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Understanding Network Attached Storage (NAS)
Network Attached Storage (commonly abbreviated to NAS) are hard disk storage devices which you can connect to your home or office network. They enable multiple computers in a network to share the same storage space at once.
Access to the NAS device is over a computer network (usually via TCP/IP) rather than being directly connected to the computer (as in internal hard drives or external USB/SCSI drives).
The NAS devices are assigned an IP address and are 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).
Why use NAS?
Three main advantages for using NAS:
Simply add another NAS device to expand the available storage if you need more storage space.
- Fault tolerance
NAS brings an extra level of fault tolerance to your network. Fault tolerant measures such as RAID prevent the NAS device from becoming a point of failure. NAS systems often contain more than one hard disk drive; they are arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or arrays for added redundancy/security – thus, protecting data in the case of disk failure.
- File sharing
Whether you are a home, small office or business user, NAS devices allow you to share large amounts of data with other PCs or laptops in your network – easily, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
How can NAS benefit you?
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is becoming a powerful and proven technology for storing and sharing data in an office or home network. The increasing demand for NAS is fuelled by a number of factors:
- Cost benefit
You can now add storage to your network without upgrading or replacing existing servers – which can be an expensive option. NAS offers an affordable and expandable solution for end-users requiring network shared storage in a home or office environment. NAS architecture allows you to add storage on the network without having to buy a new and bigger server or upgrading it. NAS is therefore, an effective strategy for extending your existing investment in server technology.
- Administrative convenience
NAS offers a simple solution: store and share photos, files, music or videos from one central location and make it accessible to anyone with a PC or laptop in home or office network.
NAS-based storage offers administrative features that simplify or reduce manual disk expansion and archiving functions, user and application partitioning, data protection, and other time-consuming storage maintenance activities.
- Greater data reliability
NAS devices with more than one hard drive bring an extra level of fault tolerance to the network as many offer mirroring features and functionality.ely.
NAS from Buffalo
Buffalo's award-winning family ofand 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 devices include software to manage your essential backups.