Nowadays, we tend to rely on servers, storage devices and Types of SAN Switches in day-to-day life.

As they provide high data storing capacity in an easily accessible manner.

These storage devices require network systems to operate and provide access to data present in different locations.

These networks also connect to a large number of servers or storage devices, allowing us to use a large amount of data.

There are different storage network systems, such as storage area network switches(SAN) and local area network (LAN), which are mainly used.

Surprisingly, different enterprises’ storage network systems safeguard and provide a faster data transfer rate than others.

Networks like SAN use switches which allow connecting with a large number of servers and managing traffic.

There are different types of SAN switches Price are considered on different technologies and their applications.

What Is a SAN Switch?

A SAN is a high-speed network that gives access to different storage devices to perform its work.

Therefore, a SAN switch is a device that allows the network to connect to other servers or storage devices and move traffic. 

These switches connect several servers and allow the traffic to move by providing a block level of access to all the data in servers.

They generally exchange data between storage devices and servers and provide backup for these data at high speed.

Switch ports have the feature to share data to longer distances that improve the availability of data with high bandwidth.

Their determined function is to manage and move the traffic flow at servers and storage devices by the data to the exact destination.

Types of SAN switches available which are faster, lossless data, efficient, and have low latency transmission hence making it an ideal choice.

They work by examining the data packets and deciding the origin and destination of the data packet.

Internet Protocol (IP)

Internet protocol is mainly used in these switches mainly to move the traffic flow in an Internet protocol (IP) to maintain the performance.

Fiber Channel (FC)

SAN switch uses a fiber channel Switches(FC) as its interface and is mainly determined by traffic flow.

Sometimes it requires a multi-switch configuration between servers and computer systems which enables more servers to connect.

How Does SAN Switches Work?

Mainly a SAN switch uses port systems to connect servers to computer systems and allow the access of data in servers.

They maintain constant traffic flow between servers with the help of fiber channel switches and ethernet switches.

These switches work on a block-level-based access network which usually sends a request to the storage devices.


The data requested are transmitted in small FC packets by the command of a small computer system interface (SCSI).


These data are converted by the host bus adaptor (HBA) from binary to optical form, which now can be transmitted through Server HBA Card.

Ultimately the HBA transmits the data requested through the fiber Server Rack Cables and reaches the destination.

HBA determines the port to which it is connected to the fabric of switches and sends a signal.

The signal reaches the corresponding switch to transmit the data requested that ultimately reaches the Server Hard Disk.

FC switches and ethernet switches have their features and technology to support the data transmission.

These switches depend on protocols that give different qualities based upon the switch use.

Ports present in switches to which servers, importantly HBA, are connected determine it sends data.

Because of this, networks and switches provide the advantage to access the data in the servers connected to switches.

How to Configure SAN Switches?

Configuration types of SAN switches for at least one fabric of switches that involves two ensures the redundant fabric and no point of failure.

A new switch and network configuration are comparatively more effortless because of the default setup and IP address.

SAN with only one fabric has a risk of single-point failure hence tends to lose data if it fails.

You only need the IP address to configure using a browser to the environment for a new switch.

The first switch in the fabric is called the main switch that holds data used by the other switches.

Switches other than the principal switch downloads data, and these switches have their domain ID from the first switch.

Configuration of these switches also requires procedures such as zoning and masking to be completed.

The zoning procedure ensures the communication of fabric and the device when allowed through switches.


While masking is the communication of worldwide names (WWNs) and LUNs in a storage array correctly.

Though both zoning and masking are advised if masking in the first place is done orderly, zoning is not required.

WWN zoning allows them to communicate WWNs present in a zone among themselves.

While WWNs zoning, the ports are irrelevant; hence suspected to be faulty through a device need not be involved in fabric to connect to a storage device.

The only con is that if an HBA fails in fabric which now should be reconfigured from the start.

Zoning a particular port or many switches to each other allows them to communicate and transmit data.

Difference Between SAN and LAN Switches

  • As we learned that a SAN is an FC-based network vice versa, a LAN is an ethernet-based network using copper and optical interfaces.

  • LAN switch is preferred for communication and data transfer rather than on traffic flow on networks.

  • LAN uses hundreds of ports to transfer large data packets ranging to 100GbE speed.

  • But a 10GbE switch is widely used as they support multiple protocols like TCP/IP, TCP/UDP, IPX, and AppleTalk.

  • New and advanced switches support voice-over protocols and bandwidth managing and reporting.

  • It features management tools, external troubleshooting, advanced security features, and automated integration.

    SAN Switches Applications

    • Interface

    • Network

    • Performance

    •  Price

    • Application

  1. Interface

There is a clear difference in the interface used in these switches; SAN uses a Fiber Channel (FC), whereas LAN uses an Ethernet interface.

  1. Network

LAN switch is a NAS-based storage network and uses protocols like NFS, CIFS, and AppleTalk, but a SAN switch is an iSCSI-based storage networks and FC with iSCSI combination. 

  1. Performance

A SAN switch is said to have better and faster performance than a LAN switch. 

  1. Price

A SAN switch is much more expensive because of its better performance than a LAN switch.

  1. Application

A LAN switch connects devices like servers, desktops, storage arrays, and printers, but a SAN switch is used only for storage traffic because of its high performance.

Different Types of SAN Switches

  • KVM switches

  • Managed switches

  • Unmanaged Switches

  • SAN Applications

Some types of switches that are widely used because of their application are:

KVM Switches

KVM, in the name, stands for “keyboard, video, and mouse,” they are referred to as the single person controlling multiple computers or servers from a single system.

These switches allow the connection of the keyboard, mouse to multiple computers, thus saving space with cable problems.

They can reach remote PCs via signals and be programmed to control them from a single keyboard.  

Managed Switches

This switch is determined to manage traffic flow in the storage area network and be custom configured.

Managed switches provide high efficiency in communication and data transfer by the configuration of Ethernet ports.

Also, this switch type is used to create VLANs to manage traffic flow on the network. Additionally, they are one of the best types to support Ethernet.

Unmanaged Switches

This switch negotiates between Ethernet devices and communicates to transfer data.

They require little to no installation for any communication between devices in a network which is generally an Ethernet-based network.

These switches commonly require a physical change rather than an automatic change.

SAN Applications

switches, as we know, is a high-performing and efficient switch that uses an FC interface to communicate and transfer data.

Hence, because of features and work capacity, these switches are used between servers and storage devices. 

They are used to connect multiple servers as they can handle huge workloads at low latency.

These switches come in both FC and Ethernet interfaces which give different features and qualities.

There are a variety of switches available to purchase with a different range of ports and speeds.


SAN networks and SAN switches play an essential part in communication between servers and also in managing traffic flow.

There are different types of SAN switches, and there networks are available to use that provide their features and facilities.

In short, it depends on your need and budget to buy the right one over other choices.

You should know your needs with features and facilities you want from these switches before buying them.

Also, choosing between SAN and LAN switches should be after knowing your need as they are preferred for a different expertise.

They have their different qualities, needs, and places of application that cannot be compared. 

Moreover, to receive their facilities, the switches should be correctly configured.