June 5, 2023
What is SAN storage and how it works Type of SAN
  • The full name of SAN is Storage Area Network. It is a type of computer network that is accessed by a number of computers and servers. What is SAN storage and how it works Type of SAN
  • SAN is a high speed network that connects storage devices to servers.
  • In other words, “SAN is a type of computer network that connects the storage device directly to the operating system and reaches it to the server.”
  • The main purpose of SAN is to transfer data between servers and storage areas.
  • It is most commonly used to access the storage area.
  • SAN centralized the storage device so that it can transfer the data with high speed.
  • Storage Area Network (SAN) is made by combining servers, storage systems, networking switches, software and services or we can say that SAN is a combination of servers, storage systems, networking switches, software and services.
  • This network is a good option for enterprises and organizations because it is cheaper than other networks and its speed is also very fast.
  • This network stores data in centralized share storage, so the data present in it remains secure.
  • This network is more flexible and its working capacity is also more.
  • This network provides block level data storage due to which devices communicate with each other at high speed.
  • SAN is also used by the organization to manage the activities.
  • More about device What is SAN storage and how it works Type of SAN

Components of a Storage Area Network

  1. Node port
  2. Cable
  3. Interconnection Device
  4. Storage Array
  5. SAN Management Software

1. Node Port

All the devices present in the network are called Node. These nodes send and receive data. In this, each node has one or more ports to transfer data.

These ports work on Full Duplex data transmission.

2. Cable

SAN uses optical fiber cables due to which it can establish connections over long distances.

Compared to other cables, this cable is stronger, due to which the risk of breakage is less. There are two types of optical cable first Multi mode Fiber and second Single Mode Fiber.

  • Multi-mode fiber

This is a type of optic fiber cable called MMF in short form. This cable can transfer data up to 500 meters.

  • Single mode fiber

It is called SMF in short form. Single modal fiber has a longer range than multi modal fiber. It can transfer data up to 10 kilometers.

3. Interconnection Device

The following three interconnection devices are used in SAN:-

  1. Hub
  2. Switch
  3. Director
  • Hub

Hub is a networking device that is used to connect multiple devices in a network. Hubs in SANs are used in optic fiber cables that serve to connect nodes in a star topology.

  • Switch

A switch is a type of networking device used to interconnect network devices. Switches are better than hubs because they transfer data directly from one port to another. They are very cheap and their performance is also very good.

  • Director

The size of the director is larger than the switches that are used to implement the data center.

4. Storage Array

Storage array is also called Disk array. It is a data storage system used for block storage, file storage and object storage.

Storage array includes two types of drives first HDD (Hard Disk Drive) and second SSD (Solid State Drive).

5. SAN Management Software

It is a type of software that handles and manages the interface between nodes, storage arrays, and interconnection devices.

SAN management software includes all types of management functions like mapping, switch etc. It also manages storage devices and interconnection devices.

Type of protocol

It has the following protocols:-

  1. FCP
  2. ISCSI
  3. FCoE
  4. NVMe

1. FCP

The full name of FCP is Fiber Channel Protocol. It is a popular and important protocol of SAN which is used the most. This protocol maps SCSI commands to Fiber Channel (FC) networks.


Its full name is Internet Small Computer System Interface (Internet Small Computer System Interface). It is another protocol of SAN. It places the SCSI commands inside the ethernet frame and then transfers them over an Internet protocol.

3- FCoE

Its name is Fiber Channel Over Internet. This protocol is similar to iSCSI. It encapsulates the Fiber Channel Ethernet datagrams and then transfers them over the IP Ethernet network.

4. NVMe

Its full name is Non-Volatile Memory Express (Non-Volatile Memory Express). It accesses the storage via PCI express bus.

Applications of Storage Area Network

What is SAN storage and how it works Type of SAN

It is used at the following places-

SAN is used to manage the database system. Database systems perform thousands of transactions per second, which require the use of a SAN to manage.

2- It helps in supporting thousands of virtual machines.

3- It is used by the organization to provide security to the data.

4- It helps in managing the organization.

5- It is used to connect the storage device with the server.

6- It helps one device to communicate with another device.

Advantages of Storage Area Network(SAN)

1- This network is scalable i.e. it can be increased and decreased.

2- It keeps the user’s data safe, due to which other users are not able to use that data for wrongdoings.

3- It is easy to implement security on this network.

4- In this, storage devices can be easily added and removed from the network.

5- It is much cheaper than other networks. DAS

6- In this the disk can be used in a better way.

7- It helps in long distance communication.

8- Fiber optic cable is used in this, this cable is very strong.

9- The speed of transferring data in this is very fast.

10- In this, many users can transfer data at one time.

Disadvantages of Storage Area Network(SAN)

Maintaining SAN costs a lot of money.

2- It is difficult to maintain and manage.

3- This network is more complex than other networks.

4- Fiber technology is used in this which is very expensive.

5- In this, if data leaks from one computer, it can affect the data of other computers.

Difference Between SAN & NAS


  • The full name of SAN is (Storage Area Network).
  • It uses protocols like SCSI, SATA.
  • Block by block copying technique is used to recover and backup data in this network.
  • It takes more time to control and organize this network.
  • It does not depend on LAN.
  • It uses high speed Fiber Channel network.
  • It is mostly used in enterprises.
  • It has low latency.
  • It supports virtualization.


  • The full name of NAS is (Network Attached Storage).
  • It uses the CIFS protocol.
  • In this, files are used to recover and backup data.
  • It is easy to control which takes less time.
  • It depends on the LAN.
  • It uses TCP/IP network.
  • It is mostly used in small organization.
  • It has high latency.
  • It does not support virtualization.

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