Data storage is inextricably linked to information security. All information must be presented in an integral form, reliably protected from outside interference, and available to the user. Especially the issue of data storage has become a point of the business concern.

In a company, there is a large amount of information, which becomes even more as it reaches a new level. And all three components: confidentiality, integrity, and availability, become much more critical. 

The most progressive way to store information is to use network storage solutions. In this article, we’ll talk about NAS and SAN, which are designed for network storage. They both have their own advantages, such as convenient file access and scalability.

What are Storage Area Network and Network Attached Storage?

NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. It is a device that is a file server. It cannot be used for computing processes and launching applications, so it cannot be called full-fledged server equipment. The NAS system has one or more slots for installing hard drives combined into RAID arrays. 

Most often, although not in all devices, hard drives work crosswise. That is, if one of them fails, the information will not be lost. It provides reliability and confidence that the user will not lose critical documents due to a common problem.

Storage Area Network-SAN is an architectural solution that integrates various external storage. SAN consists of nodes, disk arrays, and servers that are connected by network infrastructure elements – cables and switches. Management is carried out using the controller.


Storage networks are characterized by high speed and performance. Access to files occurs at the block level storage. Through the use of various types of virtualization, the SAN exposes storage devices to the host so that the storage is locally attached.

Differences Between SAN and NAS

NAS is a specific device that is used for data storage. NAS can be clustered together to increase the total amount of storage, but each component will still be separate hardware. SAN is a pool of devices that collectively constitute a storage network. But some nuances need to be taken into account.

Main Factors for Comparison


Network Attached Storage devices allow you to store a limited number of files, depending on the amount of memory and available hard drive slots. To increase the options, you can create a cluster of several devices. ,
SAN allows you to increase storage capacities since it is not one piece of equipment but an architectural solution. It enables users to connect external drives, such as disk arrays.

Ease of Management

NAS is easy to manage, as you can set up the operation of the device yourself. For the same reason, they are often used to store personal files. You do not need to contact a specialist, and for small and medium enterprises, this is also a plus.
SAN is much more challenging to manage. The network consists of several devices, so changing settings is not as easy as with network storage.

Areas of Use

NAS is beneficial for corporate purposes, especially for small or medium businesses. For companies, network storages with multiple hard drive slots are suitable, which makes it possible to store a large amount of data on them.
SAN is beneficial to use in large companies, where the amount of networked data storage will not be enough. NAS can be used for both residential and corporate purposes. But the scope of a storage area network is purely for professional file sharing


Unlike all external drives, multiple users can access the storage network or network storage. And here comes the first pitfall that concerns NAS. The more users connect to the network storage at the same time, the lower its performance becomes.
In some industries, even a few seconds' delays in storing data can significantly slow down the work of the company. The performance of SAN is always high, regardless of how many people connect to them simultaneously and with what file sizes they start working.

Which Is More Suitable for Your Business?

NAS-based storage solutions cover the needs and demands of small businesses that do not use high-performance software. In this case, the primary criteria are low cost and ease of operation. The choice falls on SAN when the primary goal is reliability, fault tolerance, and high performance. Most features are challenging to implement for NAS devices, so using SAN is becoming standard.

The only thing that cannot be implemented with a SAN is a file server, which cannot be accessed by clients that use different platforms and operating systems. It’s easier to do this with a NAS. For such individual cases, hybrid systems, i.e., unified storage, have been created that allow access to data located both at the file and at the block level.

Contact PITS Global Data Recovery Services at (888) 611-0737 to request help setting up your data infrastructure and storage resources.