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Network-attached storage (NAS) basics: A quiz for beginners

In our quiz on network-attached storage basics, learn the most important NAS terms, and the difference between NAS filers, appliances and more.

By Heather Darcy, Managing Editor

Network-attached storage (NAS) devices are popular data storage options for small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to simplify their growing network storage. NAS products now offer increased scalability and performance when compared to the standalone boxes of the past. But there are many NAS options and there's a lot of new terminology to learn. For example, what's the difference between a NAS gateway, NAS appliance or NAS filer? Take our quiz below to help you master network-attached storage basics.

In our quiz on network-attached storage basics, learn about the most important NAS storage terms, what they mean, and why they're important. If you haven't done as well as you've hoped, check out our special section on network-attached storage for SMBs.


1. This is a distributed file system that runs concurrently on multiple NAS nodes. These types of systems are very large and can scale up to hundreds of terabytes.

What is it?

2. This a printed circuit card that offloads TCP/IP processing from a microprocessor. A high-end version can process Internet functions like email and Web browsing, file transfers, and file serving, as well as data backup and archiving.

What is it?

3. This type of system consists of one or more disks designed to attach to a network and act as a file server. It's one of the least expensive types of network-attached storage. Costs start at less than $300 and typically run $200 to $300 per terabyte of storage.

What is it?

4. This type of technology is often seen as a step up from a NAS filer. They range all the way from simple devices that support one or two external arrays to head ends that can connect what amounts to a complicated SAN with multiple routers and many arrays.

What is it?

5. This is an open protocol used to control data backup and recovery communications between primary and secondary storage in a heterogeneous network environment. It can be used to simplify NAS backups.

What is this?

6. This is a type of storage system that supports mixed modes of access or operations for either SAN blocks or NAS files without the need for external or third-party gateways, bridges or routers.

What is this?

7. This technology is a subset of cloud storage. When you use this technology, you can access a NAS device over the Internet using a software module on the host, but you can use it as if it was a local device. The key benefit of this technology is that you can access your information at any time without the restrictions of the physical location of the data.

What is this?

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