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Know Your IT Terminology: Storage and Server Glossary

Common Internet File System (CIFS):  A native file sharing protocol that allows computer users to share files across corporate intranets and the Internet.  This is an enhanced version of the Microsoft open SMB protocol.

Free Network Attached Storage (FreeNAS): Open source NAS operating system and application software which uses a custom version of FreeBSD and web-based interface. With FreeNAS, a very affordable shareware NAS system can be created.

FreeBSD: Open source operating system that is an alternative to Linux.

Internet Small Computer System Interface (iSCSI): An IP-based standard meant to link block data storage server appliances (targets) and clients (initiators). Designed to carry and transfer data on switched Ethernet intranets. iSCSI is a key technology supporting the development of the SAN market. iSCSI increases the capabilities and performance of storage data transmission and supports the auto-failover feature of SANs. iSCSI was Developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

Microsoft Storage Server 2012: This is a Windows operating system used to create a dedicated server for file and print based on Windows Server 2012. Designed for reliability, integration, scalability, and manageability. Windows Storage Server 2012 possesses a variety of features to simplify file serving, backup, and replication. This OS is also capable of server clustering for greater storage capacity. It is one of the most affordable and easy to use options available for networked storage appliances.

Network Attached Storage (NAS): A network storage appliance designed solely for multi user network access of data/file storage over an Ethernet network. Set up and management is accomplished through its own network interface and is typically connected to a network switch with a standard CAT5e cable.

Network File System (NFS):  An open standard, file system protocol, originally developed by Sun Microsystems, which allows a user on a client computer to access files over a network similar to how local storage is accessed.

Open-E Data Storage Software (Open-E DSSv7): Currently in its seventh version. DDSv7 is a unified file and block storage management operating system. Provides for NAS, iSCSI, InfiniBand and Fibre Channel, SAN functionality. This software offers high-level RAID compatibility, superior performance, security, and scalability. Open-E provides an “easy to use” GUI management interface to manage NAS and SAN storage appliances.

Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID): Method of striping across multiple hard drives into single distinguishable storage array. Offers fault tolerance and redundancy beyond what can be accomplished with a single disk. Due to the redundancy of RAID, the reliability of the storage appliance is enhanced. Can be expanded across several levels from 0 to 60 based on needs of the business. RAID protects against data loss.

Storage Area Network (SAN): A high-speed network of storage appliances that provides block-level storage typically accessed by applications running on network servers. SANs improve network availability, data backup efficiency, and enable storage virtualization.

Serial Attached Small Computer System Interface (SAS): Advanced and evolved from SATA, but still backwards compatible. The primary connection between the Server motherboard to the disk drives expansion board and/or backplane is through the SAS interface. SAS allows multiple devices to be connected simultaneously. The standard speeds for the SAS interface is 6Gb/s, and 12 Gb/s is supported in new systems.

Serial ATA (SATA):  A computer hardware interface that connect host bus adapters (HBA) to mass storage devices such as hard disks and optical disks.

Small Computer System Interface (SCSI): Set of standards for physically connecting and transferring data between computers and peripherals. Defines commands, protocols, and electrical and optical interfaces. Intelligent. Hides complexity of physical format. Used primarily for hard disks and tape drives. Can connect to variety of devices like CD drives and printers.

Sever Message Block (SMB) Protocol:  A network file sharing protocol implemented by Microsoft. The set of message packets that defines a particular version of the protocol is called a dialect.

Solid State Drives (SSD): A solid state storage device that uses integrated circuit assemblies as a memory to store data.  SSDs use electronic interfaces compatible with traditional block input/output hard disk drives permitting simple replacements in common applications.

Need clarification of any of the terms in our IT glossary? Contact us for more information on our industry leading storage and server products.