Chapter 7

Network-Attached Storage

Key Concepts

NAS Devices
Network File Sharing
Unified, Gateway, and Scale-Out NAS
NAS Connectivity and Protocols
NAS Performance
MTU and Jumbo Frames
TCP Window and Link Aggregation
File-Level Virtualization

File sharing, as the name implies, enables users to share files with other users. Traditional methods of file sharing involve copying files to portable media such as floppy diskette, CD, DVD, or USB drives and delivering them to other users with whom it is being shared. However, this approach is not suitable in an enterprise environment in which a large number of users at different locations need access to common files.

Network-based file sharing provides the flexibility to share files over long distances among a large number of users. File servers use client-server technology to enable file sharing over a network. To address the tremendous growth of file data in enterprise environments, organizations have been deploying large numbers of file servers. These servers are either connected to direct-attached storage (DAS) or storage area network (SAN)-attached storage. This has resulted in the proliferation of islands of over-utilized and under-utilized file servers and storage. In addition, such environments have poor scalability, higher management cost, and greater complexity. Network-attached storage (NAS) emerged as a solution to these challenges.

NAS is a dedicated, high-performance file sharing and storage device. NAS enables its clients ...

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