Overview

Storage area network (SAN) is an architecture for managing storage, typically over Fibre Channel cables and switches that connect your server's host bus adapter (HBA) with the storage's service processor. The components asking for storage data are called initiators, and the components being asked are the targets. Every target and initiator is identified by a worldwide name (WWN). The difference to Internet SCSI (iSCSI) is that iSCSI uses the normal IP stack, so every target and initiator is identified by a MAC address and, based upon that, by an IP address.

SAN addresses its data block-wise, which means you do not ask for a file from the storage as with network attached storage (NAS), but for a block. This means your server needs to be aware of the file system used on the disk.

For more information, please see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Storage_area_network.

How to...


Find out your HBA's types in your server

with Linux
hwinfo --storage-ctrl

Find out your HBA's WWN

with Linux
SUSE Linux 10 SP 1
cat /sys/class/fc_host/host1/node_name
note that host1 can vary if you have more than one HBA built-in.