Network-attached storage (NAS) is a type of dedicated file storage device that provides local-area network local area network (LAN) nodes with file-based shared storage through a standard Ethernet connection.
NAS devices, which typically do not have a keyboard or display, are configured and managed with a browser-based utility program. Each NAS resides on the LAN as an independent network node and has its own IP address.
An important benefit of NAS is its ability to provide multiple clients on the network with access to the same files. Prior to NAS, enterprises typically had hundreds or even thousands of discrete file servers that had to be separately configured and maintained.
Today, when more storage capacity is required, NAS appliances can simply be outfitted with larger disks or clustered together to provide both vertical scalability and horizontal scalability. Many NAS vendors partner with cloud storage providers to provide customers with an extra layer of redundancy for backing up files.