Network Attached Storage / NAS

Network Attached Storage / NAS is file-level computer data storage connected to a computer providing data access to heterogeneous clients. NAS not only operates as a file server, but is specialized for this task either by its hardware, software, or configuration of those elements. Our NAS solution is a specialized appliance built from the ground up for storing and serving files.

NAS systems are networked appliances which contain one or more hard drives, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays. Network-attached storage removes the responsibility of file serving from other servers on the network. They typically provide access to files using network file sharing protocols such as NFS,SMB/CIFS, or AFP. Potential benefits of network-attached storage, compared to file servers, include faster data access, easier administration, and simple configuration.

NAS challenges the traditional file server approach by creating systems designed specifically for data storage. Instead of starting with a general-purpose computer and configuring or removing features from that base, NAS designs begin with the bare-bones components necessary to support file transfers and add features "from the bottom up."

Where does Network Attached Storage / NAS fit in?

NAS fits into the network as an additional hard drive. To the computers on the network it looks like any other network drive. The security can be configured so that each directory is protected/accessed based on the companies requirements. The additional storage can partitioned into various storage spaces to facilitate backup, data redundancy & email archival. The need for additional storage and disaster recovery is based on the particular business needs.

-- NAS is useful for more than just general centralized storage.
-- NAS helps building load-balanced and fault-tolerant email and web server systems by providing storage services.
-- NAS allows more hard disk storage space to be added to a network without shutting them down for maintenance and upgrades.
-- Storage-centric design of NAC delivers the data to the user and let servers handle all the processing of data.
-- NAS device can be located anywhere in a LAN and can be made up of multiple networked NAS devices.

Feature List

* Users running different types of machines (PC, Apple iMac, etc.) and OS (Windows, Unix, Mac OS, etc.) can share files.
* NAS appliances are "plug-and-play" meaning that very little configuration is required beyond connecting them to the LAN.
* Centralized storage, which makes it easier and cheaper to maintain, backup, and administer.
* Fast response times for users since NAS are on LANs, as opposed to being on a backbone SAN, marginally faster than DAS.
* NAS may support one or more RAID levels to make sure that individual disk failures do not result in loss of data.
* NAS comes with a web based management interface and hence can be centrally administered from remote locations.
* No need for expensive HBA adapters or specialized switches for storage

Network Attached Storage / NAS is a cost effective and efficient way to add further storage capacity to your network. It is generally, inexpensive and easy to install and allows lower maintenance costs than storage systems. As a result, you should expect lower storage costs, lower maintenance and support costs and potentially negating the need for further server hardware which is generally more expensive.