A network-attached storage –NAS, device is a server that is dedicated to nothing more than file sharing. NAS does not provide any of the activities that a server in a server-centric system typically provides, such as e-mail, authentication or file management. A NAS device does not need to be located within the server but can exist anywhere in a LAN and can be made up of multiple networked NAS devices.
NAS- Network-attached storage is hard disk storage that is set up with its own network address rather than being attached to the department computer that is serving applications to a network’s workstation users. By removing storage access and its management from the department server, both application programming and files can be served faster because they are not competing for the same processor resources.
The network-attached storage device is attached to a local area network (typically, an Ethernet network) and assigned an IP address. File requests are mapped by the main server to the NAS file server.
If you have multiple PCs on your network, you’re a candidate for a network-attached storage device.
NAS – Network-attached storage consists of hard disk storage, including multi-disk RAID systems, and software for configuring and mapping file locations to the network-attached device. Network-attached storage can be a step toward and included as part of a more sophisticated storage system known as a storage area network (SAN).
Advantages of NAS – Network-attached storage:
1. Some NAS – Network-attached storage devices simple act as a shared volume for backing up and sharing files across your network, while others can do a lot more, such as sharing a printer among your networked PCs, acting as a media streamer or even a surveillance system by supporting IP cameras. You’ll find NAS devices with a single drive and those with multiple drives that allow for greater data protection and higher capacities.
2. Network Attached Storage (NAS) provides a central place to securely store and share all of your data. NAS can be thought of as a hard drive or multiple hard drives that are available to your entire network rather than for just one computer.
3. With network attached storage, multiple PCs, Macs, gaming consoles and other internet-enabled devices can instantly access the same shared files and even stream media across the network.
4. For added functionality, printers can be attached to a NAS device enabling printer sharing between all computers on the network.
5. Multimedia content stored on the NAS can also be streamed to TVs through the network; since NAS devices can act as media servers.
6. NAS allows more hard disk storage space to be added to a network that already utilizes servers without shutting them down for maintenance and upgrades.
7. With a NAS device, storage is not an integral part of the server. Instead, in this storage-centric design, the server still handles all of the processing of data but a NAS device delivers the data to the user.
8. NAS software can usually handle a number of network protocols, including Microsoft’s Internet work Packet Exchange and NetBEUI, Novell’s Netware Internet work Packet Exchange, and Sun Microsystems’ Network File System. Configuration, including the setting of user access priorities, is usually possible using a Web browser.
9. 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.1