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This content is part of the Essential Guide: The ultimate network-attached storage guide
Definition

cloud NAS (cloud network attached storage)

Cloud NAS (network attached storage) is remote storage that is accessed over the Internet as if it was local.  The storage is usually hosted by a third-party service provider, who charges the customer a fee based on capacity and bandwidth. In the enterprise, the off-site storage might be proprietary, but the chargeback method would be similar.

A cloud NAS storage-as-a-service  is often used for backups and archiving.  A key benefit is that data in the cloud can be accessed at any time from any place.  The main drawback, however, is that the data transfer rate (DTR) is only as fast as the network connection the data is accessed over. 

 

This was last updated in April 2012

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Cloud NAS is now popular with storing primary data in the cloud, using an on-prem cache for the traditional NAS interface. Morro Data is one example, another is Nasuni.
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