Network Storage The Latest In Information Storage

If
information storage and network throughput gives you headaches, then
it’s time for network attached storage thin servers.

Network
Attached Storage (NAS) is one of the latest innovations in the
computer informa
tion storage world. It provides a simpler, more reliable, and more
cost-effective way to add shared storage to your network.
NetworkAttached storage gives departments and work-groups a quick
way to access data over a network. NAS requires very little setup
and is easy to maintain. This is achieved by using a streamlined
technology called a thin server, which also allows the NAS device to
be completely independent of the general-purpose file server.

Why use a NAS
device? As networks continue to grow and evolve, network
administrators are looking for ways to improve their efficiency.
Areas they look to improve include:

  • Faster
    product installations.
  • Cheaper
    network maintenance.
  • Improved
    data accessibility.
  • Management
    of increased information storage needs.
  • Reduced
    network throughput.

As data access
needs increase, it is critical to be able to easily add storage
capabilities for departments and workgroups over the network with
minimal impact to both administrators and end-users. Network
attached storage allows network administrators to add this data
storage simply and cost-effectively without having to disrupt
existing general-purpose server operations.

Thin
server technology

A thin server is a specialized component that is optimized to
perform a reduced set of server functions. Thin servers are
comprised of a microprocessor, an operating system compatible with
most major networking topologies, a built-in web interface or man-agement
utility, and Flash memory for easy upgrades.

A NAS thin
server enhances the productivity of existing general-purpose servers
by providing additional dedicated storage and information access to
a department or workgroup at a much lower total cost of ownership.
For instance, a department or workgroup might have their own NAS
thin server device ex-clusively for their data storage. By placing
NAS thin servers directly on an ethernet or token ring network in
various locations, an administrator can use consistent software to
manage departmental as well as company-wide data storage systems.

NAS thin
servers can be centrally located alongside general-purpose servers,
or distributed throughout a network depending on an organization’s
preference. It is important to note that regardless of the method
used, NAS devices provide administrators the flexibility to achieve
optimal productivity.

The
first-generation thin server that HP developed was the print server.
A print server connects a printer directly to a network for
convenient access and offloads the task of printing from the
general-purpose server. As thin servers continue to evolve, more and
more shared devices will use various types of thin server
technologies, such as fax servers, scan servers, web servers, CD-ROM
servers, email servers and hard disk storage servers.

A thin server
can be installed onto a network without impacting the existing
general-purpose server operations. Within minutes you can install a
thin server so that users can access various peripherals and
information, such as CD-ROMs, printers and hard disks, just as they
did when these functions were part of the general-purpose server.
This provides a seamless extension, improved performance and easy
access to storage capacity over a network.

The benefits
of thin servers are that they:

  • can be used
    in multiple environments, including environments that don’t have
    a general-purpose server.
  • are
    self-sufficient and reliable, leading to more uptime for users.
  • do not
    require costly network operating system licenses.
  • can be
    placed anywhere on the network.
  • have
    efficient software and hardware architectures to support their
    specialty functions, providing faster access times.
  • can be
    installed quickly and easily by someone with little networking
    experience.
  • typically
    have a built-in, easy-to-use management interface that allows
    network administrators to remotely access thin server
    capabilities using a web browser.
  • provide
    security that is equivalent to that of general-purpose servers,
    making them the convenient and safe networking choice for
    important data.
  • use
    established industry standards, making thin servers fully
    compatible with existing operating systems and networking
    topologies, such as Microsoft Windows NT and Novell NetWare.

As thin
servers continue to evolve, more and more shared devices will use
thin server technologies.

Improving
IT efficiency

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