A storage area network is designed for managing very large amounts of network storage — sometimes downright huge amounts. A SAN consists of three components: storage devices (perhaps hundreds of them), a separate highspeed network (usually fiber-optic) that directly connects the storage devices to each other, and one or more SAN servers that connect the SAN to the local area network. The SAN server manages the storage devices attached to the SAN and allows users of the LAN to access the storage. Setting up and managing a storage area network is a job for a SAN expert.
For more information about storage area networks, see the home page of the Storage Networking Industry Association at www.snia.org.