Introduction To NAS For High-Performance Data Storage

Introduction To NAS For High-Performance Data Storage

Network-attached storage (NAS) seems to be a data storage system that allows networked devices to access stored data. With network-attached storage (SAN) and direct-attached storage, NAS is one of the three basic storage topologies (DAS). NAS provides networks with a single storage access point with constructed security, administration, and fault tolerance.

NAS can be configured as a package storage solution, which entails exposing storage to a carrier or a set of containers. Containers are extremely adaptable and enable massive scale in the delivery of software and storage.

What is NAS, and how does it work?

What Is Network-Attached Storage (NAS)? A Complete Guide | TechTarget

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On dedicated hardware, preset storage software is installed. This hardware is also called a NAS box, NAS box, and NAS server, and the NAS head is just a server with storage discs or drives, CPUs, and random-access storage (RAM).


The software is the fundamental distinction between NAS and general-purpose computer storage. The NAS software runs on a light os (OS) usually built into the hardware. A general-purpose server has a full operating system that sends and receives hundreds of requests per second, only a portion of which is connected to storage. In contrast, a NAS machine only sends and gets two requests: data and file sharing.

Diagram of Protocols and Storage

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Data transmission protocols are common ways of transmitting data between devices and are formatted on a NAS system. Clients can connect to these protocols via switching, the main server connecting everything and routing queries. Data transfer protocols essentially allow you to access the files on another computer as if they had been your own.

Many data transfer protocols can be used on a network, but two are essential for most channels: internet protocol (IP) & (TCP). TCP aggregates packets of data before sending them over an IP network. Consider TCP packets to be compressed zip files and IP addresses to be email addresses. If your grandparents aren’t on social media or haven’t gotten access to your cloud, you’ll need to message them.

Instead of emailing those photos one by one, you can zip them together and send them as a single file. TCP does the same thing, combining files into packets before sending them across networks via IP addresses.

The files that are exchanged between protocols can be structured as follows:

NFS (Network File Systems) is a protocol commonly used on Linux & UNIX systems. NFS is a vendor-independent protocol that works on any hardware, operating system, or network architecture.

SMB (Server Message Blocks): SMB is most commonly used on Microsoft Windows computers, where it is marketed as “Microsoft Network.” SMB is sometimes known as the CIFS/SMB protocol because it evolved from the common internet file sharing (CIFS) protocol.

AFP (Apple Filing Protocol):

Apple’s macOS devices use a proprietary protocol.

The advantages of NAS

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NAS can be configured to handle duplicated discs, a redundancy array of separate drives, or erasure coding to ensure data integrity.

NAS is not a cloud in and of itself. Clouds are networked computing systems that abstract, pool, then share scalable resources. When cloud providers supply memory to customers as part of a Power grid (IaaS) agreement, NAS can be a key aspect of the cloud environment.

Comparing different types of storage

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Block storage is provided by a storage area network (SAN). Block storage divides large storage volumes, such as hard discs, virtualization nodes, or cloud storage pools, into smaller blocks that can be formatted using multiple protocols. One block, for example, could be configured for NFS, another could be prepared for AFP, and yet another could be prepared for SMB. This gives customers more options, making traversing the blocks more difficult because they combine data using arbitrary categorization.

Storage with a direct connection

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Direct-attached storage (DAS) refers to storage that is connected to a single computer directly. It isn’t networked, so other devices can’t simply access it. DAS was NAS’s forerunner. Every DAS device is handled independently, whereas a NAS machine manages everything. A single computer’s hard disc is the most prominent example of DAS. That disc must be manually obtained from the original laptop and connected to the new one before another computer may access its files.

Storage that is determined by software

What Is Network-Attached Storage (NAS)? A Complete Guide | TechTarget

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Network storage software independent of the underlying hardware is known as software-defined storage (SDS). This means that SDS can be installed on a NAS system, allowing the equipment to be customized for certain applications. Storage devices can be clustered with SDS, allowing numerous servers to function as a unified system for a specified purpose. For example, one server cluster may be set up to handle user folders and NFS/CIFS files, while another could be set up to store images and multimedia in block storage. In 30 minutes or less, many NAS/SDS solutions can consolidate and distribute more than just a petabyte of data.


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