Short for storage area network, SAN is a high-speed network of storage devices that also connects those storage devices with servers. It provides block-level storage that can be accessed by the applications running on any networked servers. SAN storage devices can include tape libraries and disk-based devices, like RAID hardware.
The main functions of a storage area network (SAN) include the following:
A high-speed network of storage devices.
Connects the storage devices with servers.
Can be accessed by applications on networked servers.
Particularly helpful in backup and disaster recovery.
Uses networking protocols to span longer distances geographically.
SAN can also simplify some management tasks.
Offers flexibility, availability and performance.
SANs Simplify Backup and Recovery
SANs are particularly helpful in backup and disaster recovery settings. Within a SAN, data can be transferred from one storage device to another without interacting with a server. This speeds up the backup process and eliminates the need to use server CPU cycles for backup. Also, many SANs utilize Fibre Channel technology or other networking protocols that allow the networks to span longer distances geographically. That makes it more feasible for companies to keep their backup data in remote locations.
Utilizing a SAN can also simplify some management tasks, potentially allowing organizations to hire fewer IT workers or to free up some IT workers for other tasks. It’s also possible to boot servers from a SAN, which can reduce the time and hassles involved in replacing a server.
SAN Standards and Technology
Several different industry groups have developed standards related to SAN technology. The most prominent is probably the Storage Networking Industry Association (SNIA), which promotes the Storage Management Initiative Specification (SMI-S), as well as related standards. The Fibre Channel Industry Association (FCIA) also promotes standards related to SAN and administers the SANmark Qualified Program.
Fibre Channel is currently the most widely used communication protocol for SANs, but it is by no means the only one. Some SAN networks rely on iSCSI communication, a mapping of SCSI protocol over TCP/IP. SANs can also use ATA over Ethernet (AoE), Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), ESCON over Fibre Channel, HyperSCSI and some other protocols.
To Address these needs, ATCPL offers a comprehensive portfolio of storage solutions for small, medium, and large enterprises. Our Storage Area Networks include some of the top Brands like Dell, Lenovo, HP, Emerson.