Is an SMB environment too small for a SAN?

Almost any size business can benefit from some type of SAN -- or "network storage"; whether it's NAS, iSCSI-based IP storage or FC storage...

Almost any size business can benefit from some type of storage area network (SAN) -- or "network storage"; whether it's network-attached storage (NAS), iSCSI-based IP storage or Fibre Channel (FC) storage. It's really about scaling the right technology to the particular environment.

A SAN might be overkill for an environment with one or two servers but that could be an excellent environment for using NAS. As you contend with more servers, you've got more opportunity for shared storage and consolidated management. That's where iSCSI SANs come in. As your infrastructure grows larger and includes even more servers with higher performance requirements, a small FC SAN may be just the right fit.

The key is to match the storage technology to your own particular needs, but don't get hung up on the cabling (e.g., iSCSI vs. FC). Focus on the storage and management capabilities. Features like snapshots for point-in-time copies to support backup, replication, local and remote mirroring functionality, levels of RAID, the ability to add storage dynamically and upgrade seamlessly without disruptions are just some storage abilities that can benefit an organization. Choose the level of functionality that is most important for your storage objectives.

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