Dell offers regular checkups on SANs

A new IT service from Dell Inc. performs regular checkups on storage area networks (SANs).

Introduced last month, Dell’s SAN Health Check is an assessment service for Dell/EMC SANs and part of the Round Rock, Tex.-based company’s enterprise support services suite.

“SAN Health Check is like going to the doctor and getting a physical done. You are making sure your SAN is in its most optimal shape,” said Debora Jensen, vice-president of Dell Canada’s advanced systems group.

The service features three phases. The first, called the discovery phase, involves data collection of logs and host information. A second phase provides analysis of that information.

The last phase — delivery — includes an onsite visit to complete work deemed necessary in the second phase. After the assessment, a report is prepared that details the health of the SAN environment. The SAN Health Check service is priced from $5,200 per SAN.

According to Jensen, the total time required to conduct a SAN Health Check is approximately two-and-a-half days. The SAN operates normally while the checkup is being performed with no downtime.

The onsite visit takes an average of about four hours to complete, but requires some downtime in order to install SAN updates. In addition to the assessment report, recommendations are offered regarding what hardware and/or software upgrades are needed to keep SANs operating. These may include adding disks or switches, which Dell service professionals can install.

Jensen said the service serves as a preventative measure. “Some clients may end up chugging along just fine but others may be putting their business at risk or suffer poor performance by not optimizing their storage environment with the latest technology and software,” said Jensen.

John Madden, practice director for Summit Strategies, a Boston-based technology research and analysis firm said the short-term value of SAN Health Check is to give customers an overall assessment of what holes need to be plugged.

“The long-term value is that customers are able to devise and design something (in order) to make improvements to their SANs that results in greater business value,” said Madden.

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