Highly Available NAS


A NAS unit is essentially a self-contained computer connected to a network, with the sole purpose of supplying file-based data storage services to other devices on the network. The operating system and other software on the NAS unit provide the functionality of data storage, file systems, and access to files, and the management of these functionalities. The unit is not designed to carry out general-purpose computing tasks, although it may technically be possible to run other software on it.  NAS units usually do not have a keyboard or display, and are controlled and configured over the network, often by connecting a browser to their network address.

 

Network-attached storage (NAS) 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.

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).

NAS software can usually handle a number of network protocols, including Microsoft’s Internetwork 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. Network Attached Storage can solve backup issues, provide effective growth/budget management and reduce the TCO of your storage environment. The key to their success is the way they decouple storage from the traditional one server / one array structure (DAS – Direct Attached Storage) into a flexible, scalable storage pool. NAS technology can benefit most organisations and the ROI propositions can mean the initial project costs are repaid in a surprisingly short time.

NAS’s Storage team will work with your IT department to design and deliver a NAS solution that fits your business needs, from a single stand alone NAS appliance to a fully resilient, high performing, highly available, easily expandable, enterprise wide NAS cluster . From the initial feasibility and design study, through to implementation NAS will combine products from the leading storage vendors with expert services, sizing tools and management tools to deliver a Network that is resilient, flexible and reduces the long term TCO.