Why not do everything with NAS vs. SAN?

Go ahead! As long as the applications support NAS...

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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.

More NAS information
NAS tackles enterprise storage 

NAS Upgrades 

How to adapt NAS to your needs
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

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