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Storage Area Network


Storage Area Network or SAN is basically a subnetwork or dedicated speedy network which presents and interconnects storage devices' shared pools to the multiple servers. It moves the storage resources to a shared user network and rearranges all of them in a high-performance and independent network. It enables every server to have access to shared storage since it is attached to the server. The moment host want to have an access of storage device on SAN, then it sends the request based on the block for the storage device. 

Typically, it is assembled utilizing principle components, namely Host Bus Adapters (HBAs), switches and cabling attached to the servers and storage arrays. Evert storage system and switch on SAN should be interconnected as well as physical interconnections support the bandwidth levels which can properly handle the highest data activities. Also, IT experts manage the SANs centrally. 

Initially, storage was all about hard disk drives, while maximized the population with SSDs - Solid-State Drives. 

Utilization of Storage Area Networks -

Fibre Channel SANs are usually complex, expensive and quite difficult to handle. The iSCSI, based on Ethernet has minimized challenged via compressing SCSI commands in IP packets, which doesn't need FC connection. iSCSI emergence means despite building, managing and learning two networks - a LAN Ethernet is used for communicating with users and FC SAN for the storage. A business can utilize the infrastructure and knowledge for SANs and LANs. It is useful for both small as well as medium businesses which might not have expertise or funds to support Fibre Channel SAN. 

Businesses utilize Storage Area Networks for dispersed apps which require fast performance of the local network. In addition, it improves applications' availability via various data paths. Also, they enhance the performance of applications as they enable IT, supervisors, to offload the segregate networks and storage functions. 

SANs help in maximizing effectiveness and storage usage as they enable supervisors to consolidate the resources and provide tiered storage. Additionally, it improves security and data protection. It could span various websites that can help companies with the business stability strategies. 

SAN or Storage Area Network is defined as a high-speed specialized network that offers block-level network access to the storage. Typically, SANs are made of switches, hosts and storage devices/elements, which are interconnected utilizing topologies protocols as well as different technologies. They can also span various websites. 

Often, they are utilized to -

• Enhance application availability (for example - various data paths)
• Improve application performance (for example - segregate networks, off-load storage functions)
• Increase effectiveness and storage utilization (for instance - consolidate storage networks and offer tiered storage) as well as improve the security and data protection.
 
Typically, they play a vital role in the BCM (Business Continuity Management) activities in the organization. SAN shows storage devices to host and storage seems to be attached locally. The simplified storage presentation to the host is attained via using various kinds of virtualization.
 
They are based on the FC (Fibre Channel) technology, utilizing Fibre Channel Protocol for proprietary variants and open system for the mainframes. Additionally, Fibre Channel usage over Ethernet (FCoE) makes possible moving the FC traffic crossways existing speedy Ethernet infrastructures, IP protocols as well as converge storage on the single cable. iSCSI or Internet Small Computing System Interface is used in small as well as medium-size businesses as an affordable alternative to the FC.
 
Benefits of Storage Area Network -

Storage Virtualization - The server capacity is not linked to the single storage devices. Now, consolidated and large storage pools are available for the software applications.

Centralized Backup - The server sees the stored data on the local disks, instead of multiple server connections and disk. Block level, as well as incremental backups, are some of the advanced features that streamline the responsibilities of 
IT system administrator.

Speedy Disk Technologies - The best example of this is FC, offering data retrieval speeds exceeding 5 Gbps. In 
addition, storage-to-storage data transfer is available through direct data transmission through the source to target with minimum or no service interruption.

Active Failover Protection - It offers constant network operations, even the server gets damaged or go for maintenance that enables automated traffic rerouting and in-built redundancy. 


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