Q

Its NAS gateways over filer servers

A NAS gateway acts as a file server in front of a SAN. Can't I use a simple file server to act as a NAS gateway instead of investing in a costly NAS gateway?
Yes you can except don't be too hasty in calling a NAS solution costly.

A standard file server will ultimately be more costly for a couple of reasons: 1. The administrative effort is dramatically different and that results in a significant cost advantage for NAS 2. A NAS device typically has much greater availability due to the fact it exists in a constrained environment where other software and drivers that introduce risk can't be installed. If you look carefully, NAS will be much less expensive. If you only look at hardware costs, you're missing the largest cost element. Randy Kerns

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This was first published in March 2004

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