Network-attached storage (NAS) is file-level computer data storage connected to a computer network providing data access to heterogeneous clients. NAS not only operates as a file server, but is specialized for this task either by its hardware, software, or configuration of those elements. NAS is often made as a computer appliance _ a specialized computer built from the ground up for storing and serving files _ rather than simply a general purpose computer being used for the role. As of 2010 NAS devices are gaining popularity, as a convenient method of sharing files among multiple computers. Potential benefits of network-attached storage, compared to file servers, include faster data access, easier administration, and simple configuration. NAS systems are networked appliances which contain one or more hard drives, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays.
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