NAS is best known as a cost-effective , general-purpose storage solution. Although accurate taken from its legacy of initial deployment, the definition remains a misnomer as the evolution of this storage device has outgrown its provincial network orientation. NAS usage has expanded to include solutions ranging from departmental appliances deployments to strategic data-center solutions. NAS can contribute significant value within the data center supporting applications with over-1TB (terabyte) capacities and gigabit speeds, and outside the data center with its bundled nature that survives end- user environments in remote and campus settings.
NAS devices support an increasing breadth of applications as well as transparent infrastructure storage solutions. These range from specialized engineering, scientific, or academic applications to multiple device installations that have become standard in many Internet service provider data centers. Consequently, the selection of NAS as the best solution for the job requires a bit more effort than throwing NAS against a storage problem and seeing if it sticks. Applying NAS will require a similar characterization of workloads as we demonstrated in applying the SAN solution.
This chapter offers both insight into this process and an overview of typical data-center applications where NAS provides significant value. Well set forth guidelines for estimating NAS resources and configurations, thereby establishing a foundation for demonstrating key configurations.