Introduction to SAN for high performance data storage

A storage area network (SAN) is a high-speed channel or subnetwork that links and provides shared pools of storage systems to different servers.

Memory availability, as well as accessibility, are significant considerations in enterprise computing. Conventional direct-attached disc deployments within separate servers could be a simple and low-cost option for several enterprise systems. Still, the discs – and the critical data on those discs – are linked to the physical host via a devoted interface, such as SAS. Traditional enterprise computing frequently necessitates a significantly higher level of organization, versatility, and control. These requirements fueled the progression of the storage area network (SAN).

SAN technology addresses sophisticated enterprise storage requirements by providing a separate, devoted, massively scalable elevated network designed to connect many servers to many storage devices. Afterward, the storage can be organized and managed as unified pools or tiers. Compared to traditional direct-attached containers, a SAN allows an organization to treat space as a single collective resource that can be centralized, replicated, and shielded. At the same time, additional technologies, including data deduplication and RAID, can optimize storage capacity and greatly enhance storage resilience (DAS).

What exactly are storage area systems used for?

What Is a Storage Area Network (SAN)? | SNIA

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A SAN is simply a network of discs accessed by several servers. SANs are widely used in enterprise computing for a variety of purposes. A SAN is commonly used to centralize storage. A computer system, including a server, may, for instance, include one or even more local storage gadgets. Considering a data center with thousands of servers, each operating virtual machine can be utilized and migrated from server to server as needed. Suppose the information for one volume of work is saved on that internal memory. In that case, the data may need to be relocated or regained if the workflow is relocated to another server.

A storage area network (SAN) can also enhance storage accessibility. Since a SAN is largely a network fabric of interconnected computers and storage devices, a disturbance in one communication path is usually mitigated by enabling an alternate path through the SAN fabric. As a result, a single cable or device inability does not render storage unavailable to enterprise caseloads. Furthermore, the ability to treat storage as a shared resource can improve storage utilization by removing “forgotten” discs from underutilized servers. A SAN, on the other hand, provides a centralized location for any storage and allows administrators to pool and manage storage systems together.

A storage area network (SAN) can support a large number of storage devices, and storage arrays (specially designed storage subsystems) that support a SAN can scale to hold hundreds and thousands of discs. Correspondingly, any server with an appropriate SAN interface can connect the SAN and its vast storage capacity, and a SAN can support many servers. Fibre Channel and iSCSI are the two most common networking technologies and interfaces used in SANs.

Fiber Channel- 

What Is a Storage Area Network? SAN Explained

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FC is a high-speed network known for its high throughput and low latency, with data rates of up to 128 Gbps available across metropolitan area ranges of up to 6 miles (10 km) when optical fiber cabling, as well as interfaces, are used. This type of dedicated network may allow for the consolidation of block-level storage in a single location, while servers can be dispersed across campus buildings or a city. Traditional copper cabling and FC interfaces can also be used when stockpiling, servers are all in the same location, and distances are less than 100 feet (10 meters). FC naming and throughput designations have recently switched to Gigabit FC, and the newest interface iterations promise 128 and 256 GFC, respectively. FC, like contemporary Ethernet, supports various network topologies, including point-to-point, arbitrated circuits, and switched fabric. FC is implemented by putting FC host bus adapters (HBAs) in every server, storage device, FC networking device, and network device. Each HBA has one or more ports through which information is transmitted. Physical and virtual ports can be interrelated via cables, allowing HBAs and switches to form a network cloth.


NAS vs SAN Detailed Comparison - Hypertec Direct

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The iSCSI system is another network that connects computing to shared storage. It can reach up to 100 Gbps but offers several benefits to data center operators. Whereas FC provides a one-of-a-kind and highly specialized network design, iSCSI combines traditional SCSI block data and command packets with standard Ethernet and TCP/IP networking technology. This allows iSCSI storage networks would use the same cabling, networking devices, switches, as well as other networking equipment as any other Ethernet network; in many cases, iSCSI can continue operating on the same Ethernet LAN (without a separate LAN) and exchange information across the LAN, WAN, as well as the internet.

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