NAS server storage has evolved to become a key piece of office IT equipment that provides a simple and easy way to centralise and store data. A NAS server is a bit like a PC, it contains processors, memory, networking, management software, power supply and disk slots, where a NAS server differs is in the ability to provide faster access to files, more secure, as normally they run variants of Linux, the ability to support multi-protocol access including SMB/SAMBA/CIFS, NFS and AppleTalk along with support for Microsoft Active Directory and LDAP integration.
A NAS server doesn't necessarily have to store files, it can also store and manage all of below:
Many business model NAS servers provide the ability to support both SSD drives for performance and hard disks for capacity. Normally they would offer various RAID levels for data protection, this not only provides a degree of protection against data loss, but also provides better performance for reading/writing files. The NAS server could be backed up to using a software backup agent or the data replicated to another/similar NAS using FTP or RSYNC.
There are two distinct types of NAS server available SOHO/SMB or Mid-range/Enterprise. They differ primarily in the way software packages are supplied, advanced features and increased performance. A SOHO/SMB NAS doesn't need 10GbE network connectivity, whereas an enterprise NAS doesn't need to be a iTunes server.
A NAS server is able to support multiple file protocols 1Gbe, 10Gbe, iSCSI, Fibre Channel, FCoE, DAS, this makes it a very attractive device to companies that are looking to centralise storage but also require flexibility from their storage. Some NAS also offer Thin Provisioning, Data Deduplication, HA Cluster, Real-time synchronisation and the ability to scale up for capacity and out for performance.
Managing a NAS also needs to be a simple affair that provides easy functionality, simplified reporting and integration in to a variety of business environments.
Traditionally companies have deployed DAS (Direct Attached Storage) or FC (Fibre Channel Storage) to the VM host machines and this provided the performance VMware, Hyper-V or Citrix needed. Nowadays a VM host is able to accept iSCSI and NAS shares to provide the necessary VM storage. When running a completely virtualized environment you will need to provide high IOPS and throughput. In order for a NAS to deliver these figures it needs to support multiple 10GbE ports and also support SSD to aid caching and provide enhanced throughput, along with the ability to hold 16+ drives and beyond. Many NAS also have certification to support VMware vSphere 6+ and VAAI (iSCSI and NFS) support.
A business NAS server should also have the ability to support:
A NAS has many use cases, below are some examples;
At Fortuna Data we provide many types of NAS server storage that could be a simple 2-bay through to a large NAS capable of holding both hard disks and SSD to deliver the high performance and IOPS a virtualized environment needs. For help and advice in trying to determine which type of NAS is suitable for you please call us on 0207 193 5760 or Send Mail