Why not do everything with NAS vs. SAN?
Go ahead! As long as the applications support NAS [network attached storage], there is no real reason to avoid NAS. Exchange is one example of an application that does not support NAS, and
most high-end database applications use SAN
[storage area network]. Remember that NAS works at a higher layer and offers more intelligence but introduces a bit more latency that limits performance. SAN platforms also have the benefit of incumbency -- it's already deployed in the organization and supported with experience and expertise.
I believe that NAS is great for the world of persistent data, and SAN is great for the blazing fast transactional world, so I like a combination of the two. But it's all based around best practices. I know companies that have an all NAS environment, though maybe they throw in a little iSCSI to support email. Those users employ NAS with high-end mission-critical databases and it's working fine. So there is no absolute method or approach -- it's all about what you want to do, but I like the idea of merging these technologies together so that multiple protocols
can be served up for a single storage system.
Check out the entire NAS FAQ guide.
This was first published in July 2007