How Storage Area Networks Are Used to Backup Data
A Storage Area Network is a separate network that is used to store and backup shared data resources while allowing servers and clients to access the same files. Many organizations use a Storage Area Network because of its capability to secure files and data against network-based threats.
How a Storage Area Network Works
A Storage Area Network stores and backs up data through a sub-network or separate network of shared storage devices that include disk storage. The separate network is set up in a way that makes all storage devices available to the servers and clients on a local area network as well as a wide area network. Depending upon the design of the Storage Area Network, additional storage and backup hardware can be added and made accessible from any server on the main network.
With a Storage Area Network the data is backed up and stored separately from the server with the server acting as the transmission line between the data on the Storage Area Network and the end user.
Advantages of a Storage Area Network
Since the data is not stored on the main network servers, this also allows for more server capacity which can be used for business software and other applications. Additionally, multiple servers on the network are able to access the same data to avoid duplication of information across the network.
A Storage Area Network also backs up the data expressly over the storage channels of the SAN which prevents data from getting clogged inside the local area network and slowing down the speed of the LAN. This makes the data available on a more consistent basis and allows the end users to continue to access the data in the event of a single server failure.
How a Storage Area Network Backs Up Data
The storage disks on a Storage Area Network are all connected with one another which allow a single backup server to backup the data on multiple storage disks. If the disks were not connected to one another a multiple server backup system would be required which adds cost and complications to the data backup systems.
Data backup is also simplified on a Storage Area Network because each data file and storage disk is located on the same network which makes information management and backup easier to execute.
Storage Area Network Security
Because all of the data that is stored and backed up in one location on a Storage Area Network, security is a lot tighter on this type of system than other data backup and storage systems. With a Storage Area Network, it is easier to filter access to the data on the network and, the fact that it is separate from the main server network makes it harder for hackers to compromise the Storage Area Network by installing a virus or worm in the system.