What is the storage area network (SAN)
A storage area network is a network in which server machines are connected to storage devices through switches. Fiber optics is used as a cable for connection between switches, servers and storage devices. The reason for using fiber optics is that it has high transfer speed i.e. 5 GBPS. The benefit of using fiber optics is that servers feel that storage devices are attached to them directly because of good data transfer speed.
This type of network is similar to the client-server network but the only difference is that storage devices are not directly attached within servers but are externally attached through switches. I will explain the advantages and disadvantages of SAN below:-
Advantages of storage area network (SAN)
High speed of data transfer: SAN network is referred to as faster data transfer network. It uses high-end speed technology with fiber optics by which client and server communication becomes fast.
Centralized backup: Data in SAN is centralized i.e. if any server disconnect from the network then other server stabilize the data load and transferring of data is resumed.
Dynamic failover protection: If any server stops working then SAN will take control of it and recover its storage through built-in redundancy and automatic traffic rerouting. And networking of client-server is not disturbed if any server goes to maintenance mode.
Adding/removing of storage devices is easy: If SAN needs more storage devices then it can be easily added to the network. Similarly, extra storage devices can be removed from the network without any problem.
Data security: Data in SAN is secured and cannot be stolen by an unauthorized user.
Disadvantages of storage area network (SAN)
Not good for high traffic: If client computers need intensive data transfer then SAN is not the right choice. SAN is good for low data traffic.
Sensitive data may be leaked: As all the client computers share the same set of storage devices so sensitive data can be leaked. It is better to not store sensitive data on this network.
Examples of storage area network (SAN)
- Used in net cafe
- SAN is also used in offices
- Used in medium level shops like book stores