A highly efficient computer network that is very effective in data management, a storage area network (also known as SAN) is widely used architecture in large companies and institutions. This computer system is very reliable and efficient in monitoring the operations and activities of corporations, but some firms do not employ the network because it is expensive. Companies that use this network commonly implement the Small Computer System Interface or SCSI protocol to establish connection between disk drive devices as well as servers. The protocol is very useful in forming any network like Fibre Channel over Ethernet and HyperSCSI. To have a broad background about storage area network, it is best to know how this system functions as well as learn the other protocols that can be used in this system.
The Functions of SAN
What is a storage area network? SAN is a special computer interface that connects various types of data storage equipment and tools with the same data servers. In most instances, a storage area network is located near to other computer systems like IBM z990 mainframes. The main function of this system is to transfer data for retrieval or for storage. This computer network is a good alternative to other methods used in data management like saving information on Network Attached Storage interfaces.
The most used protocol in a storage area network is the SCSI. However, companies and institutions can also use other protocols that are suitable to the devices that will be interconnected. Aside from SCSI, the other efficient protocols that can be used in SAN are the Internet Small Computer Systems Interface or ISCSI as well as the Internet Fibre Channel Protocol or iFCP. Before using this special computer network, be sure that the protocol suits the interfaces that will be attached with each other. For instance, the ISCSI protocol is useful for transporting TCP packets, while the iFCP is helpful in transporting Fiber Channel layer 4 FCP.
Features of the Computer Architecture
Aside from saving data, a storage area network has other features that large corporations will find very helpful in monitoring and managing business operations. This computer network supports data transfer from a single device to other data storage devices. Another special feature of the system is disk mirroring. In addition, SAN is useful in creating back-ups and data retrieval. Lastly, many companies and governmental institutions use this computer architecture because it has the capability to connect network-attached storage systems with subnetworks.