Bridging the SAN/NAS Divide

Arthur Cole

Unified storage solutions have been a boon to IT administrators bombarded with a plethora of storage protocols over the past decade or so. But there are a number of traps you need to be aware of to make the most out of the technology, according to this article in Enterprise IT Planet.

 

Chief among them is the assumption that SAN and NAS capacity will grow at an equal rate, which those of you who have both formats in place can attest is not the case. With NAS being the more expensive proposition, it often serves as a second tier to the more adaptable SAN. If you're not careful, you could wind up paying for increased NAS capacity that you don't need.

 

There's certainly no shortage of options when it comes to implementing unified storage environments. RelData recently unveiled Version 2.0 of its RELvos virtualization operating system, delivering high-speed IP SAN and NAS storage services and WAN data replication aboard the 9000 Series appliance. The package can be tied to the 9240 storage gateway that matches the NetApp V6070 in performance at a fraction of the cost.

 

Hosting services have a new solution aimed at their specific needs in BlueArc's Titan 2000. The diskless server system offers the ability to boot Windows servers directly, without a hard drive, freeing up IT staff for other duties.

 

A somewhat different approach to unified storage is available from EqualLogic. The company has developed a NAS gateway for Windows Storage Server that lets you consolidate and scale data within an iSCSI SAN, even while integrating file services with Windows, Unix, Linux and Apple systems. The company claims its approach overcomes the limitations of having to scale SAN and NAS environments simultaneously.


 

Unified storage systems are likely to become increasingly popular as storage requirements grow and become more varied. It also makes it easier for enterprises that have already invested in NAS technology to leverage it a little further.



Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
May 25, 2007 4:18 AM Arthur Cole Arthur Cole  says:
Hi Matt,As a trade journalist who's never had to actually buy anything network-related other than my own wireless router from Best Buy, the only thing I know about the costs of SAN/NAS is what I've seen online. And just about everything I've read describes SAN as the lower-cost, entry level solution to network storage, while NAS is mostly cost-effect in major installations, and even then only for applications like archiving. Reply
May 25, 2007 12:48 PM Matt Fontenot Matt Fontenot  says:
I was under the impression that SAN storage is move expensive than NAS storage. Would you mind elaborating about how you came to your conclusion.Thanks,Matt Reply
May 26, 2007 1:05 AM M.S.Kannan M.S.Kannan  says:
My Approach to SME segments would be three tier Storage architecture1)Direct attached (Internal- External drive for Work Flows)2) Network Attached for Online Database requirements with less expensive arrays stacked as NAS volumes for Data retention direct periods3) Archival (DLT/LTOs) for backup & retention as per statutory/regulatory /SLA requirementsSimilarly if SANthen have NAS for warehousing purposes followed by Archival Systems Reply

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