Network Attached Storage (NAS) questions
Updated: January 1, 2003
Applies To: Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2003 with SP1, Windows Server 2003 with SP2
Q. What is Network Attached Storage (NAS)?
A. Network attached storage (NAS) is an alternative way to connect storage to servers that is built using standard network components such as Ethernet or other LAN technologies. The application servers access storage using file system functions such as open file, read file, write file, close file, etc.. These higher-level functions are encapsulated in protocols such as CIFS, NFS or AppleShare and run across standard IP-based connections.
Q. Can Server clusters use NAS for the shared storage?
A. Yes, providing the applications can store data on file shares and the file shares are accessible to the applications as they failover across the cluster, there is no reason why NAS cannot be used as the storage solution in a cluster.
There is currently no support in Windows to use NAS as the quorum resource.
In Windows Server 2003, we are providing a new quorum resource Majority Node Set that can be used to remove the need for a shared disk for the quorum resource. If you combine NAS storage with Majority Node Set quorum, you can build a failover cluster that does not require shared disks in the traditional sense of SCSI or SAN.