Network Attached Storage is a device used by businesses as a central point of data storage and backup. The increase in the number of small businesses has led to the growth of NAS to cater for businesses’ data storage needs.
Initially the main function of NAS devices was to support virtualization, but as time went by flash storage, replication, and multi-protocol access were added to the list of NAS services. NAS systems that are currently on the market come with backup software applications and remote access options. Small business owners have the option of purchasing clustered NAS systems. These are distributed file systems that can operate with many NAS nodes simultaneously. NAS allows users to access files from any network storage location.
Some NAS devices have standard operating systems while others have proprietary operating systems. The most used data transport protocol is the Internet protocol. A traditional network attached storage device offers access to back end storage via an internet connection. Other NAS systems allow network administrators to attach additional storage hardware to increase the storage capacity of the network storage device. Unlike an NAS, direct attached storage is not connected to the network and users require physical access to the device to access stored data. Although DAS performs better than NAS, it requires separate management of the storage device, which causes complications and confusions.
Data in a storage area network is organized in a high performance and independent network. The difference between SAN and DAS lies in their handling of input and output requests. A NAS manages requests for individual files while SAN manages requests for attached blocks of data. Although SAN is often used to transfer data through fiber data channels, it also supports data transfer through standard Ethernet connection.
Technological barriers in the past kept block and file storage separately because network administrators believed that block storage is superior to file storage. This was realistic practice during those times considering the significant amount of data held in SANs. Today, many businesses enjoy many benefits of using NAS. One of the most notable advantages of NAS is that you do not require advanced technological skills and knowledge to set it up. In addition, NAS is an affordable data backup and storage solution.