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A storage area network (SAN) is a secure high-speed data transfer network that provides access to consolidated block-level storage. An SAN makes a network of storage devices accessible to multiple servers. SAN devices appear to servers as attached drives, eliminating traditional network bottlenecks.
SANs are sometimes also referred to (albeit redundantly) as SAN storage, SAN network, network SAN, etc.
Introduced in the early 2000s, SANs were initially limited to enterprise class computing. Today, high-speed disk costs have gradually dropped and SANs have become a mainstay for greater organizational storage.
SAN implementation simplifies information life cycle management and plays a critical role in delivering a consistent and secure data transfer infrastructure.
SAN solutions are available as two types:
Both provide advantages based on business requirements.
The advantages of SAN include:
SAN is offered by server manufacturers, such as IBM and HP. Server-independent SAN providers include EMC and Network Appliance.