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Difference between Storage Area Network (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS)
  • Last Updated : 15 Jun, 2020

Storage Area Network (SAN):
Storage Area Network (SAN) is used for transferring the data between the servers and the storage devices fiber channel and switches. In SAN (Storage Area Network), Data is identified by disk block. Protocols that are used in SAN are: SCSI, SATA etc.

Components of Storage Area Network (SAN):

1. Node ports
2. Cables
3. Interconnect device such as: Hubs, switches, directors
4. Storage arrays
5. SAN management Software 

Network Attached Storage (NAS):
In Network Attached Storage (NAS), data is identified by file name as well as byte offset. In Network Attached Storage, File system is managed by Head unit such as CPU and Memory. In this for backup and recovery, files are used instead of block by block copying technique.

Components of Network Attached Storage (NAS):

1. Head unit: CPU, Memory
2. Network Interface Card (NIC)
3. Optimized operating system
4. Protocols
5. Storage protocols: ATA, SCSI,FC 

Difference between Storage Area Network (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS):

S.NO SAN NAS
1. SAN stands for Storage Area Network. NAS stands for Network Attached Storage.
2. In SAN (Storage Area Network), data is identified by disk block. In NAS (Network Attached Storage), data is identified by file name as well as byte offset.
3. In SAN (Storage Area Network), file system is managed by servers. In NAS (Network Attached Storage), file system is managed by Head unit.
4. SAN (Storage Area Network) is more costly. NAS (Network Attached Storage) is less expensive than SAN.
5. SAN(Storage Area Network) is more complex than NAS. NAS (Network Attached Storage) is less complex than SAN.
6. Protocols used in SAN are: SCSI, SATA etc. Protocols used in NAS are: File server,CIFS etc.
7. For backups and recovery in SAN, Block by block copying technique is used. For backups and recovery in NAS, Files are used.
8. SAN gives high performance in high speed traffic systems. While NAS is not suitable for that environment which has high speed traffic.
9. SAN needs more time and efforts in organizing and controlling. NAS is easy to manage and provides a simple interface for organizing and controlling.
10. SAN needs TCP/IP networks and depends on the LAN. NAS not depends on the LAN and uses high speed fiber channel network.

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