Network Storage Systems: How do SAN and NAS works on Digital Devices?
By Dianne Mariz
As the world keeps changing, the advancement of technology goes with it. People continue to innovate to meet the fast-changing needs of the society. Digital information is very important nowadays. Many people, transactions, and communications are made possible under the use of digital devices.
In today’s time, the information style lies through electronic communication. You can use various platforms, such as emails, mobile technology, and social media. It changes the way we connect and interact with one another. Electronic communication makes communication faster and easier for private and public purposes.
This type of communication is highly beneficial for business organizations. Its ability to reach a wider audience grows the business even more. Social media is one of the most common platforms where people communicate and interact with one another. Sometimes, business owners also use social media to promote or advertise their products and services.
In this regard, you are about to gather much data and information in different transactions that you have done. You need to accommodate all of them to monitor the status of the customers’ interaction with your business. To do that, data storage is a must.
How can data storage help you in managing your digital information?
Data storage is the common term for storing data in different forms for the utilization of a computer or a digital device. The various form of data storage plays specific roles in a computing setting. As technology keeps in developing, data storage also upgrades.
There are two forms of data storage. These are the primary and secondary storage.
Random-Access Memory or RAM is stored in the integrated circuits for instant use. On the other hand, the data stored in secondary storage, such as hard drives and flash drives, are created for research activities when the user needs it anytime.
Everything you need to know about Storage Area Network (SAN)
The Storage Area Network (SAN) is a reliable high-speed data transfer network. It gives access to combined block-level storage. With the use of SAN, it creates a network of storage devices that is accessible for various servers. SAN equipment appears to the servers as attached drives. It also removes the usual network bottlenecks.
SAN integration streamlines information management. It also possesses an important role in transporting constant data transfer structure. Storage Area Network is available for two types of devices.
- Fiber Channel. The storage devices and servers are connected through a high-speed network of linked fiber channel switches. It is designed for mission-critical software, where it requires access for uninterrupted data.
- Internet Small Computer System Interface Protocol. This structure provides the flexibility of a low-cost type of IP network.
Advantages of Storage Area Network (SAN)
Storage Area Network (SAN) is beneficial in many factors. Thus, these are the advantages that you might get in using this network.
- The server capacity is not connected anymore to one storage device alone. It is because there are huge and combined storage pools that are now accessible for software applications.
- It improves the speed capacity of the devices. It makes the storage data transfer faster with less or no server interference.
- SAN also has advanced backup features that can help you secure your data. Servers open the store the data on local disks instead of putting them in multiple disks and server connections.
- Storage Area Network performs continuous network operation. It is not a problem even though the server experiences failure or suddenly drops offline due to system maintenance. It enables the device to have built-in redundancy and automatic traffic redirecting.
What are the components of the Storage Area Network (SAN)?
As SAN plays a vital role in the efficiency of digital devices, it is built with its basic components, making it more effective. The three basic components of the Storage Area Network are the servers, storage, and network infrastructures. Moreover, these components can be subdivided into essential elements.
The nodes are devices such as the hosts, storage, and tape libraries. These devices serve as the source or endpoint for one or more nodes present in a fiber channel.
The Storage Area Network (SAN) uses optical fiber cabling. These cables transfer data in light form. Besides, there are two types of optical cables known as the single-mode and multi-mode optical cables.
Single-mode fiber cables only carry a single light ray projected at the core’s center. On the other hand, multi-mode fiber cables carry multiple-beam lights projected from different angles and at the same time in the cable’s core.
These devices are used for connecting hosts and SAN environment. The examples of interconnecting devices are the Hubs, directors, and switches. Hubs substantially connect the nodes in a logical loop, which are later on used as a piece of communication equipment in FC-AL applications. While switches directly route the data from one port to other ports. Therefore, it makes the switches more effective than Hubs. Lastly, directors perform the same work as the FC switches. The difference is they have a higher port number and fault tolerance aptitude. They are larger than switches and are utilized for data center works.
The main goal of the Storage Area Network is to give storage resources to its host. SAN applications support the standard features of the storage arrays. It provides high accessibility, performance, business continuity, and multiple host connectivity. The new storage arrays give large storage capacities for the SAN settings. It is for the improvement of their storage consolidations and centralization.
SAN Management Software
Storage Area Network management software is beneficial. It permits the full management of various resources from one point. It also provides the complete infrastructure of the SAN environment.
This software performs the essential management functions like the mapping of storage devices, switches, and servers. It also provides observing and creating alerts for discovered equipment. SAN management software also offers logical partitioning of SAN, called partitioning.
Because of the effective advantages of Storage Area Network (SAN), storage devices function with separate networks. They can communicate with one another through various media options.
What is the importance of Network Attached Storage (NAS)?
Usually, computers store data in internal and external hard drives. If your computer is connected to a specific network, it can share data with the connected hard drives to the other computer systems included in the network. It permits various computers to transfer data back and forth, but the transfer needs to be done individually.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) enables the computer the store and access data using the centralized storage location. Instead of having each computer to share its files, the computer data is saved on a single NAS server. It offers a more reliable method of transferring files on a certain network.
Once the Network Attached Storage (NAS) is connected to a network, it can be arranged to transfer files with various computers within the network. It provides access to several numbers of reliable machines. These servers usually consist of numerous hard drives that provide a huge amount of shared disk space for the interconnected systems to store data.
They are commonly used in business networks, but a tremendous increase of users belong to those home-based networks. Network Attached Storage (NAS) utilizes a centralized storage device where it can be an easy way for the family members to transfer and backup data.
How does NAS work?
