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What is a NAS?
A Network Attached Storage (NAS) unit is a device that can be accessed over a computer network rather than being directly connected to the computer. NAS devices enable multiple computers to share the same storage space at once. By removing storage access and its management from the department server, both application programming and files can be served faster because they are not competing for the same processor resources.
NAS units can be used as File Servers, allowing file sharing across Windows, Mac®, Linux and UNIX platforms. They can also support WebDAV for easy access to shared folders via HTTP/HTTPS protocols remotely. DLNA access is available as well.
NAS units can serve as FTP servers; users can share files conveniently with colleagues or customers.
Users can connect to IP cameras via the NAS and set up a video surveillance system with comprehensive monitoring, recording and playback features.
NAS units can offer complete backup solutions including: Apple® Time Machine support, remote replication to an Rsync server, Windows client backup as well as third party backup software support.
Multiple websites can be hosted on the NAS unit with web server and virtual host features. NAS units can also be used as dedicated mail servers.
By collecting and storing the logs of other network devices on the NAS, the IT administrator can easily monitor the status of these devices, and further troubleshoot when necessary.
The data on the NAS unit can be backed up to or from another NAS unit or Rsync server over the network securely.
NAS units offer cross-platform printer sharing over the network and remote printing over the internet. IPP, print job management and Bonjour printing for Mac OS X are also supported.
The TFTP server simplifies network configuration management for firmware upgrades, deployment, or backup of configurations from various network devices such as routers and switches.