SAN(Storage Area Network) vs NAS (Network Attached Storage) vs DAS (Direct Attached Storage)

By | October 17, 2012

A NAS is cheaper storage than a SAN – Both can use RAID, if you had four 16 TB NAS boxes they would appear as 4 seperate pools of storage, conversely four 16 TB SAN’s would appear as one 64TB central pool of storage. Furthermore a SAN can be set-up to asynchronously replicate with another SAN over fiber perhaps in a different building, also a SAN can synchronously replicate with another SAN on a different site. Having an iSCSI interface on a SAN which therefore means the hypervisor is installed on the physical server yet it actual storage is on the SAN, meaning you can upgrade the entire physical server / blade without having to deal with moving large amounts of data about. Growth of the SAN is also easier, just by another SAN and add it to the pool. An example of how ESXi or Hyper-V can be used with a SAN (Two boxes), if you buy two servers with no hard drives at all, use a memory card installed inside the server to install the hypervisor (Install VMWare ESXi or Hyper-V) with one SAN (Two boxes that replicate with each other) per site, you can use the servers CPU and RAM to connect directly to the storage. The servers can then be separated into teir 1 and teir 2, etc allowing the virtual machines to use the CPU or RAM on a particular server. When VMware ESXi 4.1 Standard is used, you can use the vMotion to transfer servers whilst the users are using them.
DAS which stands for direct-attached storage is ideal for local data sharing requirements. It is the most basic type of storage and found very less when compared to SAN or NAS. In DAS storage devices are the part of host computer which are connected to a single servers with RAID arrays or tape libraries. Unlike SAN and NAS this enforces network workstations to access the server while connecting to the storage devices. Despite being oldest of the three DAS’s storage system still can be found among lot of IT infrastructures.