Network Attached Storage
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a hard disk storage device that is set up with its own network address and provides file based data storage/file sharing services to the other network devices. NAS objects the traditional file approach by creating systems designed specifically for data storage facility. The NAS designs comprises of components to support file transfers, and add features. The communication with a NAS head occurs over TCP/IP. The device does not necessarily be placed within the server, but can easily exist in the LAN and can be made up of multiple networked NAS devices. NAS devices are usually configured with a web browser and do not have a keyboard or display.
NAS also follows a client/server design like the traditional file servers. It has an assigned IP address, to allow both application programming and files to be served faster because they are not competing for processor resources. NAS consists of hard disk storage, including multi-disk RAID systems. The Network Attached Storage software can usually handle a number of network protocols. The two application protocols that are commonly combined with NAS are NFS (Sun Network File System) and CIFS (Common Internet File System). A single hardware device is known as NAS box or NAS head, which acts as the interface between NAS and the network clients.
A Network Attached Storage (NAS) device does not require external devices like, monitor, keyboard, mouse etc. It runs on an embedded operating system rather than a full featured NOS. To increase the total capacity one or more disk drives can be attached to many NAS systems. The benefits of NAS above file servers are as: easy administration, simple configuration, smooth and swift data access.