Today’s iSCSI storage improves upon the traditional SCSI structure by carrying SCSI commands over an IP based network. The unique encapsulation of iSCSI packets allows data to be transferred across not only local Ethernet networks but over the Internet as well. This allows data from the SAN to move quickly across practically unlimited distances. With an iSCSI storage infrastructure, businesses can have files hosted at a central datacenter while granting workers the ability to access those files from any remote location imaginable.
In addition to this functionally, Digiliant can provide solutions that work over both IP based networks and fiber channel networks. With this dual functionality, it is possible to directly connect servers to a SAN, which provides an extremely fast data transfer experience and superb security capabilities. With this multiple connection capability, it is then possible for network users to directly access the SAN while using an IP based network at the same time that file servers access the SAN directly through their dedicated fiber channel connections. A SAN can also provide a centralized data location for any network storage server regardless of the operating system being used. Additionally, iSCSI SANsintegrate and work flawlessly with any flavor of virtualized servers. There is no need to worry about compatibility issues when using a SAN solution.
While these are impressive features, these are not the force that drives the vast majority of SAN purchases. The most sought after feature of a SAN is the disaster recovery capabilities it provides. With a SAN, data is stored in a centralized location and can be transmitted over an IP based network. Due to these key factors, it is both technologically possible and economically feasible to replicate the data on one SAN to a backup SAN located offsite. With the capability to replicate data in real time, a backup SAN can be used as a hot spare for redundancy and recovery purposes. In a disaster recovery situation, this provides a quick method of recovery with virtually no lost data. SANs are fully compatible with traditional tape backup systems and newer virtualized disk storage solutions.
In addition, SANs also offer advanced security and administrative capabilities. A SAN securely stores files and allows access based upon defined permissions. A SAN provides the administrative controls necessary to meet Sarbanes-Oxley act and HIPAA security regulations. When accessing files on a SAN, users are authenticated before being granted file access. This provides great capabilities and flexibility for file auditing and accountability. The SAN can also be physically and logically isolated from the rest of the network, which increases the level of security for the device.
Storage area networks provide a dynamic and robust storage solution. SANs provide added security, speed, flexibility and reliability alongside advanced disaster recovery and backup capabilities that simply cannot be matched by other solutions. For a business with heavy storage needs, a SAN can increase productivity while ensuring the highest levels of security are met.