Ask the Expert

Filers and servers

My office is going to expand the network storage for file sharing. I'm considering hooking a NAS filer to the existing LAN on which a Sun Enterprise 250 server with two A1000 RAID disks is serving.

Throughout the LAN, there are client machines running on Windows, Solaris and IRIX. The salesman told me that I need a server in addition to the filer if file sharing for IRIX is needed.

My questions are:

Q1. If NAS is network attached, is a server not required?
Q2.

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Does the salesman mean that his filer is not compatible with IRIX?

Best regards!


NAS appliances perform their own file serving function and indeed many NAS appliances are based on standard operating systems. There is no need to have another (or companion) server with the NAS appliance. Depending on the NAS device you choose, there may be some differences in the clients supported. Some may not support CIFS, some NFS. Some may only support NFS V2 and not V3. There are several variations.

You need to look at the NAS product specifications to see the compatibility information to know for sure. I'm not sure what the salesman is talking about but you don't need an additional server if your NAS device is compatible.

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in July 2002

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