NAS Storage efficiently shares data across a network
NAS storage provides a shared pool of disk space that can be accessed via network shares and seen as local drive letters. The primary difference between NAS storage and iSCSI is that NAS provides shared folders using drive letters and iSCSI provides block level disk space for use with operating systems.
Depending on the model we can provide a Unified Storage solution that provides iSCSI IP SAN, FC SAN and NAS all from the same appliance. In addition to this many of our network attached storage systems also support SAS or SSD drives.
In any organisation disk space is always limited. As disk usage grows, so do the volumes of data they want to store locally and share on a central server. The constant problem of adding or upgrading hard disks is an issue many small or medium sized businesses address weekly. The servers need to be backed up, disk trays removed, cables/power added and when this has been done, hope everything works and comes up with no errors. Adding disk space is a costly and timely issue that constantly needs addressing.
One option is to buy another server. This is an expensive option, because it will take time to set up and manage, consumes more power, involves a licensing fee and is only for the necessity of additional disk space.
NAS Storage Overview
A NAS storage solution is very simple to install as set-up is via a web GUI. This alleviates the need to have a dedicated file server for the task as NAS has no software or client licensing costs and integrates with Microsoft Active Directory.
Far easier, then, to buy a NAS server that simply connects to a 100 Mbit / 1Gbit / 10GbE network and, after a little setting up, can simply be left alone. A NAS is simple to install, easy to manage and very cost effective compared to traditional ways of adding storage.
NAS servers are designed for file sharing rather than running applications, although they make useful backup devices too, since users can copy the contents of their hard disks whenever it suits them. The NAS servers can act as branch office backup devices which can they synchronise data with the HQ.
The ideal NAS will allow the administrator to manage disk space, set disk quotas, provide folder security for users/groups, serve a range of clients such as Microsoft, Linux, MAC etc, and can be simply plugged into the network and start work with minimal configuration via a web GUI.