Main benefits of SAN
Storage area network (SAN) is a dedicated data network that is used to connect external devices such as disk arrays and backup devices to servers and computing systems.
Main benefits of SAN:
- Physical data and server separation, individual SAN elements can be up to tens of kilometres apart.
- Sharing resources between servers and disk or backup systems, providing redundant paths to these resources.
- High availability and network security - no single point of failure architecture, cluster, and Disaster Recovery Site solutions support.
- Throughput, scalability, and more.
SANs use Fibre Channel or Ethernet technology, appropriate cabling, and active network elements
Network communication is provided by the iSCSI and FCP protocols. The standard SCSI protocol performs its own work with data (I/O operations).
In SAN, block data is transferred between the source (Initiator) by default server and destination (Target), which is primarily a disk array.
iSCSI SAN - uses the iSCSI protocol, metallic (Copper), or optical (Optical Fibre) cables.
It is used mainly for smaller infrastructures.
Ethernet switches are used to create the iSCSI SAN network itself; communication on the server side is provided by standard network cards (NIC) and software iSCSI initiators, or iSCSI HBA adapters.
Fibre Channel SAN - uses FCP protocol, optical (Optical Fibre) cables, and special FC switches (SANswitches). It is used for large infrastructures and topologies.
FCoE SAN - Converged Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) technology, where FC frames are encapsulated in Ethernet, uses classic Ethernet switches with FCoE support.