SAS vs. NAS vs. SAN - 2 - © 2000
ince the advent of main-frames, computer scientistshave constantly wrestledwith various architecturesto speed the I/O performance withincreasing processor performance.Earlier efforts to improve data ac-cess involved tight coupling file sys-tems and I/O with its operating sys-tems. The rise of networked distrib-uted computing brought the chal-lenge of sharing files amongst het-erogeneous computers running dif-ferent operating systems. This gaverise to network-attached-storageservers to be independent of appli-cations servers and dedicated toonly serving files to users while off-loading data management tasksfrom the over burdened applicationservers.Faced with the lack of a practicaltechnology that would interconnecttheses server, the industry gavebirth to a high speed fibre-channeltechnology which in turn providedthe impetus for a third generationstorage architecture called SAN (orStorage Area Networks) to emerge.SANs create a dedicated network,focused on creating a universal anyto anyconnectivity between storage andserver nodes - a network that com-bines the best of mainframe bus andchannel's high speed and data in-tegrity benefits with networks' dis-tance benefits, a network that freesthe main LAN network from backupduties that consume valuable band-width, a network that is scalable al-lowing increments in capacity with-out disruptions while leveraging theexisting investments in legacy plat-forms and existing data, a networkthat provides centralized controlwhile providing remote data vaultingfor disaster recovery, a network thatoffloads storage management tasksfrom application servers and speedsup the entire network, thus allowingusers the benefit of fast data ac-cess. SANs will eventually be at thecore of every enterprise's data cen-ter, allowing companies to designcentrally-managed data centers thatembrace and interconnect farflungglobal SANs and provide service toall of their servers, no matter how faror no matter what operating systemsthey arerunning on.This newfocus ondata stor-age, as akey asset tomanage, isobvious given the rise in dollars be-ing spent on storage to the tune of40-50% of total IT dollars in 1998.The rise in storage requirements, isbeing fueled by the birth of inces-santly newer internet, data ware-housing and ERP applications andfurther stoked by the lure of cheapdisk drives at 5 cents per MB at theend-user level today.
SAS, NAS, SAN — Past, present and future.
INSIDE:1.SAN – Server Attached Storage2.NAS – Network Attached Storage3.SAN – Storage Area Network4.I/O Performance – SAS vs. NASvs. SAN5.NAS – its origin, present adoptionand future incarnations6.Market Outlook for StorageSubsystems, SAS, NAS and SAN7.High Availability the next frontier for Computing Systems8.ROI on High Availability
President, IMEX ResearchReprinted from SMS Magazine
“SANs willeventually be atthe core of everyenterprise’s datacenter”