Development

What is the Difference Between SAN and NAS Storage Solutions?

Over the last decade, websites have become more complex and data-rich to live up to the users’ expectations. Images and videos are getting bigger, and websites need better storage systems to manage data efficiently. In recent years, network storage solutions have evolved as a preferred option for websites in web hosting services

There are three types of network-based storage solutions:

  1. Storage Area Network (SAN)
  2. Network Attached Storage (NAS)
  3. Direct Attached Storage (DAS). 

Today, we are going to talk about SAN and NAS storage solutions and highlight the differences to help you make a choice.

What are SAN and NAS?

Let’s take a quick look at what SAN and NAS mean:

SAN StorageNAS Storage
Storage Area Network or SAN is a system of storage devices that the users can access via the network. Typically, SAN uses a fiber channel that links the network with the storage device system.A Network Attached Storage or NAS is a single storage device. Users can access this device via a Local Area Network (LAN) or a Wide Area Network (WAN). Typically, Ethernet is used to connect NAS with a network. You can think of NAS as a file server with a simple browser interface.

Difference Between SAN and NAS

FeatureSANNAS
AccessSAN allows data access at the block-levelNAS enables data access at the file-level only
ConnectionSAN devices use a fiber channel to connect with a networkNAS devices connect to a network with Ethernet
Input/ Output ProtocolThe primary input/output protocol is SCSI or Small Computer System InterfaceThe primary input/output protocol is NFS (Network File System) or CIFS (Common Internet File System)
How terminals treat the storage?User terminals consider SAN as an independent storageUser terminals use NAS as a shared folder on the network
SpeedSince SAN connects with a network using fiber channel, it offers high speedsWhile NAS is fast too, if the terminal has resource-intensive processes, then its performance can get affected

While on the topic of understanding the difference between SAN and NAS, you also need to know that there is a device called Unified SAN Storage Device that uses both SAN and NAS together.

Summing Up

It is crucial to understand that all storage solutions have specific uses and functions. Hence, before you finalize one, ensure that you know what your website’s storage requirements are. What is the volume and type of data generated by your website? How do you assess your scalability needs? What’s your budget? All these questions will help you find the right storage solution for your site.Remember, websites are crucial for creating your brand’s identity and establishing and growing your business. If you are looking to buy a VPS Hosting Server, then ensure that you talk to your host and understand the storage solution used by them. Try to find a host that offers a feature-rich VPS plan with a storage solution that matches the needs of your website. Good Luck!