What are the benefits of network-attached storage NAS?

Network-attached storage (NAS) is a file-level storage device that enables access to consolidated data via a network. NAS devices first appeared in the consumer space in the early 2000s, allowing users to easily share files among multiple computers (Langa, 20191).

NAS systems contain one or more hard drives that are arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays (Redundant Array of Independent Disks). The operating system and network connectivity are embedded directly onto the hardware, making NAS devices simple to install and maintain compared to other storage technologies (Langa, 20191).

The primary benefit of networked storage like NAS is to allow multiple clients or computers to access the same storage space. This provides centralized data storage and backup for client devices. NAS runs as a service or daemon on an operating system, handling file sharing protocols like SMB/CIFS (Windows/Mac OS) or NFS (Linux/UNIX) over the network (Wikipedia, 20222).

Benefits of NAS

Network-attached storage (NAS) offers many benefits over other storage methods. Some key advantages include:

Data Consolidation

NAS allows centralized data storage and consolidation. Rather than having files stored on individual devices, everything is stored on the NAS in a single location. This makes data easier to manage, access, protect and backup (IBM).


With NAS, data can be accessed from anywhere at anytime. Users can connect to the NAS over the local network or remotely over the internet. This provides ubiquitous access and data availability (Starwind).


NAS systems allow flexible configurations to meet specific storage needs. NAS capacity and features can be easily scaled as requirements change. NAS can also support both block and file storage protocols (Hitachi Vantara).


NAS offers excellent scalability, allowing storage capacity to be expanded with minimal disruption. Additional storage can be added without taking systems offline (IBM).

High Availability

Properly configured NAS systems provide redundancy and fault tolerance. If a drive fails, operations continue uninterrupted. RAID technologies and hot spares protect against data loss (Starwind).

Data Consolidation

One of the key benefits of NAS is the ability to consolidate data storage onto fewer, centralized servers and storage devices. Rather than having data spread out over many local PCs and servers, NAS allows an organization to bring the data together into unified storage. This consolidation provides several advantages:

Centralized storage on NAS systems reduces the need for separate storage on each computer and server. Rather than many small silos of storage, data is aggregated into larger pools on dedicated NAS devices. This reduces redundancy and overhead for storage management.[1]

With data consolidation, companies can retire legacy servers and reduce the number of servers required. This leads to lower capital costs by minimizing redundant hardware purchases.[2] It also reduces operating costs such as electricity, cooling, and IT administration.

By eliminating standalone storage across individual computers, consolidation simplifies storage administration and reduces associated costs. Managing many distributed storage devices is more labor intensive than managing storage on centralized NAS systems.


One of the key benefits of NAS is accessibility. NAS allows data to be accessed easily and remotely by multiple users at the same time. This is especially advantageous for businesses, as employees can access files and applications over the network, without being tied to a specific workstation. With NAS, authorized users can access files from anywhere there is an internet or network connection, using a computer, tablet, or mobile device. This translates to improved workflow and collaboration.

NAS makes data readily available to multiple people simultaneously. Files stored on the NAS are accessible to all connected users, unlike external hard drives and USB devices which can only be accessed by one user at a time. NAS allows teams to collaborate on projects more efficiently since they can view, edit, and share files on the fly without copying data back and forth.

In addition, NAS can be accessed remotely through virtual private networks (VPNs). This allows employees to work productively and securely from home or other locations outside the office network. Overall, the accessibility NAS provides is extremely beneficial for organizations that need to enable workplace flexibility and mobile working.

To summarize, NAS improves accessibility through features like:
– Simultaneous multi-user file access
– Remote access via internet/VPN
– Platform-agnostic access from any device


One of the key benefits of NAS is flexibility. Unlike SAN (Storage Area Network), which operates at the block level, NAS operates at the file level. This allows NAS to support multiple network protocols like SMB, NFS, FTP, and more. Users can access the same files concurrently from multiple devices using different protocols (TechTarget).

With NAS, it’s easy to add and remove storage as needed. If you run out of space, just add another NAS device and expand the storage pool. This scalability makes NAS very flexible compared to other storage solutions. You can start small with NAS and easily expand later as your data storage needs grow. No reformatting or reconfiguring the existing storage is required (ServerFault).

