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What is NAS?

NAS (Network Attached Storage) is a term used to describe a complete and self-contained storage system which is designed to be attached to a traditional data network.

This differentiates Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices from SAN's (Storage Area Networks). A SAN is a seperate network to which storage devices are attached.

In most cases, a NAS is less expensive to purchase and less complex to operate than a SAN. However, a SAN can provide better performance and a larger range of configuration options.

NAS Protocols

NAS servers commonly support NFS (Network File System) and CIFS (Common Internet File System). They may also support other storage protocols, such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or SCP (Secure CoPy).

Network Atttached Storage Connections

NAS server are typically attached to the network using standard Ethernet. However, NAS devices are also available which connect to Fibre Channel networks.

Wireless 802.11 NAS devices are now appearing on the market.

NAS Drives

NAS devices have traditionally been built utilizing SCSI (Small Computer Systems Interface) internally, but NAS devices can be built using any disk technology. NAS devices based on lower-cost ATA disks are now available.

In addition to disk storage, NAS devices can also support other storage options, such as magnetic tape and writeable DVD.



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