Network Attached Storage: 1. A term used to refer to storage elements that connect to a network and provide file access services to computer systems. Abbreviated NAS. A NAS Storage Element consists of an engine, which implements the file services, and one or more devices, on which data is storage. NAS elements may be attached to any type of network. When attached to SANs, NAS elements may be considered to be members of the SAS class of storage elements. 2. A class of systems that provide file services to host computers. A host system that uses network attached storage uses a file system device driver to access data using file access protocols such as NFS or CIFS. NAS systems interpret these commands and perform the internal file and device I/O operations necessary to execute them. c.f. Storage Area Network.
See also: IP Storage