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Special Edition, June 2013

SAN-attached storage provides fast access at a high cost

This is the second in a series of tips exploring cloud computing in healthcare. The first tip in the series looked at cloud services in general and the uses of network-attached storage. In this tip, the uses of storage area networks are explored. Read the first tip here. Storage area network storage, or SAN-attached storage, is a critical kind of storage to an organization. Its main components are storage arrays approximately the size of a large commercial air conditioner. These arrays are connected to multiple connection hubs (called switches), which are connected to servers through multiple input/output ports. Redundancy at all points is a best practice for a SAN because it reduces the risk of failure. This concept is very important because a SAN-attached storage server writes data directly to an external hard drive through a maze of wires and cables. Whenever a server writes data to disks, it has to know that the data was written successfully to the disk before it will proceed to other operations. This protection is a ...

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