I was at the Storage Expo last week having a look around for SAN monitoring tools and to speak to a couple of vendors about their tools, yes I know you'll probably think " how sad " < grin >
Storage performance can impact SQL Server database performance and my experiences have shown that usually the database engine is seen to be at fault rather than the nice shiny and expensive SAN.
I have the first two levels of SNIA certification in Fibre Channel Architecture ,SCSP and SCSE, http://www.snia.org/education/certification
for further information, http://www.infinityio.co.uk
for UK training provider, I followed this path as I felt I needed to understand more about what goes on behind the scenes. First off it's important to understand that a SAN is not the piece of tin that has all the disks in - this is just storage, the SAN is the whole network from servers to storage and more, the key word to remember is Network ( the N in SAN ).
So enough waffle - performance monitoring a SAN is difficult, vendor tools tend to be expensive, vendor consultants ( in my experience ) don't always tell the truth and it's very difficult to convince anybody that their expensive investment actually performs worse than a workstation.
I was pleased to have a long talk to Laky Hothi from GCH Test and Computer Services Ltd, www.gch-services.com
, who were showing a performance dashboard which is vendor independent, a key requirement that SNIA promote, no doubt the solution is not cheap, but hey a SAN is a major investment for a company and should it not perform it may put the business at risk.
You can check out NetWisdom here http://www.gch-services.com/san_netwisdom_express.htm
, and open an information sheet here http://www.gch-services.com/Files/Finisar/NetWisdom/8VDtTVLR_NetwisdomExpress.pdf
which includes a screen shot.
I don't believe there's anyone else in the UK offering this product/service and although a large part of the metrics/technology is out of scope for me as a DBA I was impressed with the product and it's capablities.
I also had a chance to talk to Hitachi Data Systems, they have some very sharp people who understand database performance issues and hopefully we might get Tony to get them along to talk about their technology at a user group meeting as they are keen. I've spoken to HDS previously and always found them both helpful and approachable which is more than I can say for some other vendors. I found they had some excellent whitepapers when I was involved in some storage project work, I did a quick search and here's a couple of sql server references http://search.hds.com/cgi-bin/ss_query?keys=whitepapers%2Bsql+server&sitenbr=157837584&lng=&rgn=&e=&foo.x=24&foo.y=10