It seems as if at some point in time we all need to purchase some SAN Storage (Block). In some cases we can make do with a NAS (File) but if you need to run a database of some significance a SAN will be required.
So what is a SAN?
A storage area network (SAN) is any high-performance network whose primary purpose is to enable storage devices to communicate with computer systems and with each other.
SAN’s connect one or many servers to storage, enabling the users to negotiate device ownership among themselves and, ideally, to share data.
By deploying multiple servers to a SAN an organization will create a central pool of data , accessible to the client.
A SAN must be highly available. A single SAN connecting all computers to all storage puts a lot of enterprise information accessibility eggs into one basket. The SAN had better be pretty indestructible or the enterprise could literally be out of business. A good SAN implementation will have built-in protection against just about any kind of failure imaginable.
So the fundamental feature of SANs is universal data storage connectivity. Universal connectivity enables a host of important benefits. Depending on the particular SAN hardware and software components chosen, additional benefits may accrue from advanced functions being built into today’s SAN devices.
When evaluating SAN implementation options, once the basic capacity, availability, and performance requirements can be met, look for advanced functionality available in the chosen architecture and consider how it might be used to further reduce cost or enhance the information services delivered to users.