For all those who are in the Information technology field, it is a known fact to them, that computers are connected to storage devices. If this is what a SAN does, then what is the need of storage area network deployment in enterprise data storage? Well, here comes the definition of a SAN with an apt example. In a client/server model, let us consider a paradigm of servers assigned as computer A, computer B and computer C. A group of clients create and share their data with these respective computer island servers which store the data in their respective storage media.

For instance, if a server B wants to work with the data, generated in the server A, then it has to have a copy of the data. For this, the data has to be transferred by techniques such as backup, file transfer and internal process communication. But the fact is that, the enterprise has to not only maintain the servers and their storages, but have to manage these resources via some additional resources. It is cost effective, as the data duplication, is just for the sake of server B working with the data of server A and that for a specific or limited period of time.

At this point of time of concern, Storage Area Network comes as a handy as all the servers can be physically connect with the storage devices and the data can be shared, retrieved and the data files can be configured, as per the need of the clients and the IT administrators.

Storage area network is a committed network, which provides block level data storage access to its users. SAN is laid, for handling large data transfers as it supports data retrieval and replication along with data storage in business networks. SAN is associated with the high end servers, multiple disk arrays and Fibre channel or iSCSI interconnection, which forms as the framework of it.

SAN technology is almost identical to a network attached storage or NAS technology. But the fact is that, SAN employs low level protocols for transferring block level data, while NAS works on typical TCP/IP. The main aspect of a SAN is to help the computer systems or servers to communicate with storage devices.

SAN System Benefits

A SAN has a built-in protection like fault tolerance and redundancy and will be highly available for all the data storage needs in an enterprise. The SAN infrastructure is composed in such a way that it can survive component failures and can recover from it.
Scalability option is high in a SAN as the I/O performance of a SAN is proportional to the growth of number of devices interconnected.
With ideal SAN software, the SAN architecture can overcome application failure and can make data sharing possible, along with the additional server deployment, in case of load increase.
Businesses which are looking out for data continuity options, in case of disaster recovery, SAN offers a perfect solution with storage replication option, which can be implemented in disk array controllers by software or in the SAN devices.
Storage area network can entertain the technologies such as storage virtualization and storage consolidation.

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