device is probably where we are heading and I don’t necessarily have an issue with it. Anyhow, here was my response:

Whenever I start a new site of any kind there is always that question of how quickly will the traffic come?

I actually built and continue to run these three other public sites:

The first site (Roman’s Tech Help) was originally a blogger (i.e. the Google blogging engine…) blog that was dedicated to getting people up and running with custom firmware for their Western Digital Media Players back in the olden days of digital media consumption in the living room… before the Roku and Smart TVs started dominating that space. (more…)