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 email files, software installation information, and any data you would rather not store in more expensive storage area network (SAN) solutions.

A disadvantage 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 a NAS solution, the network performance might be inhibited by 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.

An OES NAS server is able to drop into and integrate with your OES 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.

2.3.2 NetStorage

OES includes NetStorage for Linux, 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.

NetStorage works with eDirectory and the Novell Storage Services (NSS) file system to assign user access rights, space restrictions, and passwords, just as you would for any OES 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).

For information about using NetStorage, see the OES 11 SP2: NetStorage Administration Guide for Linux.

2.3.3 Native File Access Protocols

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

The OES server supports the following file access protocols:

Type of Networking

File Access Protocol

Windows

Common Internet File System (CIFS) with Novell CIFS, Linux Samba, or Domain Services for Windows

Novell

NetWare Core Protocol (NCP) with the Novell Client

UNIX and Linux

Network File System (NFS) using native Linux NFS solutions

Macintosh

Apple Filing Protocol (AFP) with Novell 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 multi-protocol 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 native file access protocols on Linux, see the following guides: