HPE EVA Storage

SAN Switch and Traditional Network Switch

Go to solution
Super Advisor

SAN Switch and Traditional Network Switch


Are SAN switches and traditional Network switches are different ?

If yes then what are the differences ?

Víctor Cespón
Honored Contributor

Re: SAN Switch and Traditional Network Switch

Well, the difference is very basic, a network switch handles IP packets, a SAN switch handles FC packets. Different protocols, different uses. A SAN sends SCSI requests to devices, not TCP packets.

Also connections to network switches are usually done with twister pair copper cable, and connections to SAN switches with fiber optic cables.

Although you can find network connections over fiber optic cable, and SAN connections over copper cable. There are even protocols to send FC packets over IP, so a network switch can be part of a SAN.
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: SAN Switch and Traditional Network Switch

A (Ethernet) network switch handles Ethernet frames. IP is one out of many other protocols that can be used on Ethernet.

It is also possible to run IP over a Fibre Channel infrastructure, but I have not seen an end-user making use of it in real life.

And with iSCSI you can send SCSI commands over an IP/Ethernet LAN.


Many features are (somewhat) comparable. There are network layers, frames, routing tables - but the implementation details are different.