Storage Area Networking SAN NAS Fibre Channel iSCSI

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Regular day in a Storage Professionals Office Life

What are the daily tasks of a SAN professional - What are the routine jobs he is responsible for - What happens in a SAN industry engineers' day in office.

Answer :
As with any software professional's life the day starts with a brief review of going through the Mails - Since we are dependent on many other teams who are located in different time zones & geos we usually find nearly 50 to 150 new emails in our inbox when we start our day.

We go through all these mails - some of them are very much relevant to our day's tasks like "Storage Product enhancement or development efforts " , " New fixes which will impact our earlier planning" , Lots of organisation wide mails saying who will be our new director or finance manager , Lots of Network or system or UPS outage mails , Lots of mails about the CR's (Change request or Bugs) which we or one our teammate has logged and what are the latest updates regarding these bugs. The list of mails is endless so we better can have a separate posting for that.

Then based on our mails and our seniors(manager or lead) inputs and also based on our earlier days work we make our small "To Do " list for the day which is some how planned with keeping in mind the "Dreaded Project Deadlines" ( End dates for us to finish the assigned tasks).

An example of our To Do list can be something like :
1. Go through the docs about the new features coming in the next release or version of the storage area network product.
2. Setup a test environment to reproduce the CR's or bugs logged by customers. ( the end users of our storage products)
3. Verify the CR's fixed by dev team ( we logged 10 bugs last week they fixed it 2 days back & delivered the new fix in our latest build of the product yesterday so we need to verify it today ) - We need to verify the fix & say that the fix has resolved the issue also called the product defect or NOT. If the bug is fixed (resolved) we close the CR saying the FIX is FINE(works) else we say the FIX has failed ( the bug still exists & the development team has not fixed it properly)
4. Write new test scripts to check the regressions filed by customers - We also do test development ( We develop and script or code the test cases or test scenarios - this involves lot of learning , implementation & improving )
5. Setup new 2 Terrabyte disk array & test how well is it working with latest Vista or latest Suse or RHEL linux.

the list grows along the day & some of them move for next day's ToDo list.

Then we start the actuall work to accomplish what we have put in our ToDO list.
We may be working with new release of our SAN product and need to carry out sanity checks on the builds ,creating setups with different hardware and configurations and Operating Systems. We try to replicate customer network setups as far as possible but a customer like Citibank can have a huge SAN network costing billions of dollars what we can afford to replicate is no where comparable to that. We can say we setup a scaled down SAN network to work in our lab for all our work.

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We will explain in detail each of the above mentioned tasks in our next week's blogpost. Please post comments or feedback . Ask as many questions about SAN or storage jobs.Find more information on Storage Area Network tutorials or SAN tutorials coming in this blog.

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Can I get a job in SAN - I am new to Storage technology

SANs are primarily used in large scale, high performance enterprise storage operations. It would be unusual to find a Fibre Channel disk drive connected directly to a SAN. Instead, SANs are normally networks of large disk arrays. SAN equipment is relatively expensive, therefore, Fibre Channel host bus adapters are rare in desktop computers. The iSCSI SAN technology is expected to eventually produce cheap SANs, but it is unlikely that this technology will be used outside the enterprise data center environment. Desktop clients are expected to continue using NAS protocols such as CIFS and NFS. The exception to this may be remote replication sites. Remote replication enables the data center environment to exist in multiple locations for disaster recovery and business continuity purposes. The performance issues inherent in iSCSI are likely to limit its deployment to lower-tier applications, with Fibre Channel remaining incumbent for high performance systems.

See Jonathan Schwartz,CEO - Sun Microsystems
You Can Win a SunFire X4500 Storage Server see this video

The 5 TOP questions any body wants to ask a SAN pro.

Storage jobs or SAN jobs have lot of tasks around setting and configuring SAN network and making them work smoothly with the latest OS or customer requirements.

Storage Resume or System Administration Resume

1.What is SAN ?

2.What are the JOB opportunities in SAN ?
3.Which are the companies in SAN and How much they pay ?
4.How Can I Enter SAN industry ?
5.What are the tasks of a SAN professional- How will be a day in his office life?
6.How will be a SAN job interview ?
7.SAN or Storage engineer position - Interview questions : Series1
8.Real SAN Interview questions with answers: Series2
9.Answers for SAN interview questions Series1.
10.Tell me about some Job Openings in SAN or Storage industry?
11.Do You Want to see an Enterprise SAN infrastructure - Thanks to Dell - Watch this informative Video - See a High End Lab


santu said...

what are the necessary qualification to become a SAN proffessional

Roger said...

There are not high restrictions on the qualifications required for SAN.
U can have any professional bachelor's degree.
But due to the high demands in the industry even if u dont have much of these educational qualifications but if u really have a strong technical knowledge , very good hands on experience AND/OR very good troubleshooting experience AND/OR real solid experience of working in real time or real solid theoritical knowledge of the SAN technology -
If you have any one or a combination of above skillsets you can definitely get a Career or Job in SAN.

Do write to me roger.smithson @ (remove the spaces) & I can help you by giving detailed & relevant answer to this question - I will be glad to help you build your Career.

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