MS Windows Domain authentication; Apple File Protocol (AFP); Announce FreeNAS services with Zeroconf (howl); iSCSI initator (NOT TESTED).
About the FreeNAS
FreeNAS is a free NAS
(Network-Attached Storage) server, supporting: CIFS (samba), FTP, NFS, RSYNC
protocols, local user authentication, Software RAID (0,1,5) with a Full WEB
configuration interface. FreeNAS takes less than 16MB once installed on Compact
Flash, hard drive or USB key.
The minimal FreeBSD distribution, Web interface, PHP scripts and documentation are based on M0n0wall.
Network-attached storage (NAS)
1. A term used to refer to storage elements that
connect to a network and provide file access services to computer systems. A
Element consists of an engine, which implements the file services, and one or more devices, on which data is stored. NAS elements may be
attached to any type of computer network. When attached to SANs, NAS elements may be considered to be members of the Server
Attached Storage (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.
NAS systems are generally computing-storage devices that can be accessed over a computer network (usually TCP/IP), rather than directly being connected to the computer (via a computer bus such as SCSI). This enables multiple computers to share the same storage space at once, which minimizes overhead by centrally managing hard disks. NAS systems usually contain one or more hard disks, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays.
The protocol used with NAS is a file based protocol such as NFS, Samba or Microsoft's Common Internet File System (CIFS). In reality, there is a miniature operating system on the device such as DART on EMC's Celerra devices or Data ONTAP on NetApp NAS devices.
A storage area network (SAN) is very similar, except it uses a block-based protocol and generally runs over an independent, specialized storage network.
NAS devices become logical file system storage for a local area network. Thus the performance of NAS devices depends heavily on cached memory (the equivalent of RAM) and network interface overhead (the speed of the router and network cards). The benefit is that the device can become a giant neighborhood hard drive for a whole building. The disadvantage is that any constrictions in the local network will slow down the resulting access time.
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