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EMC Glossary

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Network-attached storage (NAS) is a shared storage device that provides consolidated file system and storage services to open system servers. Applications and users access the data over a shared Internet protocol (IP) network. Each NAS device has its own unique IP address.

How NAS works

A NAS unit is an open-system computer system with storage capacity connected to a network that provides file-based data storage services to other devices on the network. NAS uses standard file protocols such as Common Internet File System (CIFS) and Network File System (NFS) to allow Microsoft Windows, Linux, and UNIX clients to access files, file systems, and databases over the IP network.

Benefits of NAS

Large numbers and various types and release levels of direct-attached storage (DAS) or internal storage can be difficult to manage and support as well as costly due to very low total utilization rates. NAS provides the cost savings and simplicity of consolidating storage using the existing IP network without requiring the cost and complexity of building and maintaining a secondary network as with storage area network (SAN).