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Bandwidth Services for NAS & SAN Network Storage

By: John Shepler

Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN) are used in client / server networks to make data available to clients on a network. Network storage can also be used for data warehousing and data backup on disc or tape. Smaller companies may use web based files storage for file sharing, remote access and hard drive backup.

What Bandwidth is Needed?
In addition to the Megabytes, Gigabytes or Terabytes of disc or tape storage for your storage network, you need bandwidth to get the data to and from the storage devices. For smaller applications, business class DSL service may be adequate. Medium and larger corporate networks will need T1, T3 or Optical Carrier (OC) levels of bandwidth.

How much bandwidth you need is a function of how you use your network, including the speed of the network, number of clients and servers, and how much data is being accessed. The slower the line or "pipe" transmitting the data, the longer you'll wait for transfers. Full data backups may well consume the entire bandwidth of the network for up to hours at a time.

Remote Storage and Secure Data Warehousing
In some cases, the NAS devices and servers may be sitting next to each other or a common network with the clients. SAN devices are on their own local Fibre Channel. But, how about when your data centers are miles apart or when you need to perform electronic data transfers across the country? Secure data storage may need to be in its own protected "warehouse" off-site from the main office.

In these cases you need bandwidth and lots of it in the form of dedicated lines or a virtual private network (VPN). Typical digital line services that are commonly available include:

 Digital Line Service Level

Capacity in Megabits / Second

T-1
T-3
OC-3
OC-12
OC-48

1.5
44.7
155
622
2,488

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