What is Storage Area Network (SAN)?
A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a specialized, secured high-speed network. It provides block-level network access to storage. Storage Area Network makes a network of storage devices accessible to multiple servers. Storage Area Network devices appear to servers as attached drives. Storage Area Networks are composed of hosts, switches, storage elements, and storage devices – connected using a variety of technologies.
SANS are also known as SAN storage, SAN network, network SAN, etc.
Types of SAN Solution
- Fiber Channel (FC): A fiber channel storage Area Network (FC SAN) enables multiple servers to access network storage devices. Storage and servers are connected via a high-speed network of interconnected fiber channel switches. A storage area network enables high-performance data transmission between multiple storage devices and servers. This is used for mission-critical applications where uninterrupted data access is required.
- Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI) Protocol: This infrastructure gives the flexibility of a low-cost IP network. It enables the transport of block-level storage traffic over IP networks. It builds on two widely used technologies – SCSI commands for storage and IP protocols for networking. The protocol is used on servers (initiators), storage devices (targets), and protocol transfer gateway devices.
SANs enable companies to manage accelerating amounts of data far more effectively. Both provide advantages based on business requirements.
Inspira Enterprise – Leading IT Solutions Provider in India, have been offering Fujitsu SAN storage solutions under DGS&D rate contract for Government and PSU companies under State and Central Ministry.
Advantages of Storage Area Network
- Data Center infrastructure should evolve rapidly to improve resiliency, increase business responsiveness, and keep up with the growing demands of new applications while reducing overall power consumption. Storage costs is more than server cost. Hence organization require efficient and cost-effective storage area networks (SAN)
- SAN storage play an important role in an organization’s Business Continuity Management (BCM) activities.
- SAN improves application availability and enhances application performance. Applications fail because of data becoming corrupted by things going wrong with the disks that applications use. The storage arrays in SAN use very good data protection algorithms to make sure that your data stays consistent.
- SAN simplifies storage administration and adds flexibility since cables and storage devices do not have to be physically moved to shift storage from one server to another.
- SAN increases storage utilization and effectiveness.
- Disaster Recovery: SAN enables effective disaster recovery processes. SAN spans over a distant location containing a secondary storage array. This enables storage replication either implemented by disk array controllers, server software, specialized SAN devices.
- Storage Virtualization: Server capacity is not linked to single storage devices. Large and consolidated storage pools are available for software applications.
- High-Speed Disk Technologies: Data retrieval speeds that exceed 5 Gbps is available using SAN.
- Centralized Backup: Servers view stored data on local disks, rather than multiple disk and server connections. SAN offer advanced backup features, like block level and incremental backups, streamline IT system administrator responsibilities.
- Dynamic Failover Protection: Provides continuous network operation, even if a server fails or goes offline for maintenance, which enables built-in redundancy and automatic traffic rerouting.
- SANs address the bandwidth bottlenecks associated with LAN-based server storage. Data is kept on the SAN, the transfer does not pollute the LAN, and the server processing resources are still available to systems.