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Unrealized advantages of Boot from SAN

By David Lawrence, Product Marketing Manager,  FC Directors and Software

One of the ways a SAN can add value is by hosting your boot disks externally from your servers.  To do this you need a remote boot technology for host operating systems known as Boot from SAN (BFS).  There are three necessary ingredients to a BFS configuration:

  • A boot disk image located on shared storage accessible via a SAN

  • A server connected to a SAN through a host bus adapter (HBA)

  • An HBA with BIOS contains instructions that enable the server to boot from SAN.

 There are many benefits to doing this:

  • Severs can be replaced, re-purposed, and added more quickly with boot disks hosted on SAN

  • For BladeSystems, taking the boot disks out of the enclosure reduces power and cooling requirements

  • Boot disks can be consolidated on an storage array for easier management, improved security, and higher availability.

  • BFS minimizes server maintenance and reduces backup time

Even with all these benefits, BFS is rarely deployed today due to the complexity of setting up the arrays, servers, and HBAs involved. Since HP tests each of its infrastructure products thoroughly, there is a wealth of knowledge built up on how to simplify the set-up of BFS,  Click here to get a look at some of the available information to help you.  There is link at the bottom of the page where HP Engineers will take your questions on BFS via email. 

Infrastructure vendors too are doing their best to take the complexity out of BFS deployment.  Brocade talks about their BSF capabilities in this webinar

Anonymous | ‎03-30-2010 01:03 AM

Click here link doesn't work

| ‎03-31-2010 12:12 PM

Thanks Paul - there was a space in the URL that shouldn't have been there and it's now fixed.

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25+ years experience around HP Storage. The go-to guy for news and views on all things storage..

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