EMC Glossary

Server SAN

Server SAN is software-led storage built on commodity x86 servers with directly attached storage (DAS). It is designed to pool storage resources, consisting of more than one DAS, from multiple separate servers. Server SAN leverages standardized/commodity hardware (including hyper-converged appliances) and enables organizations to run applications on the same server as compute and storage.

Who uses this technology, and why

Server SAN architectures are an alternative to traditional SAN architectures for Service Providers and Enterprises looking to adopt software-defined storage infrastructures that are extremely scalable, flexible, cost effective and simple to manage. It is a server-based design, but it has storage in it and, by design, should be very simple and extremely scalable.

How Server SAN works

DAS usually is internal to the server and cannot scale or be shared.

Server SAN combines compute and pools DAS from multiple, separate, servers. Communication between DAS occurs via a high speed network connection (InfiniBand or Low Latency Ethernet). Storage resources are managed by a software solution. The multi-protocol storage can utilize spinning disk and flash storage (HDD, SDD, PCIe flash).

Benefits of this technology

Server SAN offers many of the benefits of traditional SAN architectures while reducing complexity and costs.

Server SAN offers potential benefits to application design, operation, performance due to the increased flexibility in how storage is mapped to applications. It removes the complexity of SAN network architectures and pooled resources deliver extreme scale in both performance and capacity.