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?A network-attached storage (NAS) device is a server that is dedicated to not anything more than file sharing. NAS does not provide any of the activities that a server in a server-centric system typically provides, such as e-mail, authentication or file management. NAS allows more hard disk storage space to be added to a network that already utilizes servers without shutting them down for continuance and upgrades. With a NAS device, storage is not an essential part of the server. Instead, in this storage-centric design, the server still handles all of the processing of data but a NAS device delivers the data to the user. A NAS device does not need to be located within the server but can exist anywhere in a LAN and can be made up of multiple networked NAS devices. Network Attached Storage is designed to part storage resources from network and application servers in order to simplify storage management and improve the steadfastness, performance and competence of the network, thus increasing the overall efficiency of the organization. Streamlined Architecture Network Attached Storage Appliances have a streamlined architecture designed for one function - to serve data files to clients in varied network environments. Reduced Server I/O Bottlenecks The largest source of network and application server filth is file service. Separating storage from the server reduces the file serving activity and I/O bottlenecks and increases server bandwidth. Increased Reliability and Data Availability Separating storage resources from the server decreases both the number of components and the amount of file I/O activity, reducing the chance of server downtime and increasing the reliability of the network and application servers. Efficient Allocation and Use of Resources Network Attached Storage provides a common pool of storage that can be shared by multiple servers and clients, regardless of their file system or operating system. Simplicity Network Attached Storage enables you to add storage anywhere on your network in minutes simply by plugging in a network cable, applying power and configuring a few settings. There is no server re-configuration and no network downtime. Increased Productivity Network Attached Storage provides increased productivity for your whole organization. Network clients benefit from the ability to share storage resources with clients from another network environment. Lower Total Cost of Ownership Although disk drive costs have dropped drastically in the last year, the average company spends roughly $7.00 per megabyte each year in administrative and lost productivity costs to manage its current storage.
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