Storage area networks (SANs) are the most common storage networking architecture used by enterprises for business-critical applications that need to deliver high throughput and low latency. A rapidly growing portion of SAN deployments leverages all-flash storage to gain its high performance, consistent low latency, and lower total cost when compared to spinning disk. By storing data in centralized shared storage, SANs enable organizations to apply consistent methodologies and tools for security, data protection, and disaster recovery.
A SAN is block-based storage, leveraging a high-speed architecture that connects servers to their logical disk units (LUNs). A LUN is a range of blocks provisioned from a pool of shared storage and presented to the server as a logical disk. The server partitions and formats those blocks—typically with a file system—so that it can store data on the LUN just as it would on local disk storage.
SANs make up about two-thirds of the total networked storage market. They are designed to remove single points of failure, making SANs highly available and resilient. A well-designed SAN can easily withstand multiple component or device failures.
NVMe over Fibre Channel for Dummies
Storage area networks are frequently deployed in support of business-critical, performance-sensitive applications such as:
The most common SAN protocols are:
Both SAN and network-attached storage (NAS) are methods of managing storage centrally and sharing that storage with multiple hosts (servers). However, NAS is Ethernet-based, while SAN can use Ethernet and Fibre Channel. In addition, while SAN focuses on high performance and low latency, NAS focuses on ease of use, manageability, scalability, and lower total cost of ownership (TCO). Unlike SAN, NAS storage controllers partition the storage and then own the file system. Effectively this makes a NAS server look like a Windows or UNIX/Linux server to the server consuming the storage.
NetApp is now the fastest growing enterprise SAN storage vendor:
NetApp® SAN solutions have leading capabilities for running your business-critical applications. NetApp works closely with Brocade to deliver innovative storage networking solutions that help reduce complexity and cost while enabling maximum performance with consistent low latency to increase business agility
Learn more about flash storage and how it can accelerate your SAN solutions.
: Source: IDC, WW Quarterly Enterprise Storage Systems Tracker 2017Q4, March 1, 2018
: The AFF A700s achieved 2,400,059.26 SPC-1 IOPS at an average response time of 0.69 milliseconds. It is the top-performing enterprise all-flash array among the major storage providers and in the top three overall on the SPC-1 Performance list.