Difference Between SAN vs NAS
In this post, we will see the main difference between SAN vs NAS. Information or data, which is a company asset, is the underlying resource on which all the computing processes are dependent. There are different enterprises and client’s products which are used to store these data. Data can be stored in a different type of storage devices:
- Magnetic Storage Devices: Hard disk drive and Magnetic tape.
- Optical Storage Devices: Blu-ray, disc, DVD, and CD.
- Flash-Based Storage Devices: Solid-state drive, memory card, and USB thumb drive.
Storage devices are assembled within a storage system that provides high capacity, scalability, performance, and security. The network is a collection of clients (Laptops, Desktops) which are used for local storage in the hard disk and other devices like enterprises and central repository – that are interconnected by communication channels. Because of these channels or network users/ enterprise service providers can achieve the efficient sharing of resources, services, and information among the network.
What are SAN and NAS?
The detailed explanation of SAN and NAS is as follows:
A SAN is a special high-speed network that stores and provides access to large amounts of data. It is block-level storage, so it is essentially raw storage which means we can’t mount a LUN (Logical unit number which contains iSCSI commands, and it can also represent one disk, unlike RAID, which is a combination of more than one disk) directly and be able to read the contents of it. So, A LUN cannot connect with a LUN, which is configured on SAN like the same way in NAS, i.e. // name of your SAN /Folder1 because it is working on a block-level storage solution. So this basically cluster of storage devices that share their memory, and users will be unaware of which particular storage device they are using.
There is a central repository in NAS where we can access the data to different client and Enterprise products using LAN, i.e. users on Local Area Network can access the data through the central repository. So there is only one line for data transmission, which can fail anytime, and any organization can lose the business.
- Ex. Of small NAS: Qnap ( Media server by personal cloud use) Synology ( Home backup by personal cloud use).
- Ex. Of large scale: EMC ISIlon or NetApp where there are huge racks which are counting disk of different size.
The good thing about NAS that it is accessible directly via IP address or DNS name. SO we can configure DNS name like My NAS 01/ Folder 1, which can be mapped in our computer of any platform like windows, Linux, Mac, etc.]
Head to Head Comparison Between SAN vs NAS (Infographics)
Below are the top 10 differences between SAN and NAS:
Key Differences Between SAN vs NAS
Let us look at the key differences between SAN vs NAS as below:
- NAS is a central repository from where we can access all the files; on the other hand, Storage devices are assembled within a storage system that provides high capacity, scalability, performance, and security.
- There is a single line of transmission of data in NAS where the failure chances are high; on the other hand, in the case of SAN, the chances of failure are very low because it is a cluster of a storage device.
- NAS uses TCP protocol; on the other hand, SAN uses a fiber channel.
- NAS didn’t use the iSCSI command to transfer the data while on the other hand, SAN uses iSCSI commands, which provides access to the storage devices to transfer the data in the block form, while on the other hand.
- NAS is file-level storage; on the other hand, SAN is block-level storage.
- ]In NAS, there are high chances of data transmission failure while there are very less chances of data failure in SAN.
- In NAS, we can mount the LUN to read the contents, but in SAN, we cannot mount the LUN to read the content.
- NAS memory size varies from 500 GB to 10 TB, but SAN memory size can be increased to any amount like in 100 TB’s.
Comparison Table of SAN vs NAS
The table below summarizes the comparisons between SAN vs NAS:
|SAN stands for the storage area network. Essentially it is a network that we configure just for storage.||NAS stands for Network-attached storage.|
|It is attached to the network fiber channel.||It is attached to the network via ethernet or networking cable.|
|It communicates through fiber channel or iSCSI commands via an HBA card with fiber channel connectors through which all the SAN traffic passes.||It communicates over the TCP/IP network through which all the NAS traffic passes.|
|In SAN, we cannot mount the LUN in order to read the content.||In NAS, we can mount the LUN so that we can read the contents.|
|SAN memory size can be increased to any amount, like in 100 TB’s.||NAS memory size varies from 500 GB to 10 TB.|
|It is block-level based.||It is file-level based.|
|In SAN, there is no central repository concept, and all the storage devices shared their memory.||There is a central repository in NAS where we can access the data to different client and Enterprise products using LAN.|
|There is a network between all the storage devices and the source from where the user will access the data.||There is only one line for data transmission, which can fail anytime.|
|It is a place that is responsible for storing or transferring the data in packets, i.e. in block form.||It is a place which manages all your file which sits on those shares or folders and can be accessed //Ip address or a DNS or hostname of your NAS.|
|In SAN, the storage product shares their memory space as such that the user will not know about the unhealthy storage device.||In NAS, the user will get to know about the unhealthy storage device.|
In order to maintain or ensure that any business delivers the expected results, they must have access to accurate information and without any low latency. It is also important for the management and protection of this business information to deliver the expected results and the business to grow.
This is a Guide to SAN vs NAS. Here we discuss the SAN vs NAS key differences with infographics and comparison table in detail. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –