Data Management Glossary
NAS stands for Network-Attached Storage, which is a type of data storage architecture that allows multiple devices to access shared storage over a network. NAS software is the software that powers these NAS systems. There are several NAS software options available, from FreeNAS, an open-source NAS software that supports various protocols and features, including CIFS/SMB, NFS, iSCSI, FTP, etc., to enterprise NAS vendors who deliver a combination of NAS software and NAS hardware (Pure Storage, NetApp, HPE, Dell are examples).
The choice of NAS software depends on factors such as the size of your storage needs, budget, features required and personal preferences.
NAS hardware is the physical components that make up a Network-Attached Storage (NAS) system. Some of the key components of NAS hardware include:
- Storage drives: The most important component of any NAS system is the storage drives. These are the hard drives or solid-state drives (SSDs) that store the data. NAS systems typically use multiple drives in a RAID configuration to provide redundancy and improved performance.
- NAS enclosure: The enclosure is the physical housing that holds the storage drives and other components of the NAS system. Enclosures can vary in size, from small desktop models to large rack-mounted models for enterprise environments.
- Network interface: The network interface is the component that allows the NAS system to connect to a network. Most NAS systems have a built-in network interface card (NIC) that supports Ethernet connections.
- Processor and memory: The processor and memory are important components that affect the performance of the NAS system. A powerful processor and sufficient memory can improve the speed and responsiveness of the NAS system.
- Power supply: The power supply is responsible for providing power to the NAS system. It is important to choose a reliable power supply to ensure that the NAS system operates smoothly.
- Cooling system: NAS systems generate a lot of heat due to the high-speed operation of the storage drives and other components. A good cooling system is important to prevent overheating and damage to the components.
- Expansion slots: Some NAS systems have expansion slots that allow you to add additional components, such as network interface cards, to improve the functionality of the system.
Enterprise NAS solutions
Pure Storage, NetApp, Dell and Qumulo are all companies that offer enterprise NAS solutions.
- Pure Storage: Pure Storage offers FlashBlade, a high-performance, scalable NAS solution designed for modern workloads such as analytics, AI, and machine learning. FlashBlade is built on a software-defined architecture and provides features such as data reduction, encryption, and file replication.
- NetApp: NetApp offers several NAS solutions, including the FAS series and the AFF series. The FAS series provides midrange NAS capabilities and is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. The AFF series provides high-performance NAS capabilities and is suitable for large enterprises.
- Dell: Dell offers several NAS solutions, including the PowerVault NX series and the PowerScale series. The PowerVault NX series provides midrange NAS capabilities and is suitable for small and medium-sized businesses. The PowerScale series provides high-performance NAS capabilities and is suitable for large enterprises.
- Qumulo: Qumulo offers a software-defined NAS solution that can be deployed on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment. The solution is designed to provide high-performance file storage for a range of workloads, including video and audio content, medical imaging, and scientific research data.
These are just a few examples of enterprise NAS solutions.
Cloud NAS is a type of network-attached storage architecture that allows users to access their data remotely over the internet. There are several cloud NAS vendors in the market that offer cloud-based storage solutions. Some of the well-known cloud NAS vendors include:
- Amazon Web Services (AWS): Amazon’s cloud computing platform provides several storage services, including Amazon Elastic File System (EFS), which is a cloud-based NAS solution that provides scalable and secure file storage for EC2 instances.
- Microsoft Azure: Microsoft’s cloud computing platform provides Azure File Storage, which is a fully managed cloud-based NAS solution that supports SMB and NFS protocols.
- Google Cloud Platform: Google’s cloud computing platform provides Cloud Filestore, which is a cloud-based NAS solution that provides high-performance file storage for compute instances running on Google Cloud Platform.
NAS migration is the process of transferring data from one NAS system to another. This may be necessary if you are upgrading your existing NAS system, or if you are moving your data to a new location. Also refer to Cloud NAS Migration. Here are the steps involved in a typical NAS migration:
- Plan the migration: The first step is to plan the migration. This involves identifying the data that needs to be migrated, estimating the size of the data, and choosing the new NAS system.
- Set up the new NAS system: Once you have chosen the new NAS system, you need to set it up. This involves configuring the network settings, creating shares and volumes, and setting up user accounts and permissions.
- Copy the data: The next step is to copy the data from the old NAS system to the new one. This can be done using various methods such as using a backup and restore process, using a file transfer protocol such as FTP, or using a third-party tool.
- Verify the data: After the data has been copied, it is important to verify that all the data has been transferred successfully. This involves checking that all the files and folders have been copied correctly and that there are no missing or corrupted files.
- Update the clients: Finally, you need to update the clients to point to the new NAS system. This involves updating the client configurations and testing to ensure that the clients can access the data on the new NAS system.
It is important to ensure that you have a backup of all your data before you start the migration process. This will help you to recover your data in case anything goes wrong during the migration process.
NAS Migration Challenges
NAS migration can be a complex process and may present a number of challenges. Here are some of the common challenges that organizations may face during NAS migration:
- Data transfer speed: Moving large amounts of data can be time-consuming, especially if you are using a slow network or if the data is being transferred over a long distance. This can result in prolonged downtime and potential data loss if the migration is not completed within the scheduled downtime window.
- Compatibility issues: Different NAS systems may have different file systems, protocols, and configurations, which can create compatibility issues during the migration process. This can lead to data corruption or loss, or it may require additional configuration changes to ensure that the data is compatible with the new NAS system.
- Data loss: Data loss is a common risk during any data migration process, and it is important to have a backup of all your data before you start the migration process. This will help you to recover your data in case anything goes wrong during the migration process.
- User access: During the migration process, users may lose access to their data, which can result in productivity loss and potential data loss. It is important to plan for user access and ensure that users are informed about any scheduled downtime or access restrictions.
- Data security: During the migration process, data may be exposed to security risks, such as unauthorized access or data breaches. It is important to ensure that your data is protected throughout the migration process.
To overcome these challenges, it is important to plan the NAS migration process carefully, use appropriate migration tools and services, and involve all stakeholders in the process. It is also important to test the migration process thoroughly before the actual migration to identify and resolve any issues beforehand.
Komprise for NAS Migration and Data Management
Komprise specializes in analyzing and tiering, archiving and moving unstructured data from primary NAS to more cost-effective long-term storage without any disruption. Typically, 60% to 80% of enterprise file and object data has not been accessed in over a year. By tiering cold data and older log files and snapshots, the capacity of the storage array, mirrored storage array (if mirroring and/or replication being used) and backup storage is reduced dramatically. The right approach to transparently tiering cold data can reduce overall storage costs by as much as 70%.
With Komprise you can migrate NAS and object data on-premises and in the cloud quickly, reliably, and at scale. Optimize cloud data storage costs with analytics-driven cloud tiering and archival. Build a Global File Index to easily find, tag and take action on the right data at the right time and feed the right data to analytics and AL / ML engines. Komprise uses open standards such as NFS, SMB / CIFS and REST/S3, making it “data storage agnostic.”