Data is a critical asset for companies
Without access to their data, companies may not provide their customers with the expected level of service. Poor customer service, loss of sales or team collaboration problems are all examples of what can happen when information is not available.
When it comes to data storage, small businesses find themselves faced with other storage-related needs such as:
- Lower cost options
- Ease of operation (many small businesses do not have IT staff)
- Ease of data backup (and it’s always accessible when you need it)
- Growth capability
is a file-level
storage architecture where
1 or more servers with dedicated disks store data and share it with
many clients connected to a network. NAS is 1 of the 3 main storage
architectures—along with storage area networks (SAN) and
direct-attached storage (DAS)—and is the only 1 that’s both
inherently networked and fully responsible for an entire network’s
A NAS architecture allows you to store and share file-based data, much like any storage volume. But while your hard drive, external drive, CD, or flash drive can only connect to 1 device at a time,
NAS units are built to serve data as files. Although they’re technically able to complete general server tasks as well, NAS units run software that protects data and handles permissions—that’s it. This is why NAS units don’t need a full-featured operating system. Most NAS units contain an embedded, lightweight operating system fine-tuned for data storage and presentation.
NAS systems are perfect for SMBs.
- Simple to operate, a dedicated IT professional is often not required
- Lower cost
- Easy data backup, so it’s always accessible when you need it
- Good at centralising data storage in a safe, reliable way
How does network-attached storage work?
Simply put, NAS is an approach to making stored data more accessible among devices on a network. By installing specialized software on dedicated hardware, enterprises can benefit from shared, single-point access with built-in security, management, and fault tolerant capabilities. NAS communicates with other devices using file-based protocols, which are 1 of the easiest formats to navigate (compared to block or object storage).
NAS hardware may be referred to as a NAS box, NAS unit, NAS server, or NAS head (depending on whom you ask). The server itself is essentially configured with storage disks or drives, processors, and random-access memory (RAM)—much like any other server. A NAS unit may be configured with more RAM, and the drive types and capacity may be similarly configured to meet the needs of a specified use. But the main differences between NAS and general-purpose server storage lie in the software.
A NAS box includes software that’s deployed on a stripped-down operating system, usually embedded in the hardware. Compare that to a general-purpose server that uses a full-fledged operating system—sending and receiving hundreds or thousands of small, unique requests every second. By contrast, a NAS operating system takes care of just 2 things: data storage and file sharing.
A NAS box is formatted with data transfer protocols, which are standard ways of sending data between devices. These protocols can be accessed by clients through a network switch, which is a central server that connects to everything and routes requests. Data transfer protocols basically let you access another computer’s files as if they were your own.
Networks can run multiple data transfer protocols, but 2 are fundamental to most networks: the internet protocol (IP) and the transmission control protocol (TCP). TCP combines data into packets before they’re sent through an IP. Think about TCP packets as compressed zip files and IP as email addresses. If your grandparents aren’t on social media and don’t have access to your personal cloud, you have to send them vacation photos via email. Instead of sending those photos 1-by-1, you can bundle them into zip files and send them over a few at a time. In similar fashion, TCP combines files into packets before they’re sent across a network via IPs.
The files transferred across the protocols can be formatted as:
For more details and NAS storage setup you can get in touch with our team.