Network Attached Storage is a file-level storage infrastructure which makes the stored data more reachable to various network devices. It provides one access point for the storage, including built-in security, fault tolerance, and management. Here is how NAS operates in the digital world.
There will be a preconfigured storage software installed on specific hardware. It is commonly known as the NAS server, NAS head, NAS unit, or NAS box. This hardware acts as the server, which contains the storage disks, processors, and RAM.
The NAS software is created on a light operating system that is commonly installed in the hardware. On the other hand, general-purpose servers have complete operating systems which transfer thousands of requests per second. NAS works on sending and receiving two types of requests, known as data storage and file sharing.
Network Attached Storage is designed with transfer protocols. These protocols are the fundamental methods of transferring data between digital devices. The clients can manipulate these through the use of a switch. The switch is the central server that connects the requests to the devices. The data transfer protocol allows the users to access computer files and act as if it’s your own.
The Benefits of Network Attached Storage
Just like the Storage Area Network (SAN), NAS also has its advantages and benefits. Here are some of them that you can check out, which can also be your consideration for purchasing NAS.
- You can simply add more storage space to NAS, just like adding hard disks. There is no need for you to replace or upgrade your present servers. You can have new storage even without shutting down your network.
- Network Attached Storage is designed to serve files. It eliminates the responsibility of file serving from other types of network devices. And because NAS performs only a specific task, users can have better network performance.
- NAS infrastructures are often set up with simple scripts with a modernized operating system. It takes less time to set up and manage the network.
- Every type of network device has access to Network Attached Storage.
- You can modify Network Attached Storage to enable support of repeated disks, erasure coding, or a redundant array of independent disks to secure the integrity of your data.
Features of a Network Attached Storage
A NAS is a storage device connected to a specific network, and users can have to access it. It utilizes network and file-sharing protocol to execute the filing and storing functions. These are some of the features of Network Attached Storage, which you can find beneficial for your system.
- Access for file-level data.
- Committed to high performance.
- Executes high-speed capacity.
- One purpose file serving and storage system.
- Supports various interfaces and networks.
- Crosses platform support.
- Centralized storage.
How can the use of NAS affect your business?
If you are a business owner, you might be thinking of upgrading your systems, such as data processing and storage. It can best help your business to be more competitive in this modern business world. Here is why Network Attached Storage is a beneficial asset for small business enterprises.
- NAS is easy to use. You can install them in your system without too much maintenance interference. Even though you do not have IT professionals, you can easily use this system.
- NAS comes at an affordable cost. Compared to other network devices, small business owners find NAS devices cheaper to use. That is why they purchase it more often.
- NAS can be easily modified when it comes to size and scale. You can add more storage space when you need to enhance your cloud storage.
- NAS is accessible all the time. These devices are available 24/7. There is no need for you to depend on eternal servers to access the system. But, you need to ensure that switch is turned on. When there is a power loss, you need to have a backup. If you let your NAS device turned off, therefore you can’t have access to it.
- NAS promotes remote data accessibility. It is one of the best advantages of NAS devices. You can add or retrieve data remotely. Even if you are a small business organization with scattered team members, your transactions can still proceed. They can put all the data that they have gathered through an Internet connection no matter where they are.
- NAS can improve customer service. With the easier and faster access using NAS, you can gather and report data efficiently. As for customer service, you can respond faster to your customers. Thus, enhancing the quality of your interactions with your customers.
- NAS can help in decision making. Your management team doesn’t need to wait long for the data to reach their system. With NAS, they can have access to all the data, thus coming up with decisions abruptly with no delays.
- NAS develops greater collaboration. Since many people can access the system, more people can work together simultaneously. This is the most important characteristic that a business group should have. Collaboration can make work easier and more productive. Team members can work on the same data even though they in different locations.
What are the main differences between NAS and SAN?
Both NAS and SAN works on providing better network service for the public. Meanwhile, their differences make them stand out from one another with their specifications. Here is how they differ from one another.
- NAS is usually utilized in homes and small to medium business organizations. While professionals and company environments commonly use SAN.
- NAS is cheaper, while SAN is more expensive.
- SAN needs more administration to operate, while NAS is easier to manage.
- In SAN, the servers access data as if it is a local hard drive. On the other hand, the data access for NAS takes place in a network-attached drive.
- NAS does not work with virtualization while SAN does.
- NAS does not require architectural modifications while SAN does.
- NAS is vulnerable to network bottlenecks, while SAN is not affected by these troubles.
Why is network storage beneficial for data processing?
Network storage is used to define a digital device or various groups of devices where the network stores copies of the data through a high-speed local area network. The storage system is vital because it creates backup copies and other data to a central location. Therefore, users can have easy access to these files.
The storage capabilities of a computer make it the most widely used digital devices today. Hard drives and USB drives are just examples of local storage which can store valuable data which can easily be accessed. Network storage is an effective solution which can provide the reliable and external data source. These are data that the users on this network can share and access. They also free the local storage and promotes a backup program that can help them to prevent critical data loss or corruption.
Digital information is very important. People make use of this information to develop and enhance their knowledge and skills. Moreover, as technology continues to innovate, the devices also upgrade with it. More and more information is processing every day, every minute. Thus, data storage is a must for you to save and accommodate all of these bits of information.
The traditional method of data storage is not relevant to use nowadays. Modern devices also require advanced data storage capacity. The data system plays a vital role in running a business. You can monitor the flow of your transactions and create innovative ideas for your business to flourish. The fast-changing world works on creating inventions that can make the lives of the people more comfortable and more productive. We should also get along with this development for us not to be left behind by this technological trend.