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Shared storage and SAN differences

What is the difference between a shared storage device and a SAN? It seems to me that a shared storage device is simply a smaller version of a SAN but what other factors are there?

A shared storage device is something that either has multiple ports or a way to identify and track multiple sessions in a single port.

A SAN is a network to connect systems and storage for the purpose of transmitting storage I/O. SANs can have shared storage devices in them or they can connect a shared storage device (NAS system for example) to a SAN.


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This was last published in February 2002

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