We are running a SAN which is directly attached to a server (windows server 2008) for file storage on our network. Its purpose is for storing users home folders, shared folders, etc. It is currently showing as one 6 TB volume to the server.
I am quite new to SAN's and I am just wondering if anyone has any comments on this setup or best practices, advice, etc for me. Also, could it be split up into multiple partitions and would this be beneficial?
how is it connected? iSCSI?
Read up on LUNs it might give you a bit of an insight on the assigning of the storage
What is LUN? | SAN Storage FAQs | SanDuel.com
depending on how your SAN is made up (ie ours has 4 different grades of disk, SAS, fast and slwo SATA and SSD) you can assign different storages for different applications.
If it's directly connected to one server, it's essentially DAS rather than SAN - the idea of SAN/NAS is that it can be accessed by multiple hosts. What are you ultimately trying to achieve, and what hardware are you running?
For me, one of the big advantages of shared storage is that I can use SMB/CIFS (i.e. Windows shares) on the SAN/NAS itself (if it supports it) and allow users to directly access it rather than going through a Windows server - thus bypassing a hit-and-miss TCP stack (although it's a lot better in Server 2008 than 2003!) and an additional point of failure.
You can partition up the storage, although this is usually done to manage shares that have different requirements. If you're only connecting one server to the SAN and you're using that Windows box to manage the storage and permissions then it's unlikely you'd see much benefit to doing the partitioning on the SAN.
If you really have no requirements for shared storage, next time you need to upgrade you could look at a DAS box with SAS interfaces and save yourself some cash. :)