Posted by: Mudassir Ali | March 30, 2011

DAS, NAS, or SAN PROs & CONs

Storage Networking Comparison

Which is best for your company, DAS, NAS, or SAN?

Technology Pros Potential Cons
IP SAN
IP/iSCSI Storage Area Network
  • Broad compatibility
  • Utilize existing network infrastructure
  • Lower cost and TCO
  • Data security
  • Provisioning provided to applications
  • No downtime for upgrades or maintenance
  • Clustered architecture allows you to “pay as you go” and add additional capacity easily
  • Uses standardized technology so no additional skillsets needed
  • Performance not as good as Fibre SAN (yet)
  • Not designed for video and/or graphics streaming
  • An already clogged LAN can become further clogged by additional network traffic, affecting backup performance
Fibre SAN
Fibre Storage Area Network
  • Best performance (2 Gbps with 4 Gbps coming soon)
  • High scalability
  • Pool shared storage resources
  • Ability to add additional capacity at will
  • Expensive purchase price
  • Requires additional skills to install and manage
  • Interconnects limited to 10 km
  • Interoperability issues between vendors
NAS
Network Attached Storage
  • Easy to install and manage
  • Less complex than SAN technology
  • Allows you to share files and capacity throughout multiple operating systems and file systems
  • Allows you to purchase storage separate from other computing resources
  • Performance, not as good as SAN
  • As NAS filer capacity fills up, it becomes a bottleneck and single point of failure
  • No database support, just file transfers
DAS
Direct Attached Storage
  • Suited for extremely small or legacy hardware and operations
  • Storage capabilities usually embedded into server technology, requiring no installation
  • Inefficient provisioning
  • Adding storage means adding servers
  • Require downtime to add capacity
  • Can’t share storage resources
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