Introduction to data storage technologies

Storage is an important area, without it, no one can imagine the computer system to function properly. This article focuses on different data storage technologies including DAS, NAS, and SAN.

What is DAS?

As the name implies, the bunch of disks directly connected with the system without involving any switched network giving exclusive access to disks.


●     They are fast because they are directly attached. No network thing is involved.

●     Storage can be easily extended. Attach additional hard drives with the system using HBA and turn on the system.

●     Data security

●     No setup complications, you simply need to connect the hard drives with the system. If the drivers are available, the hard drives will simply show.

●     High availability


DAS has disadvantages as well and they are listed below,

●     Allows only one computer system to access the storage at any time to which they are connected

●     Higher cost in terms of administration

●     Cannot manage the devices with the help of a network

DAS vendors

Vendors of DAS include the following,

●     Adaptec

●     Aptare

●     Bluearc

●     Brocade

●     Bridgeworks

●     EMC

●     Fujitsu

●     Maxtor

●     Seagate

Protocols used

The following common protocols are used in DAS technology,

●     ATA

●     SATA

●     eSATA

●     NVMe

●     SCSI

●     SAS

●     USB

What is NAS?

Network or attached storage is a central storage location which allows the storage and retrieval of data by multiple users and heterogeneous clients. They are configured and managed by browser-based tools.


The advantages of NAS are as follows:

●        It provides file level storage

●        It is less expensive than SAN

●        It can be managed centrally through one console


The disadvantages of NAS are as follows:

●        It has a limited scalability

●        It is network dependent

●        It does not support block level storage

NAS vendors

Following are the companies which manufacture NAS technology,

●     HPE 3PAR

●     NetApp

●     IBM

●     FreeNAS

●     NetApp

●     EMC

●     Hitachi

●     Qumulo

Protocol used

Below is the list of protocols used to serve NAS.

●     Andrew File System (AFS)

●     Apple Filing Protocol (AFP)

●     Server Message Block (SMB)

●     File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

●     Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP)

●     Network File System (NFS)

●     Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP)

What is SAN?

Storage Area Network or SAN is a high-speed network for accessing the storage. SANs typically consist of hosts, switches and storage devices connected together using different interfaces and standards. The host sees as though the storage has been attached locally.


●     Disk utilization is improved

●     Less backup time

●     Redundancy


The disadvantages of SAN are as follows:

●        It is expensive

●        It requires additional skills and expertise to use it

●        It is not suitable for a small cluster of servers

SAN vendors

Following is a small list of SAN vendors.

●     Dell

●     EMC

●     Hewlett-Packard

●     IBM

●     NetApp

●     Huawei

●     Hitachi Vantara

●     HPE

●     Oracle

●     Lenovo

●     Western Digital

Protocols used

Following protocols are commonly used in Storage Area Network.

●     File communication Protocol (FCP)

●     iSCSI

●     FCoE

●     FC-NVMe

●     Network File System (NFS)

●     Common Internet File System (CIFS)

●     Network Communication Protocol (NCP)

●     AppleTalk

●     File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

●     Hyper Text Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

StarWind VSAN

Virtual Storage Area Network or VSAN from StarWind gives high performance and data availability by using minimum resources and without using proprietary hardware.


Some are the following benefits of StarWind VSAN,

●     Exceptional simplicity

●     Cost efficiency

●     Performance and features


As we have mentioned in the introduction, different data storage technologies were the subject of this article. We have discussed DAS, SAN, and NAS with their vendors, advantages, disadvantages and common protocols they use. Finally, we have concluded the article by mentioning a few sentences about StarWind VSAN.

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