Storage Area Network

A storage area network is the storage solution of choice when high performance must be delivered to large numbers of concurrent users. A storage area network is commonly used as the storage layer for high-volume transactional systems, or for densely virtualized infrastructures.

The distinguishing characteristics of a storage area network (SAN) are:
  • A SAN is a dedicated network used only for storage I/O. By contrast, with network attached storage (NAS) – the other common type of network storage system – the NAS units are located on a shared network utilized by a variety of other network elements.
  • With a storage area network the I/O unit is blocks, whereas for NAS servers it’s entire files.
  • With a storage area network the clients are servers, which interface with the SAN as if it’s providing raw disk space. By contrast, any type of computer including desktops and workstations can be a client to network attached storage.

Storage Area Network Evolution

Over time the storage area network has evolved in response to market demand and underlying technology advances. One notable change is that while the SANs of the past relied exclusively on specialized Fibre Channel interconnects, today there are also SAN server solutions that do not require Fibre Channel – such as those that utilize standard TCP/IP networking. These types of storage area network allow organizations to leverage their existing network investments and in-house expertise.

Another noteworthy shift in storage area network technology is the rise of software-defined SAN storage solutions that can be installed on an organization’s hardware platform of choice. This provides the organization freedom in selecting a hardware vendor and the ability to choose a tailored hardware platform that exactly meets the organization’s current and anticipated needs.

Looking for a Storage Area Network Solution? Thinkmate Can Help

Thinkmate is an experienced custom systems builder that supplies compute and storage solutions to leading enterprises and academic institutions as well as major government agencies. For organizations seeking to implement a storage area network we offer:

  • VMware® Virtual SAN™ ready systems, a state-of-art solution that implements a shared storage layer for VMware vSphere®-based virtualized infrastructures. VMware VSAN technology is embedded in the VMware kernel, requires no Fibre Channel networking, and seamlessly integrates with vSphere management and automation tools.
  • A wide range of system configurations, spanning up to systems that can support 400 VDI desktops.
  • Expert consulting to help you define your current and projected needs and find exactly the right solution.
  • Exceptional customer service and industry-best warranty terms for all of our SAN storage solutions.

Configure and Buy

Speak with an Expert Configurator at 1-800-371-1212