Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a powerful solution for network storage. Its aim is to facilitate collaboration and data sharing in home and business environments through block and object storage over a network.
NAS allows you to centralize and manage data efficiently, providing remote and secure access to client devices.
Composed of physical storage units, a central processing unit (CPU), an operating system and a network interface, it uses communication protocols such as SMB/CIFS (Server Message Block/Common Internet File System), NFS (Network File System) and iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface). As well as RESTful APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) for storing objects.
Despite being ideal for increasing the security and performance of devices, the NAS server can be flawed.
In this article, learn more about Network Attached Storage, how it works, its storage principles, its components and what they are used for, as well as the signs that it is about to fail and how to recover it in the event of problems.
What is NAS (network attached storage)?
NAS (Network Attached Storage) is a dedicated data storage solution that allows multiple devices to access and share files over a local area network (LAN) or the internet.
Thus, it is an efficient way of centralizing data storage, making it accessible to multiple devices. For example, computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets and other devices connected to the same network.
A NAS device is usually a dedicated storage server, which can include one or more hard disk drives or solid state drives (SSD) configured in one or more RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) arrangements, for greater security and performance.
What is the basic storage principle of NAS devices?
The basic storage principle of NAS devices is to provide a centralized, shared location for storing and managing data on a local network or over the internet.
This is possible thanks to the use of a dedicated storage server, known as a NAS, which is connected to the network and offers storage resources accessible to various client devices.
The NAS is built around one or more hard disk drives, or SSDs to store the data.
These drives are organized in one or more RAID arrangements to provide different levels of security and performance.
RAID allows multiple disks to be combined to improve data reliability and, in some cases, increase access speed.
The NAS has its own operating system – usually based on Linux or another specific operating system – which manages the storage and offers network services to the client devices.
It can be configured to provide different levels of access to data – such as read, write or restricted access to specific directories – according to the needs of users and security policies.
Client devices, such as computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets, can access the NAS via the network using standard protocols. These include NFS for Unix-like systems or SMB/CIFS for Windows systems.
These protocols allow client devices to browse the shared directories on the NAS, access files, edit data and save information on the NAS device as if they were working on a local disk.
In addition, many modern NAS devices also offer additional features such as automatic backup, dahttps://botrecuperacaodedados.com/data-encryption-what-is-it-and-how-important-is-it/ta encryption, remote access via the internet, media streaming and integration with cloud services. This makes them versatile and efficient storage solutions for homes and corporate environments.
1. File storage
File storage on NAS devices is based on a file system that manages the organization and access to data stored on the NAS’s hard disk drives or solid state drives.
Here are the main aspects of how file storage works on a NAS device:
- File system: in a nutshell, it serves to structure the data stored on drives. After all, a file system is a structure that organizes data into a hierarchy of directories and files. Common file systems on NAS devices include ext4 (common on Linux systems) and NTFS (New Technology File System – used on Windows systems).
- Storage space: when adding disk drives to the NAS, they are formatted with a specific file system and then the total available storage space is combined into a single logical drive. From that point on, all the space on the drives is available for storing files
- Shares: the NAS allows you to create shares – which are directories or directories accessible from the network by client devices. Each share can be configured with specific permissions, such as read, write or restricted access
- Access from client devices: these include computers, laptops or smartphones, which connect to the NAS via the network using file sharing protocols such as SMB/CIFS (used by Windows systems) or NFS (used by Unix-like systems). These protocols allow client devices to access the shares on the NAS as if they were directories on their own local file systems
- File browsing and management: when connected to the NAS, the client device can browse the directories and files available on the shares. Thus, users can copy, move, edit or even delete files directly on the NAS, just as they would on their own local hard drive
- Redundancy and protection: some NAS allow RAID arrangements to be set up, where the disk drives are organized to provide redundancy and data protection. This means that even if one drive fails, the data will remain accessible and secure, as it is mirrored or distributed across several drives
- Remote access and additional services: many modern NAS devices offer additional features such as remote access via the internet, synchronization with cloud services, automatic backup, media streaming and much more, making them advanced and versatile storage solutions.
2. Block storage
NAS block storage takes a slightly different approach to traditional file storage, which we looked at above.
This is because, while file storage allows access to individual files and directories via file sharing protocols, block storage allows NAS disk drives to be presented directly as block devices to client systems.
