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What is a Storage Area Network (SAN)?

A Storage Area Network (SAN) is a dedicated, independent high-speed network that interconnects and delivers shared pools of storage devices to multiple servers. Each server can access shared storage as if it were a drive directly attached to the server. A SAN is typically assembled with cabling, host bus adapters, and SAN switches attached to storage arrays and servers. Each switch and storage system on the SAN must be interconnected.

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SAN Definition

Storage Area Network (SAN) is a network of storage devices that can be accessed by multiple servers or computers, providing a shared pool of storage space. Each computer on the network can access storage on the SAN as though they were local disks connected directly to the computer.


A SAN and network-attached storage (NAS) are two different types of shared networked storage solutions. While a SAN is a local network composed of multiple devices, NAS is a single storage device that connects to a local area network (LAN). 

What is a SAN switch?

A SAN switch is hardware that connects servers to shared pools of storage devices. It is dedicated to moving storage traffic in a SAN.


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