NAS (Network Attached Storage)

Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are storage arrays or gateways that support file-based storage protocols such as NFS and CiFS, and are typically connected via an IP network. These file-based protocols provide clients shared access to storage resources. This centralization of shared storage resources reduces management complexity, minimizes stranded disk capacity, improves storage utilization rates and eliminates file server sprawl.

NAS vs SAN:

The primary difference between NAS and SAN solutions is the type of access protocol. NAS protocols such as NFS and CiFS provide shared file level access to storage resources. The management of the file system resides with the NAS device. SAN protocols such as iSCSI and fibre channel provide block level access to storage resources. Block level devices are accessed by servers via the SAN, and the servers manage the file system.

Despite their differences, SAN and NAS are not mutually exclusive, and may be combined in multi-protocol or unified storage arrays, offering both file-level protocols (NAS) and block-level protocols (SAN) from the same system.

Benefits of NAS:
  • NAS devices typically leverage existing IP networks for connectivity, enabling companies to reduce the price of entry for access to shared storage.
  • The RAID and clustering capabilities inherent to modern enterprise NAS devices offer greatly improved availability when compared with traditional direct attached storage.
  • Because NAS devices control the file system, they offer increased flexibility when using advanced storage functionality such as snapshots.
  • With 10GE connectivity, NAS devices can offer performance on par with many currently installed fibre channels.
Creating a Network Attached Storage Solution:

NAS is a common storage infrastructure offering in data centers worldwide. Along the way, we'll work with you to develop a solution that meets your needs, allowing you to:

  • Lower acquisition and management costs
  • Meet performance and availability requirements
  • Handle ever increasing annual storage growth with minimal to no impact to your business
  • Minimize, or even eliminate, the impact of backup windows
  • Deliver operational and disaster recovery
Customized NAS Offerings:

Given the breadth of use cases for NAS devices, Eastern Computer can customize our NAS offerings to meet your needs. Here are some of the services delivered to our customer base:

  • Complete Storage Audit – A thorough analysis of your current storage infrastructure, along with an architecture roadmap, and ROI for investing in a NAS
  • File System Assessment -- provides vital information about server volumes and files in heterogeneous storage networks without requiring installation of server agents. Using EMC standard tools we can identify capacity utilization, file age distribution, space consumption, last access time, last modification time, duplicate file types, and perform a file type classification.

Once the analysis is complete, we present you with reports, findings, and recommendations in easy to understand format. This analysis can take as little time as an hour without impact to your production environment with minimal input from your IT administrators.

Benefits:
  • Helps in determining the aging of files and how much content is not being accessed or modified.
  • Realize how much capacity can be reclaimed if this data were to be moved to an archiving tier.
  • Understand what type of data resides on the servers.
  • Single assessment that tells you all you need to know about the data residing on your file servers.
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