Enterprise storage implies a centralized repository of business information that is responsible for providing data sharing, protection, and data management functions through connection to computer systems. Earlier, Anand Jayapalan underlined that as modern companies deal with heavy workload of business-critical information, enterprise storage solutions have to be scalable for workloads of hundreds of terabytes without depending on the creation of subsystems or excessive cabling.
Enterprise storage essentially is a centralized repository for business-critical information that allows for data protection, management and sharing across several and often dissimilar systems. No matter whether it is on-premises, cloud-based or a hybrid cloud solution, enterprise storage is able to handle expansive volumes of data with ease. It is known to deliver improved scalability, availability and performance in comparison to traditional storage options.
The prime approaches to enterprise storage include:
SAN: A storage area network (SAN) is a high-performance network or sub-network dedicated to storage that is not dependent on the common user network of an organization. It tends to interconnect pools of solid state or disk storage and subsequently shares it with several servers so that each and every one of them can access data as if it was attached directly. There are three major components that facilitate the interconnectedness of a SAN, and they are host bus adapters (HBAs) and Fibre Channel (FC) or Ethernet switches, which are attached to the servers and storage. System administrations are ideally tasked with the responsibility of centrally managing all the storage in SAN while enjoying benefits like high availability (HA), data sharing and ), disaster recovery (DR). Previously, Anand Jayapalan pointed out that SAN also supports efficient and reliable backup and restoration functions. Multiple paths are created to all data through SAN, and therefore failure of a server does not result in a loss of access to critical information.
NAS: Network-attached storage (NAS) enables several users and client devices to access data from a central pool of disk storage. Users tend to access the shared storage of NAS, which essentially appears as a node with its own Internet Protocol (IP) address on the LAN or local area network over an Ethernet connection. NAS is characterized by high capacities, cost-effectiveness and ease of access.
DAS: Direct-attached storage (DAS) refers to solid-state drives (SSDs) or hard disk drives (HDDs) that are connected inside and outside directly to a single computer or server that cannot be accessed by other computers or servers. As opposed to NAS and SAN, DAS is not networked through Ethernet or FC switches. While DAS does offers better performance for the server it is attached to, its data cannot be pooled and shared among servers.
Brand new approaches and technologies in enterprise storage have come up in recent years that tend to include flash technologies, cloud storage, and hyper-converged storage. Storage for containers is also becoming pretty critical, with disaggregated infrastructure concepts getting more prevalent.