Why Storage Area Network Management and Security are Important

Why Storage Area Network Management and Security are Important

If you are a network administrator, you may want to know why storage area network is so desirable. Although storage area network management can be a formidable task, if performed correctly, the results provide seamless operations for the users.

What is a Storage Area Network?

The storage area network, or SAN, is a specialized network designed for centralized storage of resources. Unlike attached devices, the SAN array allows each of the computer systems access to storage, as if it belonged to that specific computer. It is up to the administrator to know what types of computers are accessing the storage. This becomes important because Windows-based systems require different resources than do Unix-based systems. Another plus of using SAN is its ability to be easily up-scaled, which is accomplished by adding additional drives or drive arrays.

Since storage area network management also encompasses records management and data backup, having a centralized location makes these tasks simpler to perform.

In fact, replication of data, and/or entire drives, can typically be performed with very little loss in server response time. Some of the more desirable features of SAN are high quality of service, built-in redundancy allows operations to continue with component failure, the SAN can simultaneously accommodate various server platforms, costs are cut by purchasing a centralized set of high quality drives, and is easily up scaled as needed.

Storage Area Network Security is Crucial

Storage area network security is another facet of SAN management.

Clearly, managing a localized pool of drives is preferential to managing, possibly hundreds, of individual drives on the individual computer systems. Although, some SAN configurations may have mirrored locations, it is still simpler to secure two locations than the many satellite locations large networks employ.

Because the SAN is isolated from normal network traffic, network based threats do not put the stored data at risk. Moreover, because there is not a connection to the internet, DDoS (distributed denial of service) attacks do not affect SAN operation. However, because of the availability of high speed internet, and virtual private networks, some companies have decided to operate their SAN via the internet. This choice makes storage area network security harder to maintain, and poses new challenges for the administrator. Furthermore, inside users (employees and/or consultants) can open the SAN to unintentional external intruders. Best security practices should always be implemented, and the use of authentication protocols is paramount in guarding against these types of security problems.

The author has expertise in storage area network management. His articles about Storage area network security show his extensive knowledge about the same.