As technology advances, storage demands are increasing steadily. Businesses, large and small, have had to adapt on the fly, with many now adopting network storage solutions to maximize server performance and simplify data management. One of the network storage options that has gained popularity is the storage area network. Let’s explore more about this storage solution below.
What is SAN?
Storage Area Network commonly known as SAN, is a data virtualization option that operates on a dedicated network. SAN moves storage traffic and devices away from the local area network (LAN) and into a dedicated network. The benefit is increased network speed that allows for fast access to stored data and improved performance without excessive storage requirements.
There are different types of SAN, with the main differences being their size and complexity. Storage area networks work either on Fiber Channel technology (FC) or the Internet Small Computing System Interface (iSCSI). The latter is common among SMBs because it’s less expensive.
FC technology comes with a greater capacity, and it’s faster than iSCSI. This makes it an attractive option for businesses that want a robust data storage infrastructure that can be deployed for mission-critical applications.
Why Choose SAN?
Storage area networks offer several advantages compared to conventional data storage solutions. They might be more expensive than storing data on server disks, but their long lifespans and efficiency make them far more reliable–which saves you money in the long run from not needing to continuously purchase more server disks. Wondering if you should take the plunge and invest in SAN? We’ve rounded up some of its benefits below.
It Boosts Data Security
With SAN, you can quickly implement security measures to improve the safety and privacy of your data. For instance, you can isolate different data types according to users, organizations, or departments to improve data management.
SAN also allows you to create an access control list (ACL) that ensures only authenticated users access specific data. The default SAN algorithms are written to protect all kinds of data stored in the network, plus they ensure that security configurations are applied to all servers. This is quite crucial in web hosting and other security-first applications.
Better Disk Utilization
This is one of the most significant pros of SAN. Compared to DAS (direct-attached storage), which has a 30% disk utilization, SAN has a whopping 80% disk utilization. With SAN, all storage arrays are connected through a centralized storage network and can be managed as a single storage unit.
Here, you can easily manage and assign storage at the network level depending on the individual server needs. Otherwise, you would need to buy multiple storage disks and insert each into the server individually.
SAN storage models are built with multi-tenancy in mind; they can handle separate workloads with ease, meaning that you don’t need to limit your administrators to only a few people on your team.
Fast Backup System
Thanks to the centralized backup system offered by SAN, the entire data can be backed up automatically in minutes, if not seconds. Since you only need one backup server to back up data from various locations, you benefit from increased flexibility and reduced cost. The fast and convenient data backup system also means your data is secure in any disaster.
Regardless of your business size, needs and goals, you can always scale up or down your storage capacity. For instance, if you need more storage, you’ll simply add capacity. You can also downgrade to a lower capacity at any time, depending on your needs.
Additionally, the sheer speed of a SAN storage model allows it to respond quickly to evolving business conditions. It’s quick to install, so making the decision to use SAN won’t slow your business down in the least.
The Bottom Line
A storage area network is a flexible, scalable, and highly reliable high-speed storage solution that connects multiple servers to various storage devices. By taking storage out of the individual servers and locating them in one place where various storage resources can be centrally managed and protected, SAN makes data storage and access faster and more convenient.
Whether you are looking for a block-based data storage solution to handle your business databases and day-to-day business applications or a fast and easily accessible storage option to complement your web hosting needs, SAN could be your best pick. Reach out to us today and let us know your business needs so we can help you choose the right SAN.