A SAN (Storage Area Network) is a network dedicated to providing block level data storage access. The primary use of a SAN is to make storage accessible to servers, such that to the operating system they appear as locally attached devices. A SAN will often have its own network of storage devices which are not accessible to other devices on the local area network.
SAN systems do not provide file abstraction, only block-level operations. A SAN provides access to a set of data blocks, which are allocated to a given machine. Operating systems maintain their own file systems on their own dedicated, non-shared LUNs, as though they were local to themselves.
SAN servers will typically implement in-built redundancy, but as with all servers and RAID systems, problems can occur with the hardware, logical corruption, or operator error.
The most common problems encountered with a file system stored on a SAN server are:
- Deleted volume
- Deleted files
- Reformatted partition
- File system corruption
- Deleted block allocation unit on SAN server
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