NAS Innovation Pace Quickens

Practical storage technology stands to add even more value to enterprises

Innovation in the NAS market is making this already practical technology even more powerful.

By now, just about every organization—from Fortune 500 companies to small mom-and-pop shops—has a NAS system running somewhere in the network.

NAS technology is really easy to use and it provides companies with much-needed file serving capabilities. And new innovations push NAS to new markets that it normally wouldnt touch.

This new innovation is apparent in Network Appliances new FAS 900 series appliances, which not only provide the enterprise-class file serving that the companys Filers are known for, but also have the ability to give servers block-level access to data.

With this new flexibility, IT managers can step away from the SAN-vs.-NAS deployment and budget debates and just buy a single box for all of their enterprise needs.

NAS-over-WAN technology, which will allow IT managers to distribute data to various sites over corporate networks, is another area of innovation. Tacit Networks has a new NAS-over-WAN solution, which mixes low-latency replication between data centers with selective caching for faster data access.

Caching is not really new technology, but the use of intelligent read/write caching together with NAS gives users faster, more powerful data access and sharing capabilities.

In eWEEK Labs forthcoming NAS Innovation package (which will run in our April 14 issue), I take a closer look at how these technologies work and what they can do for your networks.

What is NAS already doing for you? Write to me at