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What is the meaning of Storage Network (SAN)?

 What is the meaning of Storage Network (SAN)?

SAN differs from other networked storage systems such as Network Attached Storage (NAS). The storage network has a low-level connection.

As for the NAS, when connected to an IP network, it offers storage services via several protocols such as Common Internet File System (CIFS), the sharing protocol used by Microsoft systems and Samba programs, Network File System (NFS), the file sharing protocol used by Unix, or AFP (AppleShare File Protocol) used by Apple

Characteristics of storage networks

  • Quality of Service (Qos): Links of more than 8 gigabit over optical fiber that provide adequate speeds for the transfer of information.
  • Readiness: Storage networks provide a means of multiple sources, which makes information always available, even in the event of interruptions or partial failures. This is done by storing duplicate information of the same information.
  • Compatibility: Storage networks can handle clients with different operating systems: Unix, Windows...
  • Variable efficiency: Network efficiency depends on demand and storage resources.

SAN applications

  • Improve application availability and for example multiple data paths.
  • Improve application performance e.g. off-load storage functions and discrete networking.
  • Increase storage utilization and efficiency, for example consolidating storage resources, providing tiered storage, and improving data protection and security.

SAN basics

SANs play an important role in an organization's Business Continuity Management (BCM) activities. SANs are generally based on Fiber Channel (FC) technology, which uses the Fiber Channel (FCP) protocol for open systems and mainframe variants. In addition, Using Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) makes it possible to carry FC traffic over existing high-speed Ethernet infrastructures, storage convergence and IP protocols on a single cable.

Other technologies can also be used such as the Internet Small Computing System Interface (iSCSI), which is commonly used in small and medium-sized organizations as a less expensive alternative to FC, and InfiniBand, which is commonly used in high-performance computing environments. In addition, it is possible to use Gateways for transferring data between different SAN technologies.

Storage availability and accessibility are critical concerns for enterprise computing. Traditional deployments of connected disks, directly within individual servers, can be a simple and inexpensive option for many enterprise applications, but disks and the vital data these disks contain are linked to the physical server via a dedicated interface such as “SAS”.

Modern enterprise computing often requires a much higher level of organization, flexibility, and control. A storage area network (SAN) is a high-speed dedicated network, or subnet, that connects and delivers shared pools of storage devices to multiple servers.

SAN Evolution

  1. SAN technology meets advanced enterprise storage requirements by providing a separate, dedicated, highly scalable, high-performance network engineered; To connect many servers to a group of storage devices, and the storage can then be organized and managed as complexes or cohesive layers, as the “SAN” network enables any organization to deal with storage as a single collective resource that can also be copied and protected centrally.
  2. While additional technologies such as data deduplication and “RAID” can greatly improve storage capacity and improve storage flexibility compared to traditional direct-attach storage (DAS), “SAN” is a network of disks that is accessed through a network of servers, and there Many common uses of SANs in enterprise computing.
  3. A SAN is typically used to consolidate storage. For example, it is common for a computer system such as a server to include one or more local storage devices. But consider a data center with hundreds of servers, each running virtual machines that can be deployed and migrated between servers as needed. If the data for a single workload is stored on this local storage, the data may also need to be moved if the workload is migrated to another server or restored in the event of a server failure.
  4. Rather than trying to organize, track, and use physical disks located in individual servers throughout the data center, a company may choose to move storage to a dedicated storage subsystem such as a storage array, where storage can be provisioned and managed in a protected collective. A SAN can also improve availability. Storage.
  5. Since a SAN is essentially a network fabric of interconnected computers and storage devices, a failure in a single network path can usually be overcome by enabling an alternative path through the SAN fabric. The failure of a single cable or device leaves no space Storage, inaccessible to enterprise workloads.
  6. Also, the ability to treat storage as a collective resource can improve storage utilization by eliminating “forgotten” disks on underutilized servers. Instead, “SAN” provides a central location for all storage units and enables administrators to group and manage storage devices together.
  7. All of these use cases can enhance an organization's regulatory compliance, disaster recovery, and business continuity situations, and by improving IT's ability to support an organization's workloads, but to appreciate the value of SAN technology, it is important to differentiate the difference between a SAN and a DAS. Traditional.

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