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Storage Area Network (SAN)
Storage Area Storage or SAN is a consolidated block-level data storage system accessed by servers via network.  The storage devices then appeared to the servers' operating system as locally attached disks or devices to run any dedicated application.
SAN normally uses high speed network such as Fibre Optic cables to enhance performance. SAN does not directly  provide file level operation like NAS.  However, SAN can be configured with preferred file system and then shared out at file level access.

SAN removes dedicated storage from servers and consolidates it centrally where it can be accessed by many servers with different applications, thus offering better flexibility, scalability and performance compared to DAS.

Within a SAN, data can be transfered from one  storage unit to another, without interacting with the server. Besides reducing  the  need of CPU resources, SAN is efficient in backup process. Use of high speed fibre channel also allow the network to span longer distance geographically.

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