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Vol. 1 No. 5 July 2002

NAS: more than just an appliance

High-end NAS appliances are becoming smarter in how they handle files, connect to storage devices and work with different file types. As a result of their newfound intelligence, NAS boxes have graduated from departmental storage chores to servicing mission critical corporate applications. And with the introduction of new NAS gateway technology, several vendors have announced NAS appliances that can work within a storage area network (SAN) on block I/O data in addition to traditional NFS (network file system) and CIFS (common Internet file system) file formats. How NAS works Because these so-called high-end NAS appliances are storing key corporate data - the crown jewels so to speak - they possess advanced features such as point-in-time copy and the ability to rollback to prior file versions and backup software support that may include the network data management protocol; see "NDMP restores sanity to NAS backup". The development of NAS At its most basic level, NAS provides remote file services over a network. The network is ...

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