Storage area management (SAM) is a still-evolving set of procedures, services, and standards for comprehensively managing the infrastructure of a storage area network (SAN), including all components within all servers, the disk arrays, the tape libraries, the switches, the routers, and the programs. This often involves coordinated management of devices and programs from different vendors and locations.
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The evolution of SAM began with basic SAN management, in which individual devices and applications were managed separately, a tedious and often frustrating process. The next phase of SAM evolution focused on developing a centralized infrastructure that allowed interaction among components and applications to be automated in a single subsystem called the fabric. The final stage of SAM evolution is still underway, and involves the development of intelligent services in which automated network actions such as system monitoring, device zoning, data backup, data archiving, antivirus and malware program scanning and updating, security procedures, and data encryption are performed according to a specific, coordinated set of rules called the policy.