What is NAS Storage?
Data can be retrieved from a centralized disk capacity by multiple users and a variety of client devices using network-attached storage (NAS), which is dedicated file storage. A typical Ethernet connection is used by users on a local area network (LAN) to access the shared storage.
A browser-based utility is used to configure and manage NAS devices, which typically lack a keyboard and display. With its own distinct IP address, each NAS exists on the LAN as a separate network node.
NAS stands out for its simplicity of use, high capacity, and affordable price. In addition to supporting a cloud tier and functions like archiving and backup, the devices consolidate storage in one location.
Network storage can be divided into two main categories: storage area networks (SANs) and network-attached storage. NAS manages unstructured data such as audio, video, websites, text files, and Microsoft Office documents. Block storage for enterprise applications and block storage for databases, also referred to as structured data, are the main purposes for which SANs are designed.
What is the purpose of network-attached storage?
Network-attached storage, or NAS storage, was created to improve user collaboration and data sharing. Distributed teams that require remote access or work in various time zones can benefit from it. Distributed workers can easily access files from any desktop or mobile device with a network connection thanks to the NAS’s connection to a wireless router. A NAS storage environment is frequently used by businesses as a storage server or as the building block for a private or personal cloud.
Some NAS products are intended for use in large businesses. Others are designed for small businesses or home offices. Typically, devices have two or more drive bays, though single-bay systems are also available for less-critical data. Enterprise NAS hardware typically includes at least four drive bays and is designed with more high-end data features to aid storage management.
The workings of the NAS components
An essential component of a NAS device is a dedicated storage server, which is a specialized computer created to support storage through network access. No matter how big or small a network-attached storage system is, it typically consists of four main parts:
The NAS hardware is organized and managed by the OS, just like on a standard computer, and storage is made accessible to users and other applications. Simple NAS devices may not focus on a particular OS, but more complex NAS systems may use a distinct OS like Netgear ReadyNAS, QNAP QTS, Zyxel FW, or TrueNAS Core, among others.
Each and every NAS must offer physical storage, which is typically in the form of disk drives. The drives may support a variety of storage devices, such as traditional magnetic HDDs, SSDs, or other non-volatile memory devices. For performance and redundancy, the NAS may support logical storage organization techniques like mirroring and other RAID implementations; however, the CPU, not the disks, is responsible for such logical organization.
Small NAS systems intended for desktop or single-user use may support direct computer connections, like USB or restricted wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity. However, a physical network connection, such as a cabled Ethernet interface, is required for any business NAS intended for data sharing and file serving in order to assign the NAS a specific IP address. Along with the CPU, this is frequently regarded as being a component of the NAS hardware suite.
Central Processing Unit
The central processing unit (CPU) and memory of a computer make up the NAS, which is the device’s brain. The CPU controls the NAS OS, reads and writes data to and from storage, manages user access, and, if specified, can integrate with cloud storage. A specialized CPU built for high performance and low power consumption in NAS use cases may be used in a dedicated device, such as a NAS, as opposed to a general-purpose CPU, which is what most computers and servers use.
Advantages and disadvantages of NAS storage
NAS enables users to collaborate and share data more effectively and is the exact opposite of DAS storage. This solution is especially suitable for team work that requires remote communication or access from different areas at different times. The NAS storage device connects to the wireless router and provides access to files and folders from any device connected to the network by facilitating the access and distribution of tasks. NAS environments are usually deployed as a foundation for Personal/Private cloud in organizations. In addition, it is usually recommended to use cloud storage spaces to provide more flexible and parallel backup.
Although simultaneous access to information is a virtue, it can be problematic. Storage space in NAS equipment is based on HDDs that are used to store data. When the user’s Input/Output (I/O) requests exceed the standard at one time, it brings the system down. This problem has been eliminated in newer NAS systems by using faster flash storage, Tier alongside hard drives or all-flash configurations.
NAS products are designed for use in large, medium and small companies. Devices usually contain at least two drive bays. Although single-bay systems are also available for non-critical data. The enterprise NAS is designed with advanced features to help manage storage and with four drive bays. With the increase in storage capacity, NAS equipment with more or larger numbers of disks, called Scale-up NAS (scalable NAS equipment) or blade scaled storage, was introduced.
To transfer NAS traffic, TCP/IP protocol such as Ethernet network is used to transfer information to storage. But in SAN, network traffic is transmitted through the FC protocol, which is specially designed for Storage Networks. SANs can also use Ethernet-based iSCSI protocol instead of FC.
HDD drives with the name NAS are similar to other drives in terms of performance, but may differ in parts such as firmware, vibration tolerance, and energy dissipation. Of course, these things make this solution more suitable for use in RAID arrays, which are often used in NAS network implementations.
For example; Some models of NAS drives support a Command Extension that is used to disable the possibility of recovery of length errors. In a non-RAID application, a drive may make an extra effort to successfully read a problematic storage block, even if it takes several seconds. In a properly configured RAID array, a failed block on a drive can be completely encoded through redundancy and recovered across the RAID array.
HP StoreEasy a NAS Storage
A new breed of highly available, secure, licensed, and optimized file storage is HP StoreEasy Storage. It has non-intrusive data de-duplication that reduces storage requirements by, on average, 50–60%. It offers security through functions like integrated encryption, complex access controls, online snapshots, and the capacity to run endpoint backup and protection software onboard so that data is secure both at rest and in transit.
The licensed HP StoreEasy Storage offers your IT generalists and storage administrators a simple, standardized management experience while integrating quickly into both new and existing environments. Through robust file protocols, it effectively supports a wide range of workloads and scales to hundreds of thousands of concurrent users.
Your users can access your data whenever they want by using built-in security, which keeps it well-protected. Additionally, it enables you to install and run endpoint security software like antivirus on the system itself, saving you money and simplifying the process of establishing a connection to an external endpoint security server. You can offer users a highly available solution that maintains their data accessible with features such as continuous health monitoring, mirrored OS disks, advanced memory protection, and more. And that’s not even mentioning the assistance and knowledge that highly qualified HPE certified storage professionals can provide.
HP StoreEasy Key features
- Granular data deduplication can save 50–60% of the space.
- multiple versions of the SMB/CIFS, NFS, and iSCSI protocols.
- Wizards for StoreEasy’s network configuration and installation streamline and quicken deployment while avoiding initial configuration mistakes.
- corporate data controls are made available, including data encryption, data wiping, user lock screen password enforcement, file classification, and storage quotas.
- A tool that is driven by best practices for storage provisioning finds system storage and suggests the configuration for optimal performance, optimal capacity, or a balanced configuration.
- To eliminate the need to switch between multiple tools, HP StoreEasy Dashboard gathers all essential status data, including capacity utilization, performance, and health, in a single interface.