A new architecture for storage area networks (SANs) is proposed for providing efficient information processing and transportation. We deviate from the byte stream oriented transmission control protocol (TCP) transport mechanism to more storage friendly block oriented transport. Data is processed, encrypted, error checked, redundantly encoded, and stored in fixed size blocks called quanta. Each quantum is processed by an effective cross-layer protocol that collapses the protocol stack for security, iWARP and iSCSI functions, transport control, and even redundant arrays of inexpensive disk (RAID) storage. This streamlining produces a highly efficient protocol with fewer memory copies and places most of the computational burden and security safeguard on the client, while the target stores quanta from many clients with minimal processing. We propose a new network RAID storage method using the quantum concept. Also, we unify error control and flow control of the iSCSI and TCP protocols in a manner we believe is more suitable for high data rate and low latency storage applications.