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Is it ok to specify subdomains in certificates that support SAN. For example base domain is example.com and I want a.example.com, b.example.com, and c.example.com to be included? What is the primary purpose of SANs?

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The purpose of SAN is to specify all host names for which a certificate can be used. This also includes any subdomains a certificate should be valid for, i.e. a certificate for example.com will not be automatically valid for foo.example.com but this subdomain must be explicitly specified as valid. Entries can also be wildcards. A proper implementation will no longer look at the common name at all if DNS names are given in the SAN section.

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