Overall, the file-level access and support for multiple protocols offers more flexibility compared to block-level SAN storage. NAS makes it simple to expand storage and access files from many devices and operating systems.


One of the key benefits of NAS is scalability. Scale-out NAS allows capacity and performance to scale independently as data requirements grow by seamlessly adding additional nodes (What Is Scale-Out NAS? | Scale-Up vs. Scale-Out – NetApp). This provides seamless and non-disruptive expansion without application downtime or disruption to users. With scale-out NAS, storage capacity and compute resources can be added without downtime, disruption or reconfiguration. This enables organizations to start small and expand the environment on-demand.TechTarget describes scale-out NAS as adding devices to an existing NAS system to increase storage capacity and performance. The scale-out architecture allows the NAS environment to easily expand and contract dynamically based on requirements.

High Availability

Network-attached storage (NAS) systems offer high availability through redundancy and failover capabilities to ensure continuous uptime and data access.(https://www.smallnetbuilder.com/nas/nas-howto/high-availability-storage-made-easy/) NAS utilizes features like RAID data protection, clustered storage, and redundant components to provide resilience.

RAID (redundant array of independent disks) allows data to be written across multiple drives so that if one fails, the data can still be reconstructed from the remaining drives.(https://www.techtarget.com/searchstorage/definition/network-attached-storage) RAID improves redundancy and protects against drive failure.

Clustered NAS systems have multiple NAS devices working together with shared storage to provide failover capabilities. If one NAS fails, the second NAS takes over seamlessly with no downtime.(https://knowledge.informatica.com/s/article/498992?language=en_US) This ensures high availability of data and services.

Redundant components like power supplies, network interfaces, and fans also prevent single points of failure. If one component goes down, the redundant component kicks in to keep the system online.


One of the key benefits of NAS is centralized management. With NAS, storage devices are consolidated onto the network rather than directly attached to servers. This enables centralized, simplified management and automation from a single interface rather than requiring server-by-server management (What is Network Attached Storage (NAS)?).

NAS solutions include built-in tools for monitoring, reporting and automation that can help optimize storage usage and performance. For example, Seagate’s IronWolf Health Management technology provides drive monitoring and analysis directly through compatible NAS operating systems (What is NAS (Network Attached Storage) and Why …).

With centralized management, NAS administrators can easily configure backups, security, access controls, storage quotas and more across all connected devices. Automated tasks like snapshots and replication jobs can be scheduled to occur during off-peak hours. Overall, NAS management provides simplicity, visibility and automation compared to managing many separate storage devices.


NAS systems provide several key security benefits over other storage solutions. When it comes to permissions, NAS allows admins to set granular user and group access controls to storage volumes and folders (https://www.magnify247.com/10-benefits-nas/). This ensures that sensitive data is only available to authorized users. Many NAS systems also support AES encryption for data at rest and in transit, protecting against breaches if drives are stolen or data is intercepted (https://www.seagate.com/blog/what-is-nas-master-ti/).

Additionally, NAS can be integrated with antivirus software to scan files and prevent malware. Backups are made easy with built-in snapshot and replication capabilities. By storing data redundantly, NAS provides protection against drive failures, accidental deletion, ransomware, and other threats. Overall, the advanced security features of NAS make it an attractive option for organizations handling sensitive information.


In summary, the key benefits of network-attached storage (NAS) are data consolidation, accessibility, flexibility, scalability, high availability, easier management, and improved security. NAS allows centralizing data storage and backup for easier access by users and administrators. It enables flexibility to add storage as needed and scale capacity and performance. By providing redundant components, NAS improves availability in case of failures. The dedicated operating system streamlines storage management versus direct-attached storage. Finally, NAS enhances security through access controls, encryption, and other measures.

NAS is well-suited for use cases like storage consolidation, backups, shared storage for collaboration, storing large files like video, and archiving data. Whether for personal home use or enterprise environments, NAS provides important advantages for networked storage. With its combination of benefits, NAS offers a versatile storage solution for a wide range of applications and needs.