I was delegated the job of setting up a NAS device and porting Windows Storage Server 2003 (WSS2003) onto the NAS device.

1) How do you port WSS2003 on a NAS device?

2) Also, what are the prerequisites and the mandatory hardware components (such as disk-on chip/flash card, SATA drives, host bus adapter (HBA) board, etc.) required to set up a NAS box? The company wants me to create a list of hardware components to purchase, so that I can set up a WSS2003 NAS.

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I don't think you can buy WSS2003 directly, it needs to come bundled as part of a NAS solution. There are many vendors that supply NAS-based products on WSS2003, so you can choose one of them. It certainly would be much easier than trying to do it yourself, probably cheaper and you would have the support from the manufacturer. Some big name companies, such as HP and EMC, provide these kinds of products.

That said, a NAS device might use specialized hardware and software or could be a standard server with an operating system that is tailored for file serving, such as WSS2003. What hardware is included can vary widely, but the variations usually have to do with performance, interconnect for clustering and the type of disk storage. You can boot from standard disk or a compact flash. There is no standard parts list other than the basics of a processor board, network interfaces (either integrated or on an installed NIC), device interfaces (either integrated or on an HBA for SCSI, Fibre Channel or SATA), a boot device, and a means for installing software. This ignores the software needed which you would get with Windows and the monitor, keyboard, etc. for administration.

This was first published in April 2005

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