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SAN
What is SAN?

Storage Area Network (SAN) is a dedicated network for storage data flow. SAN provides the data communication infrastructure needed for the most advanced and most cost-efficient computer mass storage systems. SAN minimizes the total cost of ownership for both large and small storage systems. SAN technology supports the management features and I/O price/performance demanded in today’s competitive IT environment, and offers the storage component investment protection needed to minimize capital expenses.

Any simple SAN consists of four major components:

1- Host: The node accessing the consolidated data, i.e. server.

2- Storage Device: Where the consolidated data relies; from which the nodes can access the data i.e. Storage arrays, or to which the nodes can send the data i.e. Backup devices.

3- Cloud: Centralized device(s) that interconnect(s) hosts and storage devices, i.e. Switch(s) or Hub(s).

4- Connectivity components: Active and passive components which are used to connect SAN components i.e. adapters and cables.

Basically, by using these four major components you can implement your SAN, although there are other different components that are used in SAN depending on how big and complex your SAN is.

Why a SAN?

SANs provide unprecedented levels of flexibility in system management and configuration. Servers can be added and removed from a SAN while their data remains in the SAN. Moreover, multiple servers can access the same storage for more consistent and rapid processing. The storage itself can be easily increased, changed, or re-assigned.

In a SAN, multiple compute servers and backup servers can access a common storage pool. The SAN offers configuration choices that emphasize connectivity, performance, resilience to outage, or all the three. SANs bring enterprise-level availability to open systems servers. Properly designed SAN storage is always available which allows many open servers to access a common storage pool with the same degree of availability previously reserved for mainframes.

SANs improve staff efficiency by supporting a variety of operating systems, servers, and operational needs. A SAN is a robust storage infrastructure that can respond quickly to new business models, unexpected growth surges, and corporate mergers. Moreover, SANs can reduce application response time, improve processing throughput, and support high-performance backup and rapid restores. SANs enable new functionality concepts such as zero downtime backup, they support remote data copies at nearly unlimited distances, and they support improved business continuance scenarios involving disaster recovery planning and disaster tolerant configurations.

SANs also support the latest storage security measures, and they can be managed by Web-based tools from any location. In a well-designed SAN, these features are complementary and cumulative; a SAN can incorporate all of these features, or you can start with a SAN designed for any one of them and add other features later. SANs enable economy of scale that was previously unavailable to open systems in the areas of backup, management, growth, and performance. Because of this flexibility, a SAN can grow and adapt to the changing computer storage system needs of the most challenging business environments.

Which SAN?

You have to go for the latest SAN products which provide:

 Open standards; supporting wide range of products.
 Flexible deployment.
 Large scaling.
 High stability.
 High security.

However SAN is one of the most potential and booming technologies nowadays, especially in medium and large sized business organizations, it is still somehow difficult to be designed and implemented, thus all main SAN vendors and institutes provided rules, topologies and assessments for SAN designs in order to utilize the SAN architecture.



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Posted by ROOT Technologies


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