For structured data and block storage, you've got your storage-area network. For unstructured (file) data and file storage environments, consider a file-area network, which can provide centralized, heterogeneous, enterprisewide network file management and control. Like a SAN, a FAN potentially comprises many technologies: file virtualization, WAN optimization and acceleration, data classification, global namespace, and information life-cycle management and automated tiering. The key is that, with a FAN the access to file data is decoupled from the data's physical location. Making changes becomes easier, as does management. F5 Networks is one fan of FAN.