Network-attached storage

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Comparison of the different systems: The left picture shows a normal system with local storage; The middle picture shows network attached storage; the right picture shows a storage area network

Network attached storage (or NAS) is a solution from computing. It means that storage (like a number of hard disks) is put on a computer network. Different users can then access this using different protocols. Today, boxes that already can do this are available rather cheaply. Also, such boxes can be built easily using a small or old computer with an operating system like Linux.

The different clients can then access the data using different protocols, like SMB or NFS. NAS is easier to do than a Storage area network.