I recently upgraded our organizations 4 year old Compellent SAN infrastructure (now Dell) to a NetApp FAS2240 (which I recommend all SMBs should check out, completely exceed my expectations) at my companies Data Center.
The process of evaluating and deploying an upgrade to our storage infrastructure was a painless process for us due to the fact that prior to my time as Director of IT at Western Precooling I worked at a VAR for 4 years so I had a lot of previous exposure to SAN technology already.
For a lot of SMB IT Directors and Mangers new to storage technology as virtualization makes its way down into the market space, it can be a very intimidating and daunting task to get a high level grasp on what is the best solution and the best specifications for a storage solution for your organizations environment.
Though about 2 years outdated, check out The SMB's Guide to Storage Virtualization. Some of the content has changed, but I still think it is a relevant guide for SMB IT beginners to get their heads wrapped around on where to begin the pre-analysis process for their management.
Included is a nice basic checklist to know to get your brain gears started::
• Connectivity: Fibre channel is fast, but iSCSI and NFS are much less expensive per port.
• Number of drives: The more drives serving data in an array, the better the throughput.
• Drive type: SATA drives offer a lot of space at an attractive price, but SAS drives outperform.
• Don’t shop by usable space: Simply selecting
a product to meet the size requirements will
not address performance and scalability for virtualization.
• Hypervisor compatibility: Each product has a wide array of supported devices to run virtual machines. Hyper-V via Windows Server 2008 will have the broadest support, followed by vSphere and XenServer.
You can download the guide here.