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Chapter 1. What Are SANs and NAS?

Chapter 1. What Are SANs and NAS?

Throughout the history of computing, people have wanted to share computing resources. The Burroughs Corporation had this in mind in 1961 when they developed multiprogramming and virtual memory. Shugart Associates felt that people would be interested in a way to easily use and share disk devices. That's why they defined the Shugart Associates System Interface (SASI) in 1979. This, of course, was the predecessor to SCSI—the Small Computer System Interface. In the early 1980s, a team of engineers at Sun Microsystems felt that people needed a better way to share files, so they developed NFS. Sun released it to the public in 1984, and it became the Unix community's prevalent method of sharing filesystems. Also in 1984, Sytec developed NetBIOS for IBM; NetBIOS would become the foundation for the SMB protocol that would ultimately become CIFS, the predominant method of sharing files in a Windows environment.

Neither storage area networks (SANs) nor network attached storage (NAS) are new concepts. SANs are simply the next evolution of SCSI, and NAS is the next evolution of NFS and CIFS. Perhaps a brief history lesson will illustrate this (see Figure 1-1).


  

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