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Storage area networks (SAN)- How corporate data storage works 

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What are storage area networks (SAN)?

Storage area networks (SAN) are simply a network of storage devices used for efficient data storage within a corporate network

Another simple definition is that storage area networks (SAN) connect multiple disparate storage systems thru high speed network.

Yet another way is to define storage area networks (SAN) as the separation of I/O and processing. storage area networks (SAN) take care of I/O or data storage within the organization, and processing servers take care of processing needs.

Advantages of storage area networks (SAN)

Components of storage area networks (SAN)

A typical storage area network consists of 

   The storage area network interfaces define the technology or the brain of the storage area network. Typical storage area network interfaces include 

SCSI storage area networks (SAN) are based on an ANSI standard for a logical interface to computer peripherals. SCSI storage area networks (SAN) have been largely replaced by Fibre Channel storage area networks.

Fibre Channel storage area networks (SAN) are the basis of the most popular storage network technology in current corporate networks. 
Fibre Channel storage area networks (SAN)  allow transmission of data between computer devices at speeds  of up to 2 Gbps

The iSCSI technology is based on using the internet protocol to send SCSI commands from the servers to the storage devices.

Storage area network connectors consist of routers, switches and other interconnectors that can connect multiple storage area networks (SAN).

Typical storage area network protocols  are SCSI and IP storage area network protocols. (storage area network interfaces are sometimes referred to as storage area network protocols)

Kinds of storage area networks (SAN)

Centralized storage area networks (SAN) have multiple servers within an organization connected to a common storage pool (A storage pool consists of storage disks)

Distributed storage area networks (SAN) consist of ISCI switches that connect multiple storage networks that may be geographically separated.

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Last modified: December 12,2006