Definition: A storage area network (SAN) is a type of local area network (LAN) designed to handle large data transfers. A SAN typically supports data storage, retrieval and replication on business networks using high-end servers, multiple disk arrays and Fiber Channel interconnection technology.
The term SAN can sometimes refer to system area networks instead of a storage area network. System area networks are clusters of high performance computers used for distributed processing applications requiring fast local network performance. Storage area networks, on the other, are designed specifically for data management.