I want to talk to the SAN-centric folks out there; the ones that don't have any NAS [network attached storage] to speak about. SAN [storage area network] environments actually have tons of file data stored on their Tier 1 storage and secondary storage, even though it's all iSCSI or Fibre Channel based. And, all of those file servers in the organization are essentially NAS systems -- single file servers talking in a NAS protocol. You can consolidate those systems using virtual server technology, NAS systems or virtual NAS or FAN [file area nework] systems, but many SAN folks aren't even thinking about that today. NAS and FAN products are being sold to NAS users, but rarely are they being marketed to file server environments.
The point is, if the data is unstructured and persistent, why are you keeping it on the most expensive spinning disks? We find that 60% to 80% of a company's data becomes dormant -- no one is accessing it 90 days after it's created. So, why is it still being backed up every night? Move it all off to another tier with file-level knowledge, and you can grow huge archives. Sprinkle in a bit of indexing and search to make it even more useful. We see these file stores growing into the petabyte range, and it's happening very rapidly. So, NAS can bring valuable capabilities to even dedicated SAN organizations.
Check out the entire NAS FAQ guide.
This was first published in July 2007