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Storage Area Network (SAN) – Connecting Storage Devices with Servers

Introduction:

Storage Area Network (SAN) is a collection of multiple storage devices connected with different servers to provide a huge backup and enables disaster recovery. Storage area network (SAN) has greatly reduced the amount of workload that was earlier putted on a single storage device or a single server. Since a very large number of storage devices are connected together in a storage area network, hence the burden is divided equally on to these devices so that they can perform more efficiently. In this article, we will discuss how we can set up a storage area network by knowing about its components, working of a storage area network, advantages of using a storage area network and finally, we will talk about StarWind Virtual Storage Area Network.

Basic Components of a Storage Area Network:

A storage area network (SAN) is composed of the following main components:

➢      SAN switch

➢      Some storage devices

➢      A few servers

➢      Cables for connecting storage devices with servers

➢      SAN management software

➢      Routers

➢      Bridges

➢      Gateways

Working of a Storage Area Network:

The components of a storage area network are usually connected with each other through an optical fiber channel which provides a fast and steady data access. This fiber channel is highly scalable and has the capability of adding multiple servers and storage devices to it. This assembly of storage devices and servers provide a data transfer rate of 100 to 200 Mbps. A storage area network (SAN) provides a block level data access.

Benefits of a Storage Area Network:

The benefits of a storage area network (SAN) are listed below:

➢      It provides a high-speed network of storage devices.

➢      It conveniently connects the storage devices with servers.

➢      It helps a lot in backup processes and supports disaster recovery.

➢      It can span over a long distance with fiber channel.

➢      It has a simplified and central management.

➢      It is highly flexible.

➢      It is storage and performance efficient.

➢      Its availability is very high.

➢      It is resilient to failure.

➢      It supports virtualization.

➢      It provides storage tiering.

StarWind Virtual SAN:

Just like its many exceptional software and hardware solutions, StarWind has developed its StarWind Virtual SAN, which is a software that has eliminated the need of physical storage devices thus giving rise to virtualization. It makes use of the storage space provided by some sort of virtual storage and connects it to a hypervisor server. Since it utilizes minimum resources, hence it is highly available, cost effective, reliable and performance efficient.

The main features of StarWind Virtual SAN are as follows:

●       Converged (Compute and Storage separated)

●       Asynchronous replication

●       Automated storage tiering

●       Virtual Tape Library (VTL)

●       StarWind Log Structured File System (LSFS)

●       StarWind SwordFish Provider

●       Virtual storage appliance

●       StarWind virtual SAN hybrid cloud

●       StarWind proactive support

●       StarWind stretched clustering

●       Server message block (SMB3) support

●       Network file system (NFS) support

●       Storage management initiative support (SMIS)

●       Data locality

●       StarWind web-based management

●       Grid architecture

●       Deduplication and compression

●       Scale up and scale out

●       StarWind ISER

●       Unified storage (multi-protocol)

●       StarWind VVOLs

●       Fault tolerance and high availability

●       HyperConverged

●       Server-side cache

●       Hardware agnostic and commodity hardware

StarWind virtual SAN comes in the following two versions: StarWind Virtual SAN for Hyper-V and StarWind Virtual SAN for vSphere.

Conclusion:

Although the invention of Storage Area Network (SAN) has totally changed the way of data backup and retrieval and has made it much faster than ever before but there are still some organizations who do not want to spend much on their hardware infrastructure rather they want to utilize the already existing resources. For such organizations, StarWind virtual SAN is indeed the best solution since it makes use of the virtual storage space and hence reduces the additional hardware related costs, which would have incurred otherwise. In this way, both large and small firms without any difficulty can use Storage Area Network (SAN).

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