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Network Attached Storage (NAS)

 

NAS is storage that uses the existing TCP/IP network of your company. 
 
At its simplest a NAS device is really just a dedicated computer attached to your network that serves as a disk server computer.  Using NAS with SQL Server is not supported unless you set a trace flag. 
 
NAS is not "block storage" like DAS or SAN.  It's more like a share on another device. 
 
SAN really is the better technology, but NAS is good if you are on a budget.  I wouldn't run SQL Server on it. 
 
Advantages of SAN to NAS:
    • servers and storage can scale independently
    • provides block level access
 
The NAS "head" can, however, connect to block storage devices or other NAS devices.  A NAS head is the decoupling of dedicated storage from the NAS appliance.  A NAS head may utilize vendor storage or connect to SAN storage directly.  1st gen NAS heads were simple servers, 2nd gen NAS heads are really more like appliances. 
 
NDMP (Network Data Management Protocol) is the protocol that allows a NAS device to backup to a LAN attached backup device. 
 
 

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