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NAS for file storage: Pros and cons

What are the pros/cons of using a NAS accessory as file storage? Is it a "better" system than using a redundancy between two servers (Windows server 2003 on both) and having a single DNS (Windows small business)?

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A NAS appliance, if it is in a fault tolerant configuration, is usually better than a pair of servers because it is specialized. This means that it does not allow additional software products to be run on it (thereby reducing the risk of misbehaving or interfering software). Also, it has fewer administrative tasks to be performed, which makes it a simpler implementation for file storage.

Given the right choice of products, I think NAS is always a better option than generic file serving.

This was first published in November 2005

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