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Storage Area Networks For Dummies® by Alex Nikitin, Christopher Poelker

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Chapter 17. Ten Reasons NOT to Use a SAN

Storage area networks (SANs) aren't for everyone. A storage network can pay for itself in a very small period of time, but only if you're in a position to take advantage of everything a SAN has to offer. A SAN may only make sense for your company if you have the right staff, budget, and business requirements to support it. If your storage requirements fall into one of the following ten scenarios, a SAN might not be right for you.

You Need Larger File Servers

If all you need is file sharing, then Network Attached Storage (NAS) may make more sense for you. If you require all your servers to have access to the same information at the same time, as is the case with Web servers, NAS is a better solution. NAS allows you to use your corporate network to share data among servers. Access to files based on NAS takes place over a standard Internet Protocol (IP) network. You can create a NAS server from a standard Unix or Windows server by creating a shared folder on the server so others can access that folder over the network. This technique is called a file share.

Clients can connect to these file shares over the corporate network, and can share access to the files located in the shared folders. Whereas SANs use the SCSI protocol to access information as blocks of disk space, NAS enables access to storage as files over an IP network. Network File System (NFS) and Common Internet File Services (CIFS) are the protocols used for NAS. The great thing about ...

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