SAN Storage – This refers to any data that is held in a Storage Area Network (SAN).
SAN Storage vs. NAS Storage
The key factor between a Storage Area Network and NAS Storage is where the “file system” is located. You see, a SAN moves “blocks” of data, just like any computer system that has Direct Attached Storage (DAS), where the file system is in the host computer and that file system manages how the blocks of data are stored that make up all of its files.
In a NAS storage solution, the file system is actually on the device, or appliance, and when the host computer communicates with it, it will be moving “files” to or from that NAS device. How these files are stored on the NAS storage device is controlled by that appliance.
SAN Storage Benefits
The key benefits of using SAN storage are:
- The physical storage devices (disk arrays, tape libraries, etc.) can be shared between different computer systems
- High speed data transfer
- Ability to have servers boot from SAN Storage
- Enables disaster recovery and remote replication
- Can use several transport protocols (Fibre Channel, iSCSI, FCIP, etc.)