A NAS appliance is a specialized file server that interfaces with a Local Area Network (LAN). The task specific operating software (OS) focuses exclusively on the file server function.
NAS gained popularity recently as costs have decreased. This makes it a good value choice for small, medium, and large businesses.
- Low entry and maintenance costs.
- NAS is well suited for rapid, multiple client, file level data transfers.
- NAS is highly scalable. Capacity is increased by purchasing more storage. The file server function is not duplicated.
- In contrast to DAS, storage headroom is easier to level since more than one server can access a NAS device. This can lower cost significantly.
- The "plug and play" characteristic of NAS keeps installation, deployment and maintenance to a minimum.
- Hot swappable components and RAID increase reliability.
- Central management of multi-NAS systems.
- Throughput issues can result from too much activity on the LAN.
- Mission critical data applications may require the non-shared environment offered by some SAN configurations.
- Need for individual usage quotas to eliminate resource hogging.