Networking Basics: Overview of System Area Network (SAN)


Networking Basics: Overview of System Area Network (SAN)

A System Area Network or SAN is alternatively known as Storage Area Network, and it is one of the most important terminologies in computer networking. In theory, SAN is a separate network that stores and performs backups of shared resources and data. It allows all the users registered on the network full liberty of accessing those files. SANs are widely popular among organizational uses because of their sheer ability to store resources and data with maximum security and end to end encryption.

SANs store resources and data while performing backups through an alternate network of storage devices like disk storage. It is set up in a manner which allows storage devices to be available to servers present on a wide area network and a local area network. In many cases, additional storage is required and the best way to do that is to employ extra hardware and make it accessible from any server present on the network. With a System Area Network, data backups are done safely and are kept separately from the main server. The server acts as a line of transmission that connects the stored data on a SAN with the user present on the other end.

Here are the pros of using a System Area Network:

Data is not kept on the main network servers and this offers a great advantage because a user would have an additional capacity which they can utilize for other needs, such as storage of large-sized applications and business software. In addition, other servers on the network can access the same data stored on a SAN and therefore, are able to avoid data and information to be misused across the network. A SAN is also capable of backing up data specifically over the SAN’s storing channels. It prevents resources from being jam-packed inside the LAN and diminishing its speed. This allows for seamless delivery of data on the network and so, users on the other end can easily access the data if any kind of disaster or failure occurs.

How do SANs perform data backups?

Every storage disk comprising on the System Area Network is actually connected to each other. Therefore, it allows a single backup server to perform data backup on more than one storage disks. If in case, the same disks were not connected to each other in the same manner then a multiple server backup system is needed. Consequently, a user would have to allocate more monetary resources and it would also entail many complications to the systems. On a System Area Network, backup of data is also conveniently simplified. Each data file and disk is present on the same main network. This allows for the management of data and backups to be performed in a far easier way.

Security of System Area Networks

All of the data and resources are kept and backed up in one location on a SAN or System Area Network. The levels of security are much rigid on this system than other storage and data backup sources. A user can also alter the access of data that is stored on the server using a SAN. It is also important to know that data is stored separately from the key server network, which makes it increasingly difficult for cyber security hacks to be carried out. Hackers cannot comprise a SAN’s security by attacking with malware, ransom ware or other types of viruses and cyber security threats.

Difference between System Area Networks (SAN) and Direct Attached Storage Networks (DAS)

In simple words, Direct Attached Storage or DAS integrates a super-fast interconnect like SCSI or Small Computer System Interface in order to integrate its multiple disks into the servers’ available. It is a method which is not costly at all and also provides decent performance with a direct advantage of granting immediate access to the database apps. For businesses in the SME sector, a Direct Attached Storage Network is the right option. However, when these companies are looking to scale up their operations, they would want a better resource because DAS is not compatible with complex networks having multiple servers.

Comparison between System Area Networks (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS)           

It is vitally important to understand these terminologies and their functions if an individual is appearing for a top-tier certification. Networking fundamentals are critical for those wanting to become IT professionals and for securing Cisco Certification. In this relation, QuickStart offers resources and training programs for all those who wish to acquire top-level certifications, such as CCNA, CCSP, CCIP, and CCNP. QuickStart employs specialized methods and benefits from excellence and expertise of catering to a plethora of users who are interested in delving deeper into the world of computer science. Sign up today.

About The Author
Associate Instructor

Muhammad Shoaib

Muhammad Shoaib is a computer science graduate with 11+ years of diversified professional working experience on multiple technologies including CISCO, Juniper, Maipu, Microsoft, Office 365, Amazon AWS and PowerShell. Being a Network consultant and Project Manager I have driven various successful projects.

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