Evaluator Group’s SAN Storage Evaluation Guide is part of a series of guides designed to help IT professionals evaluate storage technology alternatives. This Evaluation Guide and the accompanying workbook are designed to assist potential buyers understand the options and products available and to help match requirements to the available technology choices.
What sets Evaluator Group’s Evaluation Guide series apart from vendor sponsored whitepapers is the lack of vendor bias. Our Evaluation Guides are not sponsored by vendors and are written for IT managers seeking a vendor neutral discussion of the design considerations behind new products, technologies, and trends.
In this Evaluation Guide, SAN storage is defined as storage connected to servers by use of a storage area network or SAN for block access to data. This is distinguishable from connection over Ethernet as a NAS or Network Attached Storage for access to files. Many SAN storage systems also support file access as a NAS system as well. The NAS function is covered in the NAS Evaluation Guide while this guide focuses on the block access.
SAN storage may include solid state technology as well, in the form of SSDs or Solid State Devices that mimic Hard Disk Drives (HDDs) in form and protocol or with custom flash memory implementations. Systems that support both solid stage and disk drives are covered in this Evaluation Guide but all-solid state storage systems are covered in the Solid State Storage Evaluation Guide.
All SAN storage systems can be direct connected to servers as well. The information in this Evaluation Guide is applicable but storage devices that may only be direct connected (such as JBODs – Just a Bunch of Disks) are not included in the discussion.
SAN attached storage is seen as the most critical type of storage in enterprise IT currently. There are many competing products and different feature capabilities. The different products require a detailed understanding so an effective evaluation can be performed.