Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people, just like you, are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
Solved

What is the main differences between NAS and SAN?

Posted on 2013-01-19
3
700 Views
Last Modified: 2013-01-20
What is the main differences between NAS and SAN?

When one should be used more than another?

Thanks.
0
Comment
Question by:SAM2009
3 Comments
 
LVL 119

Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2)
Andrew Hancock (VMware vExpert / EE MVE^2) earned 250 total points
ID: 38797065
The main difference is the access mode in which they are used

NAS - Network Attached Storage it's connected to your network, and access is at the file level, a NAS uses it's own file system. Traditional NAS perform NFS and CIFs (Windows Share/SMB) functions.

SAN - Storage Area Network. Functions are performed at the block level. SAN's can provide iSCSI and Fibre Channel attachment. Traditional SANs provide iSCSI and Fibre Channel.

This is where the area starts to get a little grey, because some devices are sold as NAS, which also offer SAN functions e.g. iSCSI

and some SANs (e.g. NetApp), can offer NFS, iSCSI, Fibre Channel, CIFs (Windows Shares) from the same device.

As for which one should you use, SANs are generally more expensive and performance is superior, that's not to say that you do not get fast performing SANs.

here are the Wiki References

SAN
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storage_area_network

NAS
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nas
0
 
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

by:
172pilotSteve earned 250 total points
ID: 38797964
Everything said above is true, but to try to make it more in simpler terms, a SAN provides your computer with what it thinks is a real local hard disk - The SAN "adapter" whether it's a Fiber Channel card, or an iSCSI adapter, simulates a disk controller, and appears to your system as a raw disk.  On that raw disk, you can create partitions, format the drive, etc, just like a physical hard drive connected to your machine.

A NAS (Network Attached Storage) is a drive that belongs to a different computer (sometimes a dedicated NAS appliance, but that's still a computer), and from your perspective on your computer is a pre-formatted  drive that typically already has a drive letter (or mountpoint in the case of Linux) and is "mapped" to your machine as a formatted drive.  "NAS" is basically the same as a traditional network share, and when you're mapping drives with UNC  (\\server\share) you are connecting to that device as a "NAS"

Are you trying to decide which one you need for a particular purpose?
0
 
LVL 1

Author Closing Comment

by:SAM2009
ID: 38798324
Thanks!
0

Featured Post

Windows Server 2016: All you need to know

Learn about Hyper-V features that increase functionality and usability of Microsoft Windows Server 2016. Also, throughout this eBook, you’ll find some basic PowerShell examples that will help you leverage the scripts in your environments!

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Suggested Solutions

In this article, I will show you HOW TO: Suppress Configuration Issues and Warnings Alert displayed in Summary status for ESXi 6.5 after enabling SSH or ESXi Shell.
Each year, investment in cloud platforms grows more than 20% (https://www.immun.io/hubfs/Immunio_2016/Content/Marketing/Cloud-Security-Report-2016.pdf?submissionGuid=a8d80a00-6fee-4b85-81db-a4e28f681762) as an increasing number of companies begin to…
Teach the user how to use create log bundles for vCenter Server or ESXi hosts Open vSphere Web Client: Generate vCenter Server and ESXi host log bundle:  Open vCenter Server Appliance Web Management interface and generate log bundle: Open vCenter Se…
Teach the user how to install log collectors and how to configure ESXi 5.5 for remote logging Open console session and mount vCenter Server installer: Install vSphere Core Dump Collector: Install vSphere Syslog Collector: Open vSphere Client: Config…

809 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question