A network-attached storage (NAS) device is related to the storage of files and works with the file sharing only. Network-attached storage (NAS) consists of LAN nodes for sharing files. It does not provide e-mail, file management, and authentication services like the server-centric systems.
Multiple network devices make a network-attached storage. It does not exist on the server, but we can locate it in local area network (LAN). NAS devices have an IP address and located on the LAN as independent network nodes. These devices do not consist of a display or keyboard.
There are three major types of network-attached storage (NAS), which are in use.
HIGH-END OR ENTERPRISE NAS
The high end NAS is used in business because they have to store huge amount of data with rapid access, speed, and clustering environment. It integrates with a Storage Area Network (SAN) and provides shared access to large volume files. It is low cost network storage with a scalable migration path. It also consists of advanced features like replication, management, multiprotocol support, clustering, and gateway to the SAN.
It is useful in business that requires hundred terabytes of data. It provides shared access to large volume files and cannot have clustered devices. Midmarket NAS is low cost and easily scaled to multiple terabytes. It has some advanced properties like point-in-time snapshot and clustering. No special skills are required.
- Low-end or desktop NAS
Low-end NAS is used in home user and small business that does not require huge amount of data but local shared storage. It is fast and simple file storage with extra storage capacity. It is low cost and required no special training. It provides simplified backup as an advanced feature.
The NAS devices can add more space on hard disks and use them for upgrades and maintenance without shutting down. The network-attached storage devices sent data to the users, but do not hold the data processing. The main advantage of NAS devices is to provide multiple accesses to the same files at the same time. As much space is required in the modern world, so the NAS devices provide its customers extra storage and facility of back up the files.
The network-attached storage devices are also used in server and store files and auto backup data. Many NAS devices also provide space for security systems, smart TVs and IoT components.
NAS devices are divided into three main groups:
- Number of devices
- Capacity and scalability of drive
- Drive support
NAS devices are used for backing up and data recovery if you lost your data. Although NAS devices do not perform the server’s functions, but if it connects to a server node then, it can also perform the server’s tasks like database, multimedia, etc. Today, there is a need to enhance the file storage due to the huge amount of data so, for this purpose, vendors are combining NAS and SAN to make hybrid SAN/NAS that has the improved data storage and functionality.