2.3 Network Attached Storage Solutions

A network attached storage (NAS) solution is a dedicated data server or appliance that provides centralized storage access for users and application servers. A NAS server attaches directly to the existing network using traditional LAN protocols such as Ethernet and TCP/IP. At Gigabit Ethernet rates, access speeds from other servers are on parity with direct attached storage devices.

2.3.1 Planning Considerations for NAS

NAS provides a cost-effect centralized solution for small and branch offices. If you need more storage, simply add more devices to your existing NAS solution. Small offices, enterprise branch offices, and small to midsize businesses might use NAS servers to store e-mail files, software installation information, and any data they would rather not store in more expensive storage area network (SAN) solutions.

The down side of NAS is that it adds bandwidth demands to your existing network. Because data requests travel on the same pipes as the data itself in an NAS solution, the network performance might be inhibited by available bandwidth and competing resources. Depending on your current network load, you might need to make some changes in the infrastructure to use high-speed Gigabit Ethernet interconnects.

2.3.2 NetWare NAS Server

OES NetWare provides a preconfigured solution for a NAS server. The NAS pattern deployment includes NetStorage, which allows for Web-based sharing of and access to files. Whatever protocol governs the file access, users can also access the files from a wide variety of Web browsers using HTTP, HTTPS, and FTP. From any Web client, or through WebDAV for sharing, all your data is securely accessible.

An OES NetWare NAS server is able to drop into and integrate with any of these environments seamlessly. It can also bridge between these environments. Although NAS servers can be configured as appliances (stripped-down versions of the operating system and fixed storage media), you can configure any server as a NAS device.

You can configure the storage media in the server as a software RAID 1 storage device for data protection. With RAID 1, you have a "hot" spare in waiting ready to replace a failed drive.

The Novell NAS server uses Novell eDirectory™ and Novell Storage Services to assign user access rights, space restrictions, and password, just as you would for any OES NetWare server. Windows, Macintosh, and UNIX users must have a User object and password before they can access network resources using native protocols. A User object specifies attributes and information about which network resources the user can access.

NOTE:Windows users can also be managed through a Windows Domain Controller and UNIX users can be managed through Network Information Service (NIS).

2.3.3 Native File Access Protocols

The OES NetWare NAS server supports Native File Access Protocols to enable data services to be shared between different types of servers and accessed by different types clients using any of those servers. In a cross-platform environment, multiplatform clients and application servers can access storage on NetWare using their native protocols.

NetWare supports the following NFAPs:

Type of Networking

File Access Protocol

Windows

Common Internet File System (CIFS)

Novell

NetWare Core Protocol® (NCP)

UNIX and Linux

Native File System (NFS)

Macintosh

Apple File Protocol (AFP)

Web access

Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)

Secure Web access

Secure Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTPS)

Web file transfer

File Transfer Protocol (FTP)

Shared Web access

Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV)

With multiprotocol file system services, clients with disparate operating platforms can store and access data in the same file system without compromising the data’s respective file attributes, security models, or performance.

For more information about using NFAPs on NetWare, see the OES Native File Access Protocols Guide.