The fundamental problem that SANs solve is how to connect terabytes of information to hundreds of servers reliably. Directly attached storage works well for a few servers with a few hundred gigabytes of storage, but the complexity of managing and backing up terabytes of captive storage is a nightmare. With exponential storage growth, IT staff shortages, and 24/7/365 operations, storage networks demand a new solution. Fibre Channel SANs offer the reliable solutions that automate backup, simplify management, consolidate resources, and expand applications. Fibre Channel is the appropriate solution for large storage networks.

The goal of SANs is to increase the accessibility of data across the enterprise. Since the enterprise is a heterogeneous mix of UNIX, S/390, Linux, and Windows, Fibre Channel was designed to accommodate these different operating systems and the various types of applications that will run on these platforms. Fibre Channel has also been optimized for certain applications, including audio, video, and avionics. Fibre Channel has a solid foundation that will support varied storage networks.