A Novice’s Guide to the NAS Server


Network attached storage (NAS) devices serve a number of important functions in both home and corporate settings. Vendors sell NAS drives for home users that enable any user to access content over a Wi-Fi connection. The result is convenient access to pooled data from any location or device.

Network attached storage

In business, NAS storage is more advanced and often refers to a server rather than a simple storage device. In this article, we’ll run through the basics of what it can offer to small businesses and enterprise clients.

The Anatomy of a NAS Server

NAS servers are built with various types of storage technology: SCSI RAID is a popular choice. Files can be shared between different operating systems, and block storage – for the storage of applications – is also supported. Business NAS devices typically have a backup power supply and multiple file controllers so that there is no single point of failure.

The PowerVault range of Dell NAS server solutions runs Windows Storage Server 2012, so it supports Active Directory authentication, and administrators can monitor the device using Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP).

NAS and the Cloud

NAS servers support the deployment of various Dell cloud computing solutions. For example, Dell unified storage can also be used to store virtual machine images to support a virtualized desktop environment. From the NAS, users open and run an image of their desktop, including their normal applications, as if it were located on their own local machine.

Desktop virtualization enables users to access their desktop from any connected location on practically any smart device.

Why Choose NAS?

Just as a basic NAS drive permits home users to access pooled files, NAS devices are the best solution for sharing data in a virtualized environment.

• The NAS integrates with existing IT equipment, making it an ideal solution when expansion of an existing data centre is required.

• Dell NAS devices are easy to manage.

• NAS does not require additional server licences (note: licences are still needed to run any virtualized Windows desktops stored on the NAS).

• Efficiency is improved as duplicate storage is eliminated.

• Backup power makes the NAS less vulnerable to outages caused by power supply problems.

• Block and file data can often be stored together, reducing administration for the technical teams who maintain the network.

For more information about adding NAS to your dynamic data centre, check out the site at dell.co.uk or speak to a Dell representative today.