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
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
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.