SAN and NAS are network storage solutions. While a Storage Area Network or SAN is a network of multiple devices organized on disk blocks, a Network Attached Storage or NAS is a device with storage space for data files.
How is SAN Different from NAS in terms of Technology?
A Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is a hardware component that connects to a Local Area Network (LAN) over an Ethernet or TCP/IP connection. NAS is enabled with capabilities to perform authentication of client computers and manage file requests and operations.
NAS depends on the NFS and CIFS/SMB protocols. Embedded operating systems running on NAS devices with a hardware configuration make NAS servers more affordable than traditional file servers. NAS devices also do not depend on peripherals including a monitor or keyword.
In contrast, a SAN is a network of storage devices communicating over a fiber channel and equipped with the ability to share low-level data.
How are SAN and NAS Device Models Deployed?
A network administrator has the required privileges to connect a NAS device to a LAN. Similar to other devices on the network, the NAS device is also equipped with an IP address to be able to communicate over a network. Manual backups and file transfers to and from NAS devices are also the domain of a network administrator.
A NAS device is capable of storing gigabytes and even terabytes of data. To increase storage capacity, network administrators add more NAS devices, which function as independent devices.
To fulfill the requirements of terabytes of centralized file storage and high-speed data and file transfers, administrators can switch to a SAN disk array instead of adding more NAS devices. A high-performance SAN disk array offers the required benefits in terms of efficiency and scalability. However, additional technical know-how is required to configure SANs.
In the present day and age, the distinction between SAN and NAS devices is not as apparent as it used to be. SAN devices are beginning to transition from the fiber channel to an IP-based approach. On the hand, NAS devices are starting to offer extended benefits in terms of performance and storage capacity.