A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a specialized, high-speed network that provides block-level network access to storage. SANs are typically composed of hosts, switches, storage elements, and storage devices that are interconnected using a variety of technologies, topologies, and protocols. SANs may also span multiple sites.

  A SAN presents storage devices to a host such that the storage appears to be locally attached. This simplified presentation of storage to a host is accomplished through the use of different types of virtualization.

  SANs are often used to:

  Improve application availability (e.g., multiple data paths)

  Enhance application performance (e.g., off-load storage functions, segregate networks, etc.)

  Increase storage utilization and effectiveness (e.g., consolidate storage resources, provide tiered storage, etc.), and improve data protection and security.

  SANs also typically play an important role in an organization’s Business Continuity Management (BCM) activities.

  SANs are commonly based on Fibre Channel (FC) technology that utilizes the Fibre Channel Protocol (FCP) for open systems and proprietary variants for mainframes. In addition, the use of Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) makes it possible to move FC traffic across existing high speed Ethernet infrastructures and converge storage and IP protocols onto a single cable. Other technologies like Internet Small Computing System Interface (iSCSI), commonly used in small and medium sized organizations as a less expensive alternative to FC, and InfiniBand, commonly used in high performance computing environments, can also be used. In addition, it is possible to use gateways to move data between different SAN technologies.

  SNIA is a worldwide source for Vendor Neutral Storage and Information Management Training & Education

  SNIA is a worldwide source for vendor neutral training and education on Storage and Information Management technologies and provides an independent understanding of a broad range of Storage and Information Management technologies from basic foundations to advanced techniques.

  SNIA’s impartial educational programs enable the IT professional to keep abreast of the rapid technology changes in the industry and enable the community to plan accordingly for the future.

  To learn more about SNIA’s Standards?Portfolio, click here

  To view the SNIA vendor-neutral terms and definitions – visit our online SNIA Dictionary

  To review SNIA’s complete complete educational assets, visit?our Educational Library

  To discover more about the developments in SNIA’s Technology Focus Areas, click here

  Learn more about SANs in our Educational Library

  Learn more about fundamental storage networking topics:


Categorized in: