A virtual storage area network (VSAN) is a specific section of a storage area network (SAN) that has been broken up into logical sections, also called partitions. This approach is used by Cisco Systems.

The use of VSANs allows traffic to be isolated within specific portions of the network. If a problem occurs in one VSAN, that problem can be handled with a minimum of disruption to the network. The use of multiple VSANs is said to make a system easier to configure and also more scalable. Subscribers can be added or relocated without the need for changing the physical layout. VSANs can also be configured separately and independently. Security is improved because the independence of VSANs minimizes the total system vulnerability. VSANs also offer the possibility of data redundancy, minimizing the risk of catastrophic data loss.

Return to the SAN pop quiz.

Definition courtesy of WhatIs.com.

This was first published in October 2007

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