It's the 'iceberg analogy.' Transactional data may be above water and get your attention, but the tremendous amount of unstructured data makes up that vast majority of the iceberg that rests underwater -- it's not visible because it's not used very often. Moving unused data off of the SAN [storage area network] onto NAS [network attached storage] systems makes a lot of sense from a storage cost and performance standpoint.
Clustering is another trend in NAS. We're seeing companies enjoy great success with 'N-way' clustered NAS architectures in which users can just scale systems as they need to. Scaling is accomplished simply by adding more processing power and more memory, resulting in a single effective storage system to the end user.
We need to think about limitless file systems. There are now 16 TB file systems, and that's a lot. But now that single files are 50 TB or 100 TB, you need NAS file systems that can handle those enormous files. We're seeing file systems that can support petabytes and beyond.
Check out the entire NAS FAQ guide.