All about Network attached storage (NAS)

In this article i am going to give some info about Network Attached Storage (NAS). So, without any further ado we will start.

Definition:

Network-attached storage (NAS) is file-level computer data storage connected to a computer network providing data access to heterogeneous clients. As of 2010 NAS devices are gaining popularity, as a convenient method of sharing files among multiple computers. Potential benefits of network-attached storage, compared to file servers, include faster data access, easier administration, and simple configuration.

Source : Wikipedia

How it NAS works:

NAS is a networked group of hard drives. These hard drives are connected to each other through different arrangements it can be logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays. They virtually remove the need for separate file sharing servers and can easily provide access to files using file sharing protocols.

For doing all this they need an Operating System. But there is no need for a full featured OS, so a stripped down version of OS is used which can handle the basic input and output operations and is light on system resources.

Example of this type of OS is FreeNAS – a stripped downed version of FreeBSD.

Uses of NAS

Instead of using those huge and complex older systems one can use NAS to achieve more simplicity and cost-effective results. The price of NAS has decreased over the past few years so we can expect more featured NAS products in the near future at a very simple cost.

Advantages:

  • Compatible with all types of OS, be it Windows or Mac OS X.
  • NAS are Plug and Play systems and that means there’s a very little configuration to be done.
  • It’s a centralized storage which makes it easier for the admin to maintain the whole system.

Disadvantages:

  • A NAS is connected to a single network and there can be many systems connected to the NAS simultaneously, this can affect the efficiency of the data transfer occurring between the systems and the NAS.
  • NAS is a shared storage and hence if quotas are not enforced by the administrator one user can hog all the storage from the quota of other users.

Some latest NAS drives:

  • HP Media Vault MV212.
  • Buffalo LinkStation Mini
  • Synology Disk Station DS-107+
  • Drobo DroboShare
  • D-Link DNS-323 2-Bay Network

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