Storage Area Networks

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 −

Storage Area Networks

Components of Storage Area Networks

The different components in storage area networks are −

Host Layer

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.

Fabric Layer

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.

Storage Layer

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.

Advantages of Storage Area Networks

The different advantages of storage area networks are −

  • The storage devices are independent of the system and their data is accessed using the storage area network. So the storage devices can be increased and decreased as required.
  • The storage is removed from the purview of the system and moved and moved onto a separate network. This leads to a better performance overall as the data is not affected by local traffic or bottlenecks.
  • The storage data is very secure on the storage area network and cannot be copied or stolen by anyone else.
  • There can be a remote copy of the storage data kept separately using the storage area network. This can be useful if there is a primary data failure or natural disaster.

Disadvantages of Storage Area Networks

The different disadvantages of storage area networks are −

  • If there is a lot of traffic in the storage area network, then operations will be extremely slow. So it is better not to use storage area networks for data extensive applications.
  • The storage area network operates in a shared environment. So there is a change that data may be leaked for sensitive operations.

Updated on: 22-Jun-2020

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