Ask the Expert

SAN vs. NAS: A diagram of the differences

I would like to know about the differences in SAN and NAS with the help of a diagram. Also please suggest where to position a SAN and NAS. How do you decide whether to use a SAN or NAS?

Requires Free Membership to View

 

Basically, a SAN does block I/O just like having a disk directly attached to a server. A NAS is really remote file system I/O where the file request is redirected over a network to a device (really a processing entity with its own file system) where the file I/O is actually performed. Here are two pictures that give you a general idea of how the I/O is done between block (SAN) and remote file I/O (NAS):

Deciding whether to use a SAN vs. NAS has many factors to consider so there's not a specific answer. In general if your application requires block I/O or there is a significant performance requirement, use a SAN. If it's file based I/O for the application or you need to share files and you want simple administration, use NAS.

This was first published in December 2005

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: