The World of SAN:By Frank Ohlhorst | Posted 2008-11-13 Email Print
The TeraStation Pro II iSCSI storage system combines the features of Network Attached Storage (NAS) with high performance of Storage Area Networking (SAN) by embracing both technologies and creating a device that promises to be the SAN solution for the SMB market.
One element that helps to make the device unique is the integrated SAN support. Unlike NAS devices, which act much like a file server. The TeraStation Pro II iSCSI provides access directly to storage via an iSCSI connection, using SCSI commands transmitted over the network. Devices that access the unit will need to be integrated using the iSCSI protocol, or will have to connect to the storage provided by an intermediary device, such as a FileServer or SAN management appliance. The SAN concept offers many advantages over NAS. First off, SAN is more tightly integrated into a server-based network, taking advantage of all of the storage management capabilities offered by a modern Server OS and benefiting from the integrated security schemas offered by that OS. What’s more, SAN communicates data in blocks, which is much more efficient than a NAS system that forces client systems to access data files, instead of elemental storage blocks.
Initial purchasers have some choice on what configuration to go with; those looking for maximum value can choose a 1 Terabyte unit that retails for around $1,000, while others seeking the maximum amount of storage can go for broke with the 4 Terabyte unit which retails for around $2,400. Of course, the 1 terabyte unit can be expanded by installing larger disks, while the 4 terabyte unit is pretty much as large as the unit is going to get with current drive technology. The unit is also available as a 1U rack mount device, making it a good fit for a data center.