Difference between SAN and NAS

SAN and NAS are both network-based storage solutions. A SAN typically uses fiber channel connectivity, while the NAS typically ties into  the network through a standard ethernet connection. So here this article gives the information about the difference between SAN and NAS to better understand this topic.

Whst is NAS?

NAS stands for network attached storage. The data is identified by the file name as well as byte offset. In NAS, file system is managed by a head unit such as CPU and memory. 

What is SAN?

SAN stands for storage area network, it used for tranferring the data between the servers and the storage devices fiber channel and switches. SAN, data is identified by disk block. Protocol that are used in SAN is SCSI and SATA etc.

Difference between NAS and SAN:

  • It is file-level data in NAS, while the SAN is block-level data.
  • NAS is ethernet media, while the SAN is a fiber channel.
  • NAS is an I/O protocol, while the SAN is a SCSI protocol.
  • NAS appears to OS as a shared folder, SAN appears to OS as attached storage.
  • NAS is inexpensive, while the SAN is too much expensive.
  • In a NAS system, the data accessed as if it were a network-attached drive, while the SAN servers access data as if it were a local hard drive
  • NAS is dependent on the LAN, while the SAN is independent of the LAN.
  • NAS requires no architectural changes, while the SAN is required architectural changes.
  • NAS used in homes and small to medium-sized businesses, while the SAN often used professional and enterprise environments.
  • NAS is easier to manage, while the SAN is required more administration.
  • NAS uses SMB/CIFS, NFS, SFTP, and WebDAV, while the SAN uses fiber channel, ISCSI, And FCoE.
  • NAS is simply connected to your existing ethernet network, while the SAN requires a dedicated fiber channel connection for clients, servers, and storage and often a separate dedicated ethernet network for file request traffic.
  • NAS the entry-level system often have a single point of failure, while the fault-tolerant in SAN network and system with redundant functionality.
  • NAS is a central place from which to back up or sync user files, while the SAN a place from which to archive files not immediately needed.
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