Network-attached storage (NAS) is file-level computer data storage device connected to a computer network providing data access to heterogeneous clients. NAS not only operates as a file server, but is specialized for this task either by its hardware, software, or configuration of those elements.
NAS devices are gaining popularity as a convenient method of sharing files among multiple computers. Benefits of network-attached storage, compared to file servers, include faster data access, easier administration and simple configuration.
NAS systems are networked appliances which contain one or more hard drives, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays. Network-attached storage removes the responsibility of file serving from other servers on the network. It typically provides access to files using network file sharing protocols such as NFS, SMB/CIFS or AFP.
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