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SANs provide a proven and significant ROI based upon benefits such as:

• Reduced Capital Expenditures

• Increased IT Staff Efficiency

• Higher system and application availability

• Enhanced ability to efficiently exploit the full value of a company's IT assets

Disk Storage

Storage Area Networks (SAN)

In order to provide high-speed, continuous access to multiple terabytes of data, a Storage Area Network (SAN) is required to overcome throughput and data-sharing issues common in existing data networks. In a SAN environment, storage devices such as tape libraries and RAID arrays are connected to many kinds of servers via a high-speed interconnection, such as Fibre Channel (FC), or IP-based approaches such as iSCSI, or SOIP. These setups allows for any-to-any communication among all devices on the SAN. It also provides alternative paths from server to storage device. In other words, if a particular server is slow or completely unavailable, another server on the SAN can provide access to the storage device. A SAN also makes it possible to mirror data, making multiple copies available. The high-speed interconnection that links servers and storage devices essentially creates a separate, external network hat's connected to the LAN but acts as an independent network.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Network Attached Storage (NAS) is the term used to describe a LAN-attached networked server with a stripped-down operating system, preconfigured disk capacity, and integrated systems and storage software. The NAS device operates much like a print server. It offloads the storage function from the standard application server. It is a stable device, easily installed and managed, which responds to file requests from the other servers in the LAN.

Unlike a standard file server, a NAS system does not require the purchase of separate hardware or software components, which would need to be integrated onto the system before it is installed. NAS devices use file protocols (typically Network File System (NFS) or Common Internet File System [CIFS]) to communicate with the other servers in the LAN. Both of these protocols are file protocols, which do not support most database processes.





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