For companies trying to enter the network-attached storage (NAS) market, issues such as cost and ease of deployment come into play. For organizations that already have NAS installations, factors such as increasing utilization, backing up data and upgrading management tools will weigh more heavily.

To help you understand where NAS is today, this article offers you a detailed look at the features of current NAS offerings and makes some suggestions on how they may fit into various storage environments.

NAS vendors all agree that almost any NAS appliance on the market today will deliver the following three features: ease of use and deployment, extraordinary value and heterogeneous connectivity using common protocols (TCP/IP, NFS v 2.0, NFS v 3.0 and CIFS). Yet while vendors agree on the broad features NAS appliances offer, they disagree on how to best deliver them.

NAS quickly won the hearts of storage administrators because of its ability to offer storage to any level of the organization, provide it with minimal--or no--additional client configuration and do it quickly. This value premise was too alluring to resist. NAS appliances were purchased and deployed with minimal thought because the upfront cost was low, support time was minimal and it kept users happy. A business no-brainer if there ever was one.

It turns out that this wasn't quite as good a deal as everyone initially thought it was. Mission-critical information quietly crept on to these appliances.

Requires Free Membership to View

One appliance turned into two. Two turned into ten. Ten turned into one hundred, and all of sudden management costs started rising and rising. With all of these appliances and data, it occurred to people that this data may actually need to be backed up and recovered. IP networks--designed to handle browser and low-level connectivity--suddenly got pressured to back up gigabytes and terabytes of data, a task that was probably not considered in the original network design.

With these new management problems, another reality set in: complexity. The growing complexity of NAS in large environments drained much of the initial excitement away from these filers. No longer did every NAS solution provide the quick storage fix some organizations had gotten used to. Even though companies such as Dell and Network Appliance provide central management consoles or allow their appliances to plug into existing consoles, the explosion of data and devices has overwhelmed some companies lacking a well-defined strategic storage plan.

This was first published in February 2003

There are Comments. Add yours.

TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to: