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Module 6: Infrastructure as a Service - Service Model

SAN v/s NAS:

We have learned in detail about SAN (Read as: S-A-N) and NAS (Read as: N-A-S) in Module 2 of Advanced Cloud Computing course. However, let us now discuss some new terminologies which will help us to understand SAN and NAS from a practical viewpoint.

The first terminology is block-level storage. Block-level storage is a type of storage allocation where a specified amount of space is being allotted in raw format. The term raw format refers to the space without a file system. We have already discussed the file systems like NTFS, FAT (Read as: F-A-T), EXT (Read as: E-X-T) etc., in Module 2 of Advanced Cloud Computing course. Thus, in terms of SAN, block-level storage is considered to be an allocation of Hard disk drive to a client system. The difference is that the hard drive is located in the network computer, typically in an SAN Box. Block-level storage allocation is used only in terms of FC SAN or iSCSI (Read as: eye-scuzzy) SAN.

The second terminology is file-level storage. File-level storage is normally used in case of NAS environments. In terms of NAS, file-level storage is a pre-formatted shared folder provided to the client based on the need. In file-level storage, a pre-formatted space is being allotted to the user based on the requirement provided by the user. The main advantage is that, there is no requirement that is to be satisfied by the user when it comes to NAS. No special operating system, driver, or hardware is required by the user system to access the shared folder service.

Now that we have the basic knowledge of block-level and file-level storage, let’s understand the practical difference between SAN and NAS in the next slide.