Storage Area Networks are typically used to provide access to data storage. These make sure that storage devices such as disks, tape drives etc. can be accessed by an operating system as system storage devices.
Storage Area Networks are quite cheap and so are used both by large conglomerates and small businesses.
An image that illustrates storage area networks is as follows −
The different components in storage area networks are −
All the servers that provide access to the storage area network collectively constitute the host layer. These servers have host bus adapters that allow the operating system to connect to the storage devices via the storage area network.
The networking devices in the storage area networks constitute the fabric layer. These include routers, gateways, bridges, cables etc. All these devices help move data in the storage area network, from source to destination.
The storage devices in the storage area network together form the storage layer. These devices include database server, file server, hard disk, magnetic tape etc. All the storage devices contain a number known as the logical unit number (LUN). They can be uniquely identified in the storage area network using this number.
The different advantages of storage area networks are −
The different disadvantages of storage area networks are −