What is a SAN?

Dulmini Attanagoda
3 min readFeb 21, 2021

A storage area network(SAN)is also called a storage network. it is a computer network that provides access to combined block-level data storage. This network is a specialized and 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 and topologies, and protocols. SANs may also span multiple sites.

SANs are often used to:

  • Enhance the availability of applications.
  • Improve the efficiency of an application.
  • Increase utilization and efficacy of storage.
  • In the Business Continuity Management(BCM) process of an enterprise, San often usually plays an important role.

Fiber Channel (FC) technology that implements the Fibre Channel Protocol(FCP) for open systems and proprietary versions for mainframes is generally based on SAN’s. Furthermore, the use of Fibre Channel over Ethernet(FCoE)allows FC traffic to be transferred through current high-speed Ethernet infrastructures and storage and IP protocols to be converged a single cable. Other systems can also be used, such as the Internet Small Computing System Interface (iSCSI), widely used as a less costly alternative to FC in small and medium-sized enterprises, and InfiniBand, commonly used in high-performance computing settings. In addition, gateways can be used to transfer data between various SAN technologies.

SAN has bad and good sides. Now I let you know what the benefits and drawbacks are of using a storage area network or SAN.

Advantages of storage area network(SAN)

  • High speed of Data Transfer

A storage area network(SAN ) is a faster data transfer network. SAN uses high-end speed technology with fiber optics as a result client and server communication becomes fast. If anyone has slow data transfer in a storage network or storage devices, then you can use SAN to reduce that problem.

  • Centralized backup

Storage area network or SAN keeps all the data at the block level and all the data in a SAN is centralized. That means, the data will be automatically duplicated and is stored in a central location. so, even though the network is disconnected or disconnected by a node, all the other servers take care of the data load and stabilize it. The data transfer on the SAN remains unaffected as a result.

  • Security

Using SAN helps to keeps data secure without any risk. And we can effectively enforce different kinds of security controls on a SAN. For example, with the help of a virtual SAN, we will be able to isolate the users, organizations, and departments.

Inside the switches, you should also enforce ACL (Access Control List)to ensure that only authenticated users are able to participate. Other than these, there is a range of other precautions that you may take to protect the SAN so that all your SAN data is protected.

  • Everything at the same place

In SAN all the servers are connected through switches, if we want to allocate new storage space from one server to another, then we don’t have to physically shift storage devices from one server to another because we can use a SAN as a single unit.

Disadvantages of Storage area network

  • Sometimes data might leak

To protect the SAN, you should always take good measures. Then again, it is pricey to add high-end security controls to a SAN. so they’re not seen by a lot of people. However sensitive data can leak if you do not take all the appropriate precautions, since all client computers use the same SAN storage devices and servers.

So, I now think you have a basic idea about the storage area network or SAN from this article.so if you are really enjoying my first article😃😊, please with your friends. Thank You!!😃❤