virtual storage area network (SAN) (VSAN)
Virtual Storage Area Networks (VSAN) are virtual storage networks with which independent logical storage networks can be defined in FC switches. The switch ports are assigned to only one VSAN at a time. The individual VSANs operate completely separately from each other, are scalable, have their own security criteria and support their own SAN services such as the World Wide Name(WWN) name service, zoning or snapshot.
The separate VSANs operate largely without interruption and can be configured and scaled better than physical storage networks. New users can be added quickly without changing the physical structure.
A routing function, inter-VSAN routing, allows servers in the different VSANs to access shared storage resources. Through this inter-VSAN routing, traffic can be selectively transferred between SAN devices in the different VSANs without requiring them to belong to a single logical fabric. VSANs are appliances that can be used to aggregate unused storage capacity on servers as needed. Corresponding VSAN appliances that run on virtual machines can be downloaded as software. Some manufacturers integrate them into their firmware.
The VSAN technology developed by Cisco was defined as an industry standard by ANSI at the instigation of the INCITS technical committee.