Using a SAN to Initialize Replication
I've chatted to a few customers about the possibnility of using a SAN based snapshot to initialise transactional replication.
This can be fantastic when you are using a replica to provide "near real time" reporting. Up until now, documentation has been a bit light on the ground on this apporoach, and people have been cautious to try it. The results can really save a lot of time, such as getting a 17 TB replicated solution fully restored in a couple of hours!
My fellow MCM, Benjamin Wright-Jones in conjunction with the SQLCAT team has written a technical article based on his experience gettign this to work http://sqlcat.com/technicalnotes/archive/2009/05/04/initializing-a-transactional-replication-subscriber-from-an-array-based-snapshot.aspx
This gives step by step instructons on the procedure. Great stuff!
I think that in a short space of time anyone doing replication with a VLDB and SAN will consider this approach. Partly for technical reasons and party political. I mean you've just paid a fortune for that SAN - put it to work ;-)