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Network attached storage (NAS)- more suitable than SANs?

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What is network attached storage (NAS)?

Network-attached storage (NAS) are essentially controlled common storage that are accessed over the local area network. 

Typically,network attached storage (NAS) will consist of RAID disk arrays that consolidate the storage needs of the department or organization.

NAS is an alternative to a specialized storage area network (SAN), where devices communicate using the block-based SCSI protocol over dedicated Fibre Channel or Internet Protocol (IP) network. NAS devices are often connected to a shared general purpose local area network, reducing cost overhead, while also reducing access speed. The protocol used with NAS is a file based protocol such as Network File System (NFS) or Microsoft's Common Internet File System (CIFS).

Advantages of Network attached storage systems (NAS)

Who should use network attached storage (NAS)

Network attached storage (NAS) is the ideal solution for SMEs(small medium enterprises) and mid sized  corporate departments 

The reasons why network attached storage (NAS) is ideal for SME storage environments :

Comparisons of Network attached storage (NAS) and Storage Area Networks (SAN)

Most SAN systems (Storage area networks) use the iSCI or the Fibre Channel technologies that typically send SCSI commands and transfer SCSI packets one at a time.Storage area networks (SAN) using iSCI are the most popular these days and iSCI uses the internet protocol (IP) to transfer data

NAS (network attached storage) uses file based protocols such as   Network File System (NFS)  and  Microsoft's Common Internet File System (CIFS).

NAS (Network attached storage) systems are generally much cheaper than SANs(storage area networks) 

NAS (network attached storage) typically offers such a low cost of ownership compared to SAN(storage area networks) that IT departments of large organizations are beginning to wonder whether SANs are really an overkill

NAS (Network attached storage) systems are usually found in SME storage environments while SANs (storage area networks) are usually found in large corporates and large corporate departments

NAS (network attached storage) vendors

Auspex was the pioneer in the NAS (network attached storage) space,but subsequently, NAS is offered by all the major vendors of the data storage industry.

Dell PowerVault 775N is probably the most highly regarded network attached storage (NAS) system in the enterprise data storage market today.


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Last modified: December 12,2006