Difference between NAS and SAN

NAS and SAN may appear to be practically indistinguishable. All things considered, both NAS (network attached storage) and SAN (storage area network) by and large utilize RAID associated with a system, which then are went down onto tape. In any case, there are critical contrasts that can genuinely influence the way your information is used.


NAS i.e. network attached storage, is file level PC information stockpiling server associated with a PC network giving information access to a heterogeneous gathering of customers. NAS is specific for serving documents either by its software, hardware or configuration.


SAN i.e. storage area network, is a system which gives access to merged, block level information stockpiling. SANs are essentially used to upgrade devices used for storage, for example optical jukebox and tape libraries available to servers. A SAN commonly has its own system that is for the most part not open through the LAN by different gadgets.


In this article we are going to discuss the contrasts between these two networks which help us to understand these terms.

  • Network:

Network attached storage utilizes IP or TCP networks that includes FDDI, Ethernet and ATM.

Storage area network utilizes Fiber Channel communicate and interfaces an arrangement of storage devices that can impart low-level information to each other.

  • Protocols:

Network attached storage utilizes TCP or IP and NFS or HTTP or CIFS.

Storage area network utilizes Encapsulated SCSI

  • Identifies data:

A network attached storage distinguishes data by name of file and byte offsets, exchanges document information or record meta-information that includes document’s proprietor, consents, creation information, and so forth, and grips security, client verification, document locking.

A storage area network distinguishes data by number of disk block and exchanges disk blocks in raw form.

  • File sharing:

Network attached storage permits more prominent sharing of data particularly between unique operating systems, for example, NT and Unix.

In storage area network, sharing of file totally depend on operating system and does not available in lots of operating system.

  • Management:

In network attached storage, system of file is totally supervised by head unit of NAS.

In storage area network, system of fie is supervised by servers.

  • Mirrors and backups:

Mirrors and backups (using highlights like NetApp’s Snapshots) are completed on files rather than on blocks, for a funds in data transfer capacity and time. A Snapshot can be modest contrasted with the source volume.

Mirrors and backups need a block from block copy, regardless of the possibility that blocks are unfilled. A mirror machine is equivalent to or more noteworthy in limit contrasted with the source volume.

  • Usage:

NAS holds numerous gigabytes of information, up to a couple of terabytes. Heads insert additional storage capacity to their system by introducing extra NAS gadgets, albeit every NAS works autonomously.

Heads can introduce a solitary SAN instead of many NAS, containing an elite circle exhibit to give the required versatility and execution. Directors require specific learning and preparing to design and look after SANs.


From the above article we can conclude that SAN have more storage capacity as compare to NAS as we can use one SAN rather than many NAS.