Use this handy cheat-sheet to help keep straight the evolving list of storage terminology.
Direct-attached storage (DAS) Storage connected directly to a server.
Fibre Channel An expensive short-distance networking technology used for building SANs.
ATA (AT attachment) or IDE (Integrated Device Electronics) Traditional desktop and low-end server storage technology that includes the controlling circuitry for mass-storage devices as part of the devices. This technology is one of the standard ways of connecting hard drives, CD-ROM drives, and tape drives to a system.
iSCSI A low-cost way to create SANs over IP networks.
IP SAN A SAN built around the iSCSI protocol.
Network-attached storage (NAS) A storage appliance that connects to the Ethernet network and provides file-level storage access.
RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks) The name for a number of different fault-tolerance schemes that use drive arrays.
SCSI (Small Computer System Interface) The de facto standard for midrange and high-end server direct-attached storage.
Serial ATA (SATA) A new low-cost storage standard with faster transfer speeds than IDE/ATA.
Serial-attached SCSI A new high-performance SCSI standard. Products will appear late this year.
Storage area network (SAN) Typically a Fibre Channel subnetwork of storage devices that can be shared by several servers.