Network attached storage (commonly abbreviated to NAS) – are storage devices that can be accessed over a computer network (usually TCP/IP), rather than directly being connected to the computer (internal hard drives or external USB/SCSI drives). NAS devices enable multiple computers to share the same storage space at once.
These devices are assigned an IP address and can then be accessed by clients (PCs or laptops) via a server that acts as a gateway to the data (this server is within the NAS device and hence NAS devices are often referred to as NAS servers).
Some of the big advantages of NAS include the expandability; if you need more storage space, add another NAS device and expand the available storage. They also bring an extra level of fault tolerance to the network. Fault tolerant measures such as RAID can be used to make sure that the NAS device does not become a point of failure. NAS systems often contain more than one hard disk drive, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays for added redundancy/security – thus protecting data in the case of disk failure.
Benefits of NAS
Network Attached Storage (NAS) has emerged as a powerful, proven technology for storing data that needs to be shared in the office or the home. Network attached storage (NAS) devices enable home and business users to easily share large amounts of data in a cost-effective and efficient manner.
A number of factors are accelerating end user demand for NAS offerings:
- Cost benefit. NAS offers an affordable and expandable solution for endusers requiring network shared storage in a home or office environment. It is an effective strategy for extending an existing investment in server technology. NAS architecture allows these businesses to add storage on the network without requiring any upgrade and/or replacement of existing servers.
- Administrative convenience. NAS offers a simple solution for sharing photos, files, music or videos stored in one central location, accessible to anyone in the family by PC/laptop.
- NAS-based storage offers administrative features that simplify or eliminate manual disk expansion and archiving functions, user and application partitioning, data protection, and other time-consuming storage maintenance activities. NAS can be a simple storage solution to an otherwise complex IT problem!
- NAS devices with more than 1 hard drive bring an extra level of fault tolerance to the network as many offer mirroring RAID features and functionality.
NAS from Buffalo
Buffalo’s award-winning family of LinkStation and TeraStation NAS devices provide a simple cost effective solution to protect, manage, and share your critical information. They are designed for small to medium-sized businesses or homes that want to share central data. All Buffalo NAS devices include Memeo AutoBackup software to manage your essential backups