What is Network Attached Storage?
Network attached storage (NAS) is a computer device that can be attached independently anywhere on your network to store files and make them available to accredited users. These servers have their own IP address, so there is no need to go through your network server as an intermediary. The install and configuration of these NAS servers is seamless and requires little IT experience, making it an ideal option for small to medium-sized businesses.
*Above is a graphic example of a LAN system with NAS implementation
So what exactly are the benefits to using such a device?
Efficiency and Reliability:
NAS servers contain streamlined operating and hardware components designed for efficient system performance, unlike general purpose servers. They also reduce bandwidth bottlenecks because the component is physically separate from the network server- this is especially helpful because storage remains accessible even during network server failures.
The storage system can be accessed by multiple different users and servers throughout your network- locally and abroad. As a result, this shared network resource effectively allocates storage based on user-specific needs rather than allocating a determined amount to each user which can be an inefficient use of space. Increasing storage capacity is as simple as plugging in a new expansion unit or adding a new drive to an existing NAS server.
Easy to Use:
Installing one of these systems is relatively stress-free, without a high degree of IT knowledge. The process is as follows:
- Insert Network Attached Storage anywhere on your existing network
- Assign it an IP address
- Specify a few environmental settings
- Ready to use!
In addition, many of these NAS servers incorporate a wizard or other user-friendly tools to facilitate the installation process.
In order to avoid disk-failures, many NAS devices readily support one or more RAID levels and include an intuitive tool to help you choose the right RAID level to meet your business’ requirements. Once these parameters have been established, all files written to it will be automatically and continuously protected.
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