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SAN - Can they be access in real-time

My understanding of SAN (Storage Area Networks) is that they are used to back-up server info - i.e. there are one short of a tape back-up.

Are SANs used in any other ways as above? Can they be used in real-time to access info? i.e. instead of going to the database - head to the SAN?

There are also applications that use files intensively - would these be the type of apps that would fiot the build of SAN usage?

Thanks,

MM

Micro Managed
Monday, August 30, 2004

I worked for a rather large retail corporation, and not a single server that I set up in my time there had a local hard drive - they all had fibre-channel cards linked back to their SAN.

So, no, it's not just for backups... though it was useful to be able to have a flash backup of a server in under 15 minutes before you tried to do a rollout.

Greg Hurlman
Monday, August 30, 2004

A fibre-channel SAN can certainly be used for real-time and performance intensive applications.

Scott
Monday, August 30, 2004


Here's how I break it down.  SAN = Sane as in it's a sane solution for high performance I/O - yes you can access it in real time.  It's faster than drives in a server usually because you build an array of many disks thereby distributing I/O.  SAN's usually come with cache also that keeps frequently accessed data in memory so you don't have to hit the disk as often.

NAS (Network attached storage)  Slow compared  to SAN.  You wouldn't store your OLTP database here.

Mike
Tuesday, August 31, 2004

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