Storage Area Networks Essay

1254 WordsOct 25, 20126 Pages
Jermaun embry IT255-Storage Area Network SANs (Storage Area Networks) The technical description of a storage area network (SAN) is a collection of computers and storage devices, connected over a high-speed optical network and dedicated to the task of storing and protecting data. In a nutshell, you use a SAN to store and protect data. Today, that high-speed network usually consists of optical fiber cables and switches that use light waves to transmit data with a connection protocol known as Fibre Channel. (A protocol is a set of rules used by the computer devices to define a common communication language.) More and more, regular Internet provider (IP)-based networks, such as the Internet, are being used as the network part of a SAN. The act of using a network to create a shared pool of storage devices is what makes a SAN different. The network is used to move data among the various storage devices, allows sharing data between different network servers, and provides a fast connection medium for data backup and restoration and data archiving and retrieval. Devices in a SAN are usually bunched closely together in a single room, but the network allows the devices to be connected over long distances. The ability to spread everything out over long distances makes a SAN very useful to large companies with many offices. Fiber versus fibre Networking geeks chose to use the word fibre to describe the fiber (notice the reversal of the erportion of the word fiber) optic cables used in a SAN. They did this differentiate them from the optical cables used in other networks, such as the Internet. Also, the word fibre is used is because SAN devices use a different language to communicate with each other than do the devices in other networks. The protocol used in a SAN is called Fibre Channel.

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