Network Attached Storage is a file server with an operating system that supports the popular file sharing protocols, such as CIFS (Windows) and NFS (Unix). It is accessed as a client on a network such as Ethernet. This is relatively low cost and easy to set up but it is limited by the constraints of the network. If the network is very busy, then access to the NAS will be slower. An alternative form of shared storage can be set up with a SAN that creates its own separate network.

See also: SAN