file-area network (FAN)

A file-area network (FAN) is a set of technologies that facilitate file sharing and data management over a network.

FAN technology decouples data from specific servers or network-attached storage (NAS) filers, thereby separating logical file access from a physical file location.

There are six core elements to a FAN:

  1. Storage devices
  2. File serving devices/interfaces
  3. Namespaces
  4. File management and control services
  5. End clients
  6. Connectivity

Benefits of a file-area network include:

  • Data can be mapped to a unified address space (UAS) and migrated transparently between network-attached storage (NAS) devices.
  • Data Replication between NAS resources in the same or remote data centers, which improves data availability and Response times.
  • Data can be moved transparently between tiers to ensure it is on the most cost-effective hardware platform.
  • Improved user access to file-based data


This was last updated in November 2014

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