The ever-increasing need to store large amounts of information makes it necessary to look for optimal options. For a home, office, or large organization, solutions can range from installing an additional PC to purchasing a server RAID array.
Buying a modern network drive or NAS allows you to solve such issues quickly and inexpensively. Many such devices are on the market, differing in technical characteristics, cost, and memory capacity.
Application And Features Of Network Drives
Network storage systems can have several variants of execution. Most often, such equipment does not have slots for connecting a monitor, keyboard, mouse, or other peripherals. It is enough to have a wired or wireless network connection for switching NAS in a single data transfer system.
NAS form factors can also vary. Enclosure-less models and devices with collapsible, in some cases, hermetically sealed enclosures are available. You can check models offered by RS. Raid arrays designed as network drives are used for the following purposes:
- For permanent storage and use of data at the household level, such systems have sufficient memory capacity and can accommodate family archives of photos and videos.
- With the help of such systems, it is possible to download necessary data over the network in an autonomous mode; without a PC, it is possible to use a NAS as a print server.
- The equipment supports connecting devices based on different operating systems, such as smartphones, tablets, and modern TVs, to data storage.
- For office use, the NAS can be an excellent substitute for a storage server, providing quick access to information anytime.
- For large enterprises and organizations, a network module can become one of the elements of a storage system, working in standalone mode or as part of a typical raid array.
If you have some skills and experience, you can assemble a NAS with your own hands. In this case, the user gets problems in hard disk compatibility, the need for timely maintenance, preventive maintenance, and fan replacement. The best option is to choose a device suitable for technical data and cost and then purchase the model you like.
How Network Drives Work
In design, a standard network drive is a set of hard disks organized into a raid array. A standard Ethernet port is often used to connect to a network in a private home, apartment, or business. The operating system of the mini-server is based on UNIX or similar open-source operating systems. A cooling unit is provided for complex and voluminous storage of information.
Most manufacturers supplying modern equipment to the market try not to include additional devices and interfaces in the design. The absence of expansion cards, CD drives, ports for peripherals, and monitor connection is the norm for such products.
Most models use a flash drive, which saves the factory firmware or other software. The network data storage is managed over the network. After configuring the network interface and installing specialized software, you can connect to the device.
The technology of setting up, connecting, and operating a standard NAS module is as follows:
- After purchase, the module is unpacked, installed on-site, and connected to the power supply, which is connected to the network via an Ethernet cable. The system image is written to a flash drive or CD, depending on the features of the equipment.
- Software is installed on the memory card and hard disk; the drive is loaded in the working mode. A network connection is configured; for this purpose, the owner or administrator sets the parameters from the console or by switching to an external device.
- After configuration, the drive becomes visible on the network (if the necessary software is available on the controlling device). The raid array is configured according to user requirements, the number of hard disks in the system, capacity, and data backup format. Network drives are made available to users and devices according to delegated rights.