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Storage Area Network Architecture (SAN Architecture)

Definition - What does Storage Area Network Architecture (SAN Architecture) mean?

Storage area network (SAN) architecture refers to the logical layout of a SAN infrastructure.

This architecture defines:

  • How the SAN is logically created
  • Components used
  • Data storage and retrieval frameworks
  • Device/host interconnectivity
  • Other parameters/components essential for a SAN

Techopedia explains Storage Area Network Architecture (SAN Architecture)

There are two types of SAN architecture, storage-centric SAN architecture and network-centric SAN architecture.

A SAN generally consists of three core components; therefore, SAN architecture is composed of:

  • Hosts: These are the system/end devices that use the SAN services. This can include servers and computers on the network.

  • Fabric: This consists of the interfaces such as fiber channel and host bus adapter that enable connectivity between the hosts and SAN infrastructure.

  • Storage: This is the physical storage drives.

Typically, SAN architecture defines:

  • Pool of storage used and how it is shared in between different servers or computers connected via the network

  • Type of network or data transmission connection used between the key SAN infrastructure and all connecting nodes

  • Placement of data depending upon the type of SAN architecture or topology

  • Type of SAN topology being used

SAN architecture also includes SAN management applications and the overall data storage, consumption and retrieval policy that governs the SAN's resources.

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