Data stored on a computer appliance at a file level that is accessed by an assortment of clients through a computer network is referred to as Network attached storage (NAS). Its elements which are its hardware and software configurations are specially manufactured for this purpose of storing as well as serving files. However, there are times when general computers are used to achieve a similar purpose as that of NAS storage but the output is not usually satisfactory.
Network attached storage systems contain hard drives that exceed one and are arranged into storage containers that are redundant, logical or even RAID arrays. When working with a data storage system that is that is attached to a network such as NAS it takes up all the file serving responsibilities, which essentially relieves other servers that may be on the network. To be able to share these files by giving access to them, NAS storage uses protocols that are able to share the network files and they include AFP, NFS and also SMB/CIFS.
NAS storage can be used in a variety of ways such as the simplifying and lowering the cost of storage systems such as web servers, load balancing and fault-tolerant e-mail. It is also able to be used to store data that consists of multimedia content and that is of large quantities, which might not be easily stored on the commonly available file servers. Furthermore, Network attached storage is not designed in a way which enables it to be used as a server for general purposes.
Even though other types of software can be run on it, at a technical level it might face some challenges as they are controlled as well as configured using a browser over a network. Furthermore, the unit used as part of NAS storage does not have a keyboard or even a display as is common with other types of servers.
Overall, the sharing of files through the Network attached storage has gained popularity in the recent years with many organizations adopting it as their data storage appliance. The main reason for the popularity of transferring files among several files through the appliance is because of the convenience it offers. There are other advantages that users of NAS storage have access to in comparison to the use of file servers and they include simple configuration, easier administration and the accessing of data at a faster rate.