Advantages of SAN (Storage Area Network)

“It’s not that we use technology, we live technology.” This famous quote makes it evident that technology plays an important role in our lives. In this day and age technological progress is happening by leaps and bounds and for any new development to stand the test of time, its advantages need to outweigh its disadvantages. In this blog we will touch upon the advantages of Storage Area Network (SAN).

SAN (Storage Area Network)

SAN is the abbreviation for Storage Area Network. SAN is a computer network. Access to consolidated, block-level data storage is provided by it. A SAN is mainly used for the purpose of accessing devices that have to do with data storage. It is a dedicated network of storage devices and can’t be accessed through the LAN (Local Area Network).

A Storage Area Network is an independent, dedicated, high-speed network of storage devices for not only interconnecting but also delivering these storage devices’ shared pool of storage space to multiple servers. Every SAN has three essential components. These are network infrastructure, servers and storage. These integral components of a SAN consist of certain key elements, which are storage arrays, node ports, cabling, SAN management software and interconnecting devices that include FC switches or hubs. The storage system and the switch that are on a SAN need to be interconnected.

In the context of servers being an important component of SAN, let us touch upon servers briefly. A server refers to either a computer hardware or a computer program (software) that is meant to provide functionality to other devices or programs, which are knows as clients. Servers can be of many types, such as application servers, mail servers, DNS servers, file servers, print servers, database servers, virtual servers, proxy servers, web servers etc. Let us take the example of the servers that are used by web hosting companies. These servers store the files of websites and deliver those files on request over the Internet for the purpose of making websites accessible. There are many types of web hosting services and the most reliable ones are often referred to as the “Best Windows Hosting”, the “Best Website Hosting”, the “Top Cloud Hosting” etc.

Returning to our main topic, SANs are usually used for enhancing the availability of applications, improving the performance of applications, augmenting utilization and effectiveness of storage and for improving data security. Additionally, SANs are important for a business’ activities that are related to BCM (Business Continuity Management).

Advantages of SAN

SANs have many benefits. One of its major advantages is scalability. A SAN doesn’t limit the number of disks that can be attached to a system. Moreover, the performance of a SAN is neither impacted by Ethernet traffic nor by local disk throughput bottlenecks. The data that is transmitted to as well as from a SAN takes place on its own private network, which is segregated from backup traffic, user traffic and any other form of SAN traffic. Data protection is another benefit that SAN provides. Data can’t be copied or stolen by anyone from a shared SAN. Data can’t be seen by SAN admins either. A correctly configured SAN ensures that data exists in zones. This aids in isolating one’s data from that of the others on the same SAN. Moreover, zoning helps to achieve workload isolation by keeping one’s workload separate from the workloads of those that are on the same SAN. Hence, sharing a SAN (when zones exist) doesn’t cause any problem with regard to the performance of applications.

A SAN is more or less unbeatable with regard to assuring cent percent storage availability. No reboots are required by SAN systems for replacing or adding new disks or for configuring RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) groups. Increased performance is a result of SANs capability to stream data among SANs by completely bypassing server systems for the purpose of data backup and recovery. A SAN is a speedy and reliable solution for data recovery. Server systems can go offline but that’s not the case with SANs as these remain available.

SAN offers long distance connectivity (10 km) which is one of its major advantages. This enables one to consolidate one’s storage into an isolated and dedicated location for storage, which is separate from the systems that are served by it. Additionally, SANs prevent wastage of space and power and cut down on the heat that is generated by numerous partially utilized local disks in a data center. Space is used more effectively by SAN when compared to local storage. When a system needs more storage, it is allocated dynamically by the SAN. Moreover, it is possible to run physical servers that are diskless and boot to the SAN directly for one’s operating system.

Centralized management is possible with SAN. Software management tools have been created by SAN vendors to ensure proper management of a heterogenous environment which has SAN arrays from various vendors. Apart from the benefit of managing multiple vendors, it is possible to centrally manage all the SAN environments from a single interface, enabling centralized storage management that is highly efficient.


Storage Area Networks are used by organizations as the most efficient storage networking architecture for applications that are business-critical. SANs deliver high performance, low latency along with lower total cost and many other advantages that have been elucidated in this blog. A SAN stores data in a centralized shared storage, which aids enterprises with regard to applying relevant tools and consistent methodologies for data protection, disaster recovery and security.

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