Network Attached Storage (NAS) file level storage. Storage Area Network (SAN) block level storage. NAS lends itself to quickly provisioning an exported NFS file system or CIFS share to a user backed by a thinly provisioned physical file system. SANs typically use iSCSI. AWS does not offer native shared / clustered disk that on premise NAS and SAN offerings. Here are some options for running NAS and SAN environments in AWS:
- SAN: Zadara (also provides NFS support in addition to iSCSI). https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/B00824G9TW/ref=srh_res_product_title?ie=UTF8&sr=0-2&qid=1396040202362. Zadara is a solution that runs in an AWS Direct Connect location.
- NAS : SoftNAS (https://aws.amazon.com/marketplace/pp/B00EQE493U) offers NFS, CIFS, and iSCSI (even though NAS in name) mount points. Pacemaker is one solution that exposes a number of EBS volumes, as a NFS mount, to an EC2 instance using EC2. GlusterFS is another NFS solution that can be run on AWS. This is now Red Hat Storage : http://talkincloud.com/cloud-storage/red-hat-storage-test-drives-planned-aws. This is the second generation of highly scalable NAS software coming from Red Hat’s 2011 acquisition of Gluster. As part of the announcement, Red Hat launched a Red Hat Storage AWS Test Drive to help enterprise customers get started with Red Hat Storage on AWS. NetApp also offers a solution similar to Zadara (runs in AWS Direct Connect facility : http://www.netapp.com/uk/solutions/cloud/amazon-web-services.aspx
Here is a good session from reInvent in 2013 (keep in mind this information has changed since over a year old) : http://www.slideshare.net/AmazonWebServices/nfs-and-cifs-options-for-aws-stg401-aws-reinvent-2013
Of course, S3 can always be used but this will require changes to the application or use an emulation software (s3fs) to make S3 look like block/file level storage.