SAN OS

Hello,

I inherited an in-house build SAN that feeds over iSCSI a couple of nodes that run Hyper-V. The SAN has Windows 2008R2 running on it. As far as I know, you can present the hard drives directly to the nodes. Is there a particular reason for wanting to install 2008R2 OS directly on the SAN? I always assumed there is no need for OS since the SAN would be just storage.


Thank you for your help.
Alan DalaITAsked:
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Gerald ConnollyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Any system can be a storage provider, it just needs an iSCSI Target Software installed and Target LUNs configured
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Muhammad MullaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
A SAN does need to have an OS of some sort installed. Most come with a vendor customised version of Linux, however, there are models that use Windows Storage Server.

There are free versions of light SAN operating systems available such as FreeNAS.
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Natty GregConnect With a Mentor In Theory (IT)Commented:
They may have it to restrict access and its all gui I suppose so easy to follow. However linux to me handles file share better and faster as the examples mention above
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Carlos IjalbaConnect With a Mentor Senior SysadminCommented:
Usually a SAN  means a storage cabinet with Fibre HBA adapters than support FC connections.

A NAS is a storage cabinet with ethernet or FoE NICs that support iSCSI connections.

The point is that you can make yourself a NAS as it's just a matter of building a server with a few disks, and then with the OS serve logical volumes as LUNs via NFS or iSCSI. For this you can use W2008 & 2012 as they have a storage rol to serve disks as NFS or iSCSI, or you can use many different Linux options FreeNAS, Nas4Free, OpenFiler, etc
You even have NanoNAS that can boot witha really small footprint and runs on memory.

But without an OS, you donĀ“t have a SAN or a NAS. And what you have now is a NAS.
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Alan DalaITAuthor Commented:
Thank you for your answers. What I don't understand is how do you install an OS on a bunch of hard drives put together as a SAN/NAS. I know there are SANs that are coming with tools for that but how do you install it on a in-house built one?


Thank you!
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Gerald ConnollyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You have to look at what a SAN is. The acronym SAN stands for Storage Area Network, ie a network that supplies storage services - typically a dedicated network. The network can be Fibre Channel, Infiniband or Ethernet (iSCSI, FCoE etc).

In a SAN you have Storage Providers and Storage Consumers

Storage Providers can be a propriatary closed RAID controller, or another computer , all presenting storage to the consuming servers.
The devices offering storage to the SAN can be running propriatary embedded software, Unix, Linux, Windows etc
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