In the administration of a large business network, data storage solutions can have significant impact on network speed and user satisfaction. Conventional network data storage systems are attached to servers but as needed storage capacities and connection speeds increase, many businesses are discovering that network attached storage or NAS is an economical and easy alternative to the file server model. In traditional network data storage, users access data stored on large capacity file servers. These servers are versatile but quite expensive and sometimes difficult to maintain.
Servers often also serve other purposes such as running applications or managing printers; and the overhead from these operations slows file access. Network attached storage uses specialized devices that serve only as dedicated file servers. NAS devices are self-contained units with large network data storage capacity and dedicated data management software. They run a heavily stripped down version of the operating system so are substantially faster than even a dedicated file server.
Installation can be as simple as connecting a network cable and turning on the power. NAS devices are less expensive than servers of the same capacity are since they don't require the same hardware such as video cards or a powerful processor. Network attached storage provides high density storage capacity that makes the most efficient use of data center space. Even low end NAS systems include features such as RAID and data replication which improves their speed and reliability even further. As network data storage needs grow, network attached storage easily grows with it.
NAS is not limited by the number of ports on a server's data bus. Since each device plugs directly into a network port, any number of devices can be added giving your network a data storage capacity that is potentially unlimited. Network attached storage is no longer only for large businesses. NAS devices have become so inexpensive that they are a feasible solution even for a home network, costing about the same as an external hard drive but with built-in file management functionality.
Data storage needs are increasing at an exponential rate, particularly when it comes to large amounts of multimedia data, and it seems impossible to have too much space. A home user of limited technical ability might not be capable of adding or replacing a hard drive to their computer, but could manage the plug and play installation of network attached storage. When evaluating network data storage options, network attached storage is economical, fast, and easy. If you need large storage capacities, high speed data transfer, reliable storage equipment, or a scalable storage solution that will meet your future needs, NAS might be the best network data storage option.
Author is a freelance copywriter. For more information on network attached storage, visit http://www.sunstarco.com