SAN vs NAS TechnologyA SAN commonly utilizes Fibre Channel interconnects. A NAS typically makes Ethernet and TCP/IP connections.
SAN vs NAS Usage ModelThe administrator of a home or small business network can connect one NAS device to their LAN. The NAS maintains its own IP address comparable to computer and other TCP/IP devices. Using a software program that normally is provided together with the NAS hardware, a network administrator can set up automatic or manual backups and file copies between the NAS and all other connected devices. The NAS holds many gigabytes of data, up to a few terabytes. Administrators add more storage capacity to their network by installing additional NAS devices, although each NAS operates independently.
Administrators of larger enterprise networks may require many terabytes of centralized file storage or very high-speed file transfer operations. Where installing an army of many NAS devices is not a practical option, administrators can instead install a single SAN containing a high-performance disk array to provide the needed scalability and performance. Administrators require specialized knowledge and training to configure and maintain SANs.