With the phenomenal growth in digital data, particularly generated from multi-media and other enterprise application the need for high-performance storage solution at low cost has become extremely important. Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are basically among the latest of storage devices being used for this purpose. These devices are in fact servers that basically do not provide any of the common server’s services, but simply allow the addition of storage of file sharing.
NAS devices basically allow a vast amount of hard disk storage space to be added to a network and can make that space available to multiple servers without actually shutting down for maintenance and upgrades. These devices can reside anywhere on a LOCAL AREA NETWORK and may be combined in the different configuration. A single hardware device often called NAS box which basically act as an interface between the NAS system and network clients. These NAS systems do not require the monitor, keyboard or mouse. One or more disk or tape drives can be attached to many NAS system basically to increase the capacity.
Clients basically connect to the NAS head rather than to the individual common storage devices. A NAS can store any data that appears in the form of files, such as emails boxes, Web Content, remote backups, and so on. In that sense, NAS devices are being deployed as a replacement for traditional servers.
Advantages of Network attached storage –
- NAS Systems strive for reliable operation and easy administration.
- They basically include the built-in function such as secure authentication or the automatic sending of email alerts in case of error on the device.
- The NAS devices are being offered with a high degree of scalability, reliability, flexibility, and performance.
- These devices basically support RAID levels 0, 1, 5.
Difference between Traditional Storage Area Network and NAS:
These devices differ from Traditional Storage Area Network in several ways. Specifically, Storage Area Network often utilizes Fiber Channel rather than Ethernet, and it often incorporates multiple network devices or endpoints on a self-contained or private LAN whereas NAS relies on individual devices which used to connect directly to the previously existing public LAN. Whereas WINDOWS, UNIX, and NetWare file servers each demand protocol support on the client side, NAS system claim greater operating system independent of clients.