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Advantages and Disadvantages of NAS and SAN The performance, capacity and reliability demands of data storage continually increasing and will continue to increase in the future. To face these challenges IT professionals have had to continually adopt new methods to accommodate the increasing demands of data storage. From the floppy disk to the hard drive to the file server, storage has always been an evolving challenge in the IT world. Network storage is the medium through which we now manage our ever increasing data. Network operating system based file servers running Windows Server or Linux was once the primary solution for network storage, however reliability concerns and the need for a more efficient way manage data required a more robust system. That is where NAS (Network Attached Storage) and SAN (Storage Area Networks) come into play. NAS and SAN both have advantages and disadvantages. NAS systems offer a simple and cost effective way to expand storage capacity as well as backing up and protecting data. The benefit of an NAS system comes in its simplicity. The user buys the system and attaches said system to their existing network or to their local computer via an Ethernet port. There is no need for a monitor, mouse or even a keyboard. The unit is completely self contained. To communicate with the network, the NAS system uses TCP/IP protocol and is often managed via a web browser interface. Storage can easily be added to the NAS system without worry about network downtime. An NAS system can also be easily configured to make use Raid arrays and scheduled backups and therefore seamlessly guarantee that data is safe at all times. Storage area networks share many of the advantages offered by NAS devices. The factor that differentiates SAN and NAS is the scale through which each can be used. Rather than consisting of a solitary network system like a NAS, a SAN
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