Typically a disk array provides increased availability, resiliency, and maintainability by using existing components (controllers, power supplies, fans, etc.), often up to the point where all single points of failure (SPOFs) are eliminated from the design. Additionally, disk array components are often hot-swappable.
Typically, disk arrays are divided into categories:
- Network attached storage (NAS) arrays
- storage area network (SAN) arrays:
- Modular SAN arrays
- Monolithic SAN arrays
- Utility Storage Arrays
- Storage virtualization
Primary vendors of storage systems include EMC Corporation, Hitachi Data Systems, NetApp, IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Oracle Corporation, Dell, Infortrend, Coraid, Inc., Panasas and other companies which often act as OEMs for the above vendors and do not themselves market the storage components they manufacture.