What is Storage Area Network (SAN)?
What is Storage Area Network (SAN)? A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a specialized, high-speed network that provides block-level network access to storage. SANs are typically composed of hosts, switches, storage elements, and storage devices that are interconnected using a variety of technologies, topologies, and protocols. SANs may also span multiple sites. The purpose of a Storage Area Network is to allow all designated users on the network to access multiple storage devices, not only the storage devices installed within their computer.
What is the advantages of SAN?
- Storage Virtualization: Server capacity is no longer linked to single storage devices, as large and consolidated storage pools are now available for software applications.
- High-Speed Disk Technologies: An example is FC, which offers data retrieval speeds that exceed 5 Gbps. Storage-to-storage data transfer is also available via direct data transmission from the source to the target device with minimal or no server intervention.
- Centralized Backup: Servers view stored data on local disks, rather than multiple disk and server connections. Advanced backup features, such as block level and incremental backups, streamline IT system administrator responsibilities.
- SANs are particularly helpful in backup and disaster recovery settings.