Ask the Expert

Adding NAS heads to a SAN environment

We run an enterprise site that has already deployed SANs and has tackled the learning curve. We'd like to start introducing NAS heads for file type data (especially Micrososft-based data), in the next refresh. Do you have any advice and are there advantages when it comes to integration on a Microsoft-based NAS?

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There are several reasons that Windows Storage Server 2003 (the base for many NAS offerings) might be an easy integration fit. If you are moving from using a Windows file server, it will be very familiar from an installation and support standpoint. Another major advantage, assuming the vendor you choose supports it, is the integration with active directory. For security administration, using active directory across servers and the NAS device has to be much simpler and more complete than individual administration using access control lists with user and group IDs. Several of the main system vendors as well as some independents have NAS gateways based on Windows Storage Server 2003.

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This was first published in November 2003

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