Q

Accessing data on NAS

Is it possible to access the same data on NAS with different operating systems or do the operating systems only see their own devices on the NAS?

It is possible to share data between different operating systems on a NAS box if the NAS device supports that feature (most do right now). You need to understand your requirements for access controls because that is implemented differently on many NAS products. If you don't have read/only access from the different systems, they you'll be faced with the lock mechanisms implemented in the NAS box.

Unix uses an "advisory level" lock mechanism so that authorized user applications are notified if the data is being modified by someone else. It's an "on your honor" system where the application should not go ahead and write. CIFS uses a hard lock where the data being modified can't be accessed until complete. Who is authorized to have access is also handled differently with most NAS devices requiring administrative work to enter the access control lists for who has access. Again, check each product carefully.

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in April 2002

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