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The ultimate network-attached storage guide

NAS systems continue to evolve and maintain market relevance, particularly in the virtual storage sphere. This NAS guide takes a deep dive into network-attached storage architecture and the buying decisions that matter.


When looking to simplify expanding network storage, network-attached storage (NAS) devices are a popular choice. Among its numerous benefits, NAS offers high scalability and dependable performance. We've gathered a wide range of expert content from our sites to create this network-attached storage guide that digs into the technology, explains where it works best and details purchasing considerations.

The use of NAS for virtual storage is showing increased adoption because the technology provides solid performance for companies with smaller budgets. But the never-ending need for more storage can lead to NAS sprawl. To combat this situation, data storage administrators can implement scale-out NAS, NAS management tools and file virtualization.

While NAS setup is simple by design, you need to ensure your deployment is easy and free of snags or setbacks. From the pros and cons of clustered NAS systems to architectural options, this guide to network-attached storage offers tips for smooth sailing.

1Virtual NAS-

NAS in virtual environments

With low costs and reliable performance, network-attached storage has become an increasingly popular option for virtualization. Despite some advanced features that lag behind those of Fibre Channel (FC) and iSCSI, the flexible nature of NAS makes it a contender in the virtualized storage space.


Is NAS compatible with my hyper-converged infrastructure?

Some newer hyper-converged products allow organizations to leverage their investment in NAS and still take advantage of server-side storage. Continue Reading


Network-attached storage as a virtual server storage choice

Choosing between FC, iSCSI and NAS for your virtual storage can be a challenge. Learn the pros and cons of each approach, and how to decide which one is best suited to your environment. Continue Reading


NAS for virtual machine (VM) storage

In this podcast, author and blogger Mike Laverick discusses the best use cases for network-attached storage. He also explains when configuration needs to be done at the hypervisor or in the LAN when using NAS for virtual server storage. Continue Reading


The role of NAS appliances in virtualizing data center storage

If you're using NAS appliances in your virtualization efforts, you'll need to factor in a number of design considerations and think about potential growth that could lead to I/O bottlenecks. Continue Reading


What is NAS virtualization?

Network-attached storage virtualization describes two capabilities of NAS appliances -- and both approaches offer data centers the flexibility to respond to unexpected situations. Continue Reading

2Clustered NAS-

Evaluating clustered NAS systems

Clustered NAS systems have large file systems that can scale to hundreds of terabytes of capacity. In this section, discover the questions you should ask when evaluating a clustered network-attached storage system and read about the dangers of NAS sprawl


Can clustered NAS aid NAS management?

As network-attached storage boxes are added to your environment, NAS sprawl and other issues can arise. This podcast explains why the grid-like node structure of clustered NAS can help users manage their NAS infrastructure. Continue Reading


How to evaluate clustered network-attached storage offerings

Before you invest in a clustered NAS product, you need to do your homework and make a detailed list of your storage requirements. Here are 10 questions to ask a vendor to ensure its product is a match for your environment. Continue Reading


The difference between clustered and traditional NAS

There's a lot less effort required to manage clustered NAS implementations vs. multiple NAS devices. We compare the two technologies based on scalability and other features. Continue Reading


Why do I need clustered NAS?

In this podcast, editors from Computer Weekly discuss the importance of clustered network-attached storage in the world of file-based storage and why clustered NAS is ideal for big data. Continue Reading


Commercial environments adopt clustered NAS

Clustered storage's reliance on open access methods is driving its popularity. Clustered NAS has the highest growth rate for a number of reasons. Find out what they are in this tip. Continue Reading

3Scaling NAS-

Scale-up NAS and scale-out NAS

When it comes to NAS, does a traditional scale-up approach work best or is scale-out the better choice? In this portion of the network-attached storage guide, we look at the pros and cons of each scaling technique.


Vendor approaches to scale-up and scale-out NAS

This article delves into the evolving scale-out and scale-up NAS market, and how vendors are positioning themselves for growth. Continue Reading


A tale of two NAS systems

A look at the advantages and disadvantages of scale-up and scale-out network-attached storage. Continue Reading


File storage capabilities of scale-up NAS and scale-out NAS

This tutorial explores the various use cases for scale-up and scale-out NAS in your computing environment. Continue Reading


Popping the hood on scale-out NAS systems

You might think you've made your decision regarding scale-out network-attached storage, but not all vendors approach the technology in the same manner. Continue Reading


Scale-out NAS offerings

This overview of scale-out NAS systems looks at major providers, as well as vendors selling to the vertical market. Continue Reading

4NAS know-how-

Improve your knowledge of NAS systems

The following articles will help you to gain a better insight into the factors you should evaluate in a NAS offering, why network-attached storage works better than other architectures and how to configure a NAS system.


NAS purchase considerations

Learn what your storage peers want in a new network-attached storage system, from capacity requirements to the top three criteria they use to evaluate a vendor. Continue Reading


Is server-attached storage a threat to NAS?

Network-attached storage is a computing mainstay, but will a new technology generation reduce that role or perhaps even eliminate it? Continue Reading


Why NAS beats DAS

When it comes to a battle between NAS and DAS, NAS is often the superior option for five important reasons. Continue Reading


Setting up a rack-mount NAS

Think you know the steps involved in configuring a rack-mounted NAS system? You might want to take a peek at this article to ensure you've enabled all your permissions and network access features. Continue Reading

5Related terms-

NAS definitions

No network-attached storage guide worth its salt is complete without a list of definitions.

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I appreciate these articles on NAS. On another subject, "Articles on the Web that are not dated". This really turns me off and I wish each author or website posting articles would require their posted articles to include article's posted date --especially on the web where there are articles that are out of date. It would be great to know what decade the article was written in.