Today individual computers and servers can provide large amounts of storage due to the availability of high capacity hard drives; however, this can frequently be insufficient, unusable across multiple servers and not provide adequate business continuity and resilience. Hence, organizations are deploying other external storage platforms to better suit their needs.
There are several kinds of storage types which are typically classified as Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Network Attached Storage (NAS) or Storage Area Networks (SANs).
These more basic secondary storage devices are directly connected to a host computer or server. For instance, disk drives for disk backups, RAID arrays, and tape libraries for tape backups are all classified as DAS systems. DAS systems are usually used for local file sharing.
NAS combines both hard disks and management software, and typically provides storage pools to multiple servers and workstations. They usually have a gigabit Ethernet connection to provide higher speed access and they are based on standard network protocols such as TCP/IP, FC, and CIFS. NAS systems usually have multiple hard drives configured in a RAID array and incorporate software to configure storage locations or file shares.
A storage area network, or SAN, is a highly scalable, dedicated, high-speed pool of storage media such as hard drives used to transfer large blocks of data securely among servers, these storage pools are normally expandable as needed. They are usually connected to
the server infrastructure using either Fibre Channel or ISCSI. It is common to configure SANs on a separate network to the primary LAN to isolate the traffic. Depending on the solution SANs can be very scalable, provide high availability functions to replicate data
to secondary appliances to eliminate downtime in the event of a SANs failure.
The various DAS, NAS and SANs technologies vary considerably in both functionality and price. Please contact us for more information on choosing the right solution for your business and requirement.