The RAM-SAN EvolutionThe Storage Area Network is a network data storage solution that has become increasingly popular during the past few years. Traditionally, a single server has provided the data storage requirements for all clients on a network. For networks having greater storage requirements, the use of multiple distributed servers became a popular alternative. While this increased overall storage capacity, it also added the complexity and inefficiency inherent to distributed storage. Excess storage capacity on one server, for example, cannot be readily "lent" to another server without complex file management algorithms and severe network performance penalties. Sharing of files is also hampered by the fact that data must often be passed from server to server before it reaches its final destination. Clearly, another storage architecture was needed to address these issues. This architecture is the Storage Area Network (SAN), and it solves the problems of its predecessors by pooling all network storage into a common point on the network, which users may share without penalty.
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