Definition

virtual storage area network (VSAN)

A virtual storage area network (VSAN) is a logical partition in a storage area network (SAN). VSANs allow traffic to be isolated within specific portions of a storage area network.

The use of multiple VSANs can make a system easier to configure and scale out. Subscribers can be added or relocated without the need for changing the physical layout. If a problem occurs in one VSAN, that problem can be handled with a minimum of disruption to the rest of the network. Because the independence of VSANs minimizes the total system's vulnerability, security is improved. VSANs also offer the possibility of data redundancy, minimizing the risk of catastrophic data loss. 

The term is most often associated with Cisco Systems and is often mentioned in conjunction with the zoning. Zoning splits a SAN into multiple, isolated subnetworks. The concept behind a VSAN is often compared to that of a virtual local area network (VLAN).  VLANs segregate broadcasts from other networks

See also: virtual SAN appliance

This was last updated in May 2011

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