A Quick Guide to Understanding Storage Area Network

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You know that robust network storage is crucial to ensure efficient and smooth business operations if you're a small business owner. It keeps your servers in their best condition, simplifies data management, creates backups of essential information, makes applications more accessible, and prepares for unexpected issues.

More local businesses are increasingly investing in storage area networks (SANs) because of the decreasing implementation costs and increasing storage demands. However, it can be challenging to determine if this network solution is ideal for your business, especially if you lack the expertise in understanding information technology.

If you want to make the right decision for your company, this article will discuss five things you must know about storage area networks.

What Is a Storage Area Network?

A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a network that connects storage devices with other computer systems. It uses SAN switches to communicate between two or more devices. Administrators can manage the storage capacity by assigning logical unit numbers or storage blocks to the pool. That enables faster data travel and better access to stored information.

SANs also provide application and administrative traffic, operate on a wide range of networking technologies, and connect with various storage devices. This solution offers excellent flexibility, allowing business owners to generate creative and innovative approaches to storing and processing digital data, ultimately leading to continued advancements in the field.

Storage Area Networks vs. Network Attached Storage: What’s the Difference?

While SANs and NAS share some similarities, you must remember that they also have their differences and drawbacks.

These storage technologies diverge in several characteristics, including server types, server operating systems, ease of upgrade, frequently-used protocols, and protocol levels. Business owners can easily upgrade SANs, use open operating systems, and incorporate multipurpose servers. Moreover, SANs use a wider variety of protocols.

On the other hand, Network-Attached Storage (NAS) servers are more challenging to upgrade and employ proprietary operating systems. They also use limited protocols like SMB and NFS. Moreover, they may be unideal for some businesses because they can overload when multiple clients and servers connect to them.

How Do They Differ from Direct Attached Storage Networks?

Direct Attached Storage (DAS) networks are a low-cost and high-performance storage option for small businesses and departmental networks because it uses a fast interconnect to connect disk arrays to servers. However, they don’t work for more complex networks.

On the other hand, SANs simplify storage management by pooling resources among data centers, minimizing required capacities, and making it easier to add storage. That way, small businesses can virtualize their data.

How Can SANs Improve Your Performance?

While SANs require an upfront investment, their benefits can outweigh the costs. These storage technologies can boost your small business’s performance by providing improved disk utilization, disaster recovery, faster backups, and increased application availability, making them an excellent way to organize and secure company data.

What Is the Relationship between SANs and the Cloud?

As technological advancements rise, more companies invest in cloud-based services to store their data through virtual servers. Business owners usually use SAN technology with cloud servers to connect numerous servers to storage devices. Compared to purchasing hardware, cloud hosting services are the most cost-effective and are popular among businesses that can't invest in more infrastructure.  

Sometimes, other companies combine cloud storage and Storage Area Networks to get the most out of both benefits. They store their most crucial and frequently used data on the SANs while they archive their less essential information in the cloud. This step allows them to optimize their storage solution according to their budget and needs.

Final Thoughts

Storage area networks offer small businesses more cost-effective and efficient storage solutions. Working with a reliable service provider can help you get the most out of your company operations.

If your business needs a storage area network in Medina, OH, work with thomastech LLC! We offer reliable but affordable storage solutions to meet your company’s needs. Call us now to get a quote!

thomastech's unwavering commitment to quality, comprehensive solutions, and round-the-clock expertise transformed our Data Center journey." - John T.

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