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Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Definition - What does Network Attached Storage (NAS) mean?

Network attached storage (NAS) is a dedicated server, also referred to as an appliance, used for file storage and sharing. NAS is a hard drive attached to a network, used for storage and accessed through an assigned network address. It acts as a server for file sharing but does not allow other services (like emails or authentication). It allows the addition of more storage space to available networks even when the system is shutdown during maintenance.

NAS is a complete system designed for heavy network systems, which may be processing millions of transactions per minute. NAS provides a widely supported storage system for any organization requiring a reliable network system.

Techopedia explains Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Organizations looking for the best, reliable data storage methods, which can be managed and controlled with their established network systems, often choose network attached storage. NAS allows organizations and home computer networks to store and retrieve data in bulk amounts for an affordable price.

The following three components play an important role in NAS:

  1. NAS Protocol: NAS severs are fully supported by the network file system and common interface file system. NASs also support different kinds of network protocols including SCP and File Transfer Protocol (FTP). However, over TCP/IP, communication can be done more efficiently and reliably. The initial purpose of NAS design was only file sharing over UNIX across a LAN. NAS also strongly supports HTTP. So users/clients can easily download the stuff directly from the Web if NAS is connected to the Internet.
  2. NAS Connections: Different mediums are used for establishing connections with NAS servers, including: Ethernet, fiber optics and wireless mediums with 802.11 standards.
  3. NAS Drives: Any technology can be used for this purpose, but SCSI is used by default. ATA disks, optical discs and magnetic media are also supported by NAS.
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