November 19, 2012

SAN vs NAS

So, what's the difference between SAN and NAS anyway? While both are storage technologies, there are clear differences between the two and each has a specific role in any technology project. In my article this month, I discuss the differences between a SAN (Storage Area Network) and a NAS (Network Attached Storage) and how they can be complimentary to one another.

When considering a SAN or NAS, it's important to determine what you are trying to accomplish and that will decide which is the best fit for your organization. For an SMB, in general, it seems that a SAN is a better choice for a virtualization project where as a NAS is just a reliable easy source for offloading additional data to keep your server from blowing a gasket! Of course, as with any pervasive technology, it is best to engage with your technology professional to see what the appropriate selection for your particular situation would be. Whatever you do, don't ignore the issue, because there's nothing more frustrating than scrambling to deal with a lack of storage or a critical data loss when you least expect it.

2 comments:

eli said...

I use NAS as my 'load lightener'...but I've never had any reason to use SAN. Is there a way to use both?

Bryan Ramona, SecurElement Sales said...

Eli,

Thanks for your question! Here's the (relatively) short answer - some SANs can function as both. One example that we've had a lot of experience with is the NetApp FAS series. While using the appliance as both SAN & NAS can be done, in most cases a NAS is used for low-performance data storage. A better use for a SAN is when either storage virtualization or virtualization platforms need to be run. I hope that helps clarify for you!