NAS - Network Attached Storage
A NAS unit is a server connected to the network, with the goal of providing data storage services to other devices on the network. Generally, the units have no keyboard or monitor, and are configured by the network, typically through a browser.
These devices have long been used in companies, but with lower costs of these devices and the popularity of home networks, many NAS products have emerged for the domestic market.
When connected to a router (or switch) lets you share files and files and in most cases is a media server, ie, if the television allow a network connection, you can access media files over the network.
Although some home routers have a USB port or network port that allows the connection of an external drive identical way, the NAS has specific software that provides functionality that does not have a Foreign Disk.
Characteristics of a NAS unit
A NAS "is a box" which at first glance may seem like a box External hard, but has significant differences.
An External Hard Box has an internal card with circuits that make it compatible with the interface disk (IDE or SATA) and the communication interface (USB, Firewire, Network / RJ45, etc.).
The NAS has everything that is said, but many more because it is a server, will soon have its own processor and memory, a chip (flash memory) to house the server software, among others. Taking as an example the NAS Unit of Figure below, we will make a short analysis.
The NAS Unit of the Figure above has the following characteristics:
- CPU - Marvel 6281 1.2 GHz;
- RAM - 256 MB DDR II;
- Flash Memory - 16 MB;
- Allows 2 Disks of 3,5" SATA I oru SATA II, with a maximum capacity of 4 TB (ie, can connect two drives of 4TB);
- LAN Port- rj45 Gigabit;
- 3 USB 2.0 Ports, one front and two rear - For example, you can connect a printer to the share it on network or a USB key drive, etc.;
- NAS Operating System - Linux;
- Network Software - TCP/IP, DHCP. Protocols: CIFS/SMB, AFP, NFS, FTP, HTTP, HTTPS, Telnet, SSH, iSCSI, SNMP. Allows to connect an WI-FI 802.11n adapter for wireless communication;
- This, among other features.
That unit, enables features such as:
- Media Center - specific software for sharing media files over the network;
- Data Backup - Specific software to back up files that are on devices connected to the network;
- Print Server - Can connect up to three printers, in the USB ports of the NAS, and share them on the network;
- Integration of Wireless Network - By connecting a USB Pen WiFi to a USB port of the NAS, enables wireless communication;
- Remote Access - Can connect to the NAS from outside;
- Data Access via Mobile Phone - Can access the NAS from mobile phones, if you have installed the wireless integration;
- FTP Server - allows you to configure an FTP server for sharing files to external users;
- Several security settings that allow data encryption shared abroad.
Author: José JR Crispim
Publication Date: 2013, June
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