Network attached storage (NAS) is a shared storage system that multiple client applications can access and utilize through a network. In contrast to a storage area network (SAN) – the other main type of network storage system – NAS makes use of standard LAN architectures based on ethernet and TCP/IP. All network attached storage systems support NFS (for Unix environments) and SMB/CIFS (for Windows environments) file transfer protocols, and many also support additional transfer protocols such as FTP, HTTP, and WebDav.
In contrast to traditional file servers – standard server computers that often play additional roles other than serving files – network attached storage systems are specialized systems that are optimized for file storage and file serving, and are used only for that role. NAS systems typically lack a keyboard and monitor, and are managed through a web console. In the past, network attached storage solutions were sold primarily in the form of appliances, but today’s NAS shoppers also have the option of buying NAS software (or obtaining open source NAS software) and installing it on a hardware platform of their choosing.
Network attached storage is valued for its versatility and its support for storing large volumes of data. In a workplace environment, NAS storage can simultaneously support multiple types of client applications with diverse workloads. Unlike block-based SAN storage systems, a NAS server implements and manages a file system, so client applications are relieved of that responsibility.Common network attached storage use cases include:
Thinkmate is the custom computer systems builder of choice for some of the world’s leading corporations and research institutions. We have the technology and the know-how to help you select and configure the ideal network attached storage solution for your particular environment and workload expectations. If you have obtained NAS software and are looking for the best possible hardware platform, our STX-CL line of storage servers provide a perfect foundation for cost-effective, high-availability bulk file storage. If you prefer a ready-made NAS solution, we offer pre-installed NexentaStor systems in a range of configurations, for an enterprise-class NAS system that simultaneously supports SAN protocols.
With either type of network attached storage solution from Thinkmate, you can count on the latest and greatest technology and the best customer support in the industry.