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July 2017, Vol. 16, No. 5

Object-level storage poised to replace NAS in the enterprise

For the past 25 years, NAS file servers, or filers, have been the traditional way to store unstructured data, or data that isn't within a classic database format. Calling it unstructured data doesn't mean the data doesn't have structure within itself, but that the file is essentially a binary object. With that in mind, we are seeing the rise of object stores as an alternative to traditional file servers, with many vendors offering object-level storage and file-based interfaces to the same data. In this article, we discuss the pros and cons of mixing object-level storage and file as a method of storing unstructured data and examine what options IT departments have when looking at products that do just that. A quick NAS primer NAS covers two technologies that came from different sides of the IT landscape. NFS, developed by Sun Microsystems, has become the standard protocol for accessing file content across the network for non-Windows systems. SMB, formerly known as CIFS, is the file protocol for Microsoft platforms. Both evolved ...

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