Storage area network is a collection of storage and backup devices which is connected together through a network that is separated from the other servers with a switch. Fibre channels are used to connect in this high speed technology to connect the storage and backup devices.
SAN storage is very costly which makes most IT organizations debate whether it is advantageous and justifyable to implement Storage area network.
The basic rrule of a client based business is to make data available to the cclient. SAN is designed to make data storage devices accessible or available to the clients. A storage area network can be as small as two servers accessing the central pool of data storage devices or servers in multiples of thouands that access millions of stored megabytes. SAN can be considered as a separate network of storages devices that is still connected to the network.
Advantages of Storage Area Network
* Multiple number of storage devices can be added to store hundred thousands of megabytes
* SAN can easily be upgraded which reduces the down time. Replacing defective drives, backup the data without going offline and mirroring a well configured SAN server can bring down the down time
* SAN can be shared by all as it is not directly connected to a particular network or server
* Storage area network provides long distance connectivity. Data can be stored at a physically remote, secure location and connected with Fibre channel that is capable of running upto 10 kilometers
* A private connection can be established with fiber channel switching with other SAN for backup , maintenance or mirroring
* SAN is highly versatile. It can be a single entity, a group of many storage area networks that may include remote locations
Disadvantages of Storage area network
* Since SAN uses the fiber channel technology, they end up being more expensive
* Maintenance of fiber channel is much higher as it requires more skill
* Investments tend to go higher as it is difficult to leverage SAN with the existing technology
* Storage area system management has proved to be tough
Storage area network (SAN) technology is around since 1990s but it was very expensive and out of the reach of most IT houses. Now this data storage has become more efficient and affordable even for the smallest IT shop.
It has been concluded that whether your enterprise is a small one or large one, data storage is one of the major functions that is inseparable from the business. If you cannot decided whether you should move away from your current storage devices to SAN, answer this question. Do you need to centralize your data storage then SAN is the answer for you. The price you pay for storage is another factor that you have to rationalize. The equipment cost is very high which remains out of the reach of medium businesses. Leading IT solutions providers are offering storage area network packages for small and medium business houses as well. Contact the leading SAN providers who will answer your queries as well as guide you on how best you can utilize SAN for benefit of your business.