Check out the main points of how block storage works on a NAS below:
- Block drives: instead of exposing files individually, block storage allows the NAS to present its hard disk drives or solid state drives as “block devices” to the connected client systems. These block devices are generally seen by the client systems as extra local hard disks
- Protocols: Block storage generally uses block storage protocols such as iSCSI to provide access to these block devices over the network. iSCSI allows the creation of iSCSI targets on the NAS – which are essentially block drives shared over the network
- Formatting and mounting: when a client device connects to an iSCSI target on the NAS, it sees this target as an unformatted local hard disk. The client device can then format this hard disk as it wishes and mount it in its operating system. After mounting, the client device can use this storage space as if it were a local disk drive
- Flexibility: block storage offers greater flexibility and control to client systems, as they can use this storage space for any purpose. For example, creating file systems, implementing internal RAID systems or using with applications that require low-level access to storage
- Management: NAS that provides block storage usually offers advanced management features, allowing storage quotas to be set, snapshots to be managed and access to these block devices to be controlled.
3. Storing objects
Object storage on NAS devices also differs from traditional file and block storage.
In object storage, data is organized into individual “objects”, each containing data, metadata (information about the object) and a unique identifier known as a “key”.
Take a detailed look at how object storage works on a NAS:
- Object structure: unlike file storage, which organizes data into hierarchies of directories and files, object storage treats each file or piece of data as a separate, independent object. Each object is identified by a unique key that makes it easily retrievable
- Data and metadata: each object contains its own data, which can be a file, a part of a file or any type of information. In addition, each object also has metadata that provides information about the object, such as size, creation date, content type and other relevant properties
- Distributed storage: object storage is usually implemented in a distributed system, in which objects are spread across several hard disk drives or SSDs in a cluster of servers. This approach guarantees scalability, performance and high data availability
- API access: object storage is often accessed via RESTful APIs, which allow applications and services to perform operations such as storing, retrieving, deleting and searching for objects in the storage system
- Scalability and redundancy: as objects are distributed across multiple units and servers, object storage offers high scalability, allowing storage capacity to be easily increased as demand grows. In addition, the replication of objects on different servers guarantees redundancy, making object storage resilient against hardware failures
- Use in modern applications: object storage is widely used in modern applications, especially in cloud services and scalable web applications. It has become the basis for many public cloud storage services, such as Amazon S3 and Google Cloud Storage.
- Unstructured storage: this means that it doesn’t require a hierarchical file system. This flexibility makes object storage suitable for a wide variety of use cases, especially when the traditional organization of directories and files doesn’t follow the best approach.
4. File storage, block storage and object storage
As we’ve seen, NAS can offer different types of storage, each with its own distinct characteristics:
- Works as a centralized file server on the network
- Your data is organized in hierarchies of directories and files
- Your client devices access the files via file sharing protocols – such as SMB/CIFS (Windows) or NFS (Unix-like)
- Ideal for file sharing and collaboration in home and business environments
- Offers granular access to individual files and sharing permissions.
- Displays hard disk or SSD drives as block devices to client systems
- Uses block storage protocols – such as iSCSI – to provide network access
- Client devices format and mount the storage space as a local disk drive
- Ideal for environments that require high performance, granular control and low-level access to storage – such as virtual servers and databases.
- Organizes data into individual objects – each with its own data, metadata and a unique key
- Uses a distributed system and is accessed via RESTful APIs
- Scalable and resilient, with objects replicated on several servers.
- Widely used in modern applications and cloud services for storing unstructured data – such as images, videos and documents.
- Each type of NAS storage has specific advantages and is suitable for different scenarios.
In short, file storage is ideal for sharing and collaborating on files, while block storage is more suitable for performance and granular control, while object storage is scalable and highly flexible for storing large volumes of unstructured data.
Thus, the choice of storage type will depend on the specific needs of the environment and application requirements.
How does NAS storage work?
NAS storage works on the basis of two protocols: communication protocols and file formatting protocols.
See below how each one works:
NAS communication protocols are essential for allowing client devices to connect and access centralized storage. Here’s how they work:
SMB/CIFS (Server Message Block/Common Internet File System)
SMB is the protocol used by Windows systems to share files and printers on a network.
CIFS is an evolution of SMB, offering additional features and improvements. It works by exchanging messages between the client and the NAS server for authentication, browsing and file manipulation.
In addition, it allows Windows devices – as well as non-Windows devices – to access and share files on a NAS.
NFS (Network File System)
NFS is a protocol used mainly on Unix-like and Linux systems for sharing files on networks.
It allows client devices to access files on a NAS as if they were part of the client’s local file system.
The NFS client requests files directly from the NAS server using inode identification numbers (a unique identifier for files in the file system).
iSCSI (Internet Small Computer System Interface)
iSCSI is a block storage protocol that allows storage devices to be connected over IP networks.
It allows a client device (known as an iSCSI initiator) to access and use block drives provided by the NAS (known as an iSCSI target).
The iSCSI target is presented as a block device directly to the client and can be formatted and mounted as a local drive.
RESTful APIs (Representational State Transfer)
RESTful APIs are used to access object storage systems on a NAS.
They allow applications and services to interact with the objects stored on the NAS, providing functionalities such as creating, retrieving, deleting and searching for objects.
RESTful APIs use HTTP methods – such as GET, PUT, POST and DELETE – to manipulate storage objects.
Each NAS communication protocol has its own purpose and specific usage scenarios.
In addition to these protocols, there are others, such as FTP (File Transfer Protocol), AFP (Apple Filing Protocol) and more, which are used in specific environments or for specialized purposes of sharing and accessing data on NAS devices.
The choice of protocol will depend on the network environment, the client devices and the NAS storage access requirements.
File formatting protocols
The machines on a computer network may have different underlying operating systems, such as Windows, Linux or Unix.
They all seek to access NAS file storage in their own native formats.
Consequently, NAS file systems format data before making it available on the network.
The formatting protocols for file distribution are as follows:
- Network file systems (NFS)
- Protocol used by Linux and UNIX systems
- Works regardless of hardware, operating system or network architecture.
- Server message blocks (SMB)
- Used by machines running Microsoft Windows.
What are the components of a NAS device?
The components of a NAS device work together to create a functional device that provides shared, accessible storage for client devices on a local network or over the internet. See below what they are and what they are used for.
Physical storage units
Physical storage drives are the fundamental component of the NAS – they can be hard disks, SSDs, or even a combination of both.
They are used to store the data and files that will be accessed and shared by the client devices connected to the NAS.
In addition, it’s also worth mentioning RAM, which provides temporary space for storing data and information that is used quickly by the processor during NAS operation.
Central processing unit (CPU)
Central processing unity (or CPU) is the brain of the NAS, responsible for performing storage management tasks and responding to requests from client devices.
The firmware or operating system is the software that controls and manages all NAS operations.
It provides the management interface, configuration and access to the NAS storage.
The network interface is used to connect the NAS to the local area network (LAN) or the Internet. It can be one or more Ethernet ports, which provide a wired connection.
Is there any indication that a NAS will fail?
Yes, some signs can indicate that a NAS will fail. One is a sudden increase in error messages.
Another is performance degradation, as well as an increase in hard disk activity for no apparent reason.
In addition, constant noise and high hard disk temperatures can also indicate imminent failure.
An increase in error messages is a sign of problems
An increase in error messages on a NAS server is an indication that the device is experiencing hardware, file system or connectivity problems, which could be a sign that the NAS is about to fail.
Performance degradation is a bad sign
If the NAS starts to perform significantly slower than normal, this could be an indication of disk failures or other hardware problems. This could be an indication that a failure is about to happen.
Increased hard disk activity for no obvious reason
Periods of unexplained peak traffic and overloaded server logs can indicate that the NAS server is in danger of failing.
Increased noise and/or temperature of hard disks
If the NAS starts making strange noises, such as clicking, popping or buzzing, this could be a sign that the hard disks are having mechanical problems.
In addition, if the NAS is overheating frequently, this could also indicate problems with the internal cooling system. This clearly indicates imminent failure.
Warnings from the NAS monitoring system
If you notice that the NAS is displaying error messages or warnings in its management interface or operating system, it’s important to check and investigate the cause.
After all, this also points to failures occurring in the near future.
Also, consider carrying out preventive maintenance on a regular basis, such as firmware updates and checking the status of the hard disks, to ensure the proper functioning of the NAS and the security of your data.
How to recover a NAS server?
If none of the above symptoms have been noticed in time and your NAS server has crashed, there are still a few ways to recover it. Check them out below and how to apply them.
Select a NAS server and start recovering
Download and install the recovery software of your choice on your PC. When you open it, select “NAS Recovery”.
All NAS servers will be listed automatically. Choose your target NAS device and click on “Scan”.
Enable the SSH service on the NAS server
Go to “Control Panel > Terminal and SNMP” and select “Enable SSH service”. