nas servers enhance network performance by eliminating server I/O (Input/Output) bottlenecks. LAN clients access these devices over standard network protocols such as TCP/IP and can share files simultaneously across different protocols such as CIFS, NFS and HTTP, which means they are server and operating-system independent.
This makes it easy for system administrators to add, maintain, and access large amounts of storage capacity.
In addition to basic file service, NAS can be used for specialised tasks such as e-commerce, web caching, local storage, remote storage or caching in a Hierarchical Storage Management (HSM) environment.
NAS systems can be designed around nearly any operating system, from embedded real-time operating systems to Linux or compact operating system kernels optimised for file serving.
Tasks include managing the network connections, accepting file requests, sending and receiving data from the disk drives, returning data to clients and monitoring the overall health of the system.
Storage can be added as needed without disrupting the network, eliminating downtime associated with server-attached storage.
NAS devices are plug-and-play 'appliances'. Set-up requires little more than connecting to the network, applying power, and performing a few mouse clicks.
Unlike Server-Attached Storage(SAN), NAS separates file-serving services from application processing. NAS servers are not burdened by application function overhead, which improves the overall effectiveness of both the NAS and the LAN.
The application server is not only faster, but the likelihood of a system crash is lessened. Administrators can also use NAS-integrated tape devices to automate backup functions and eliminate LAN backup traffic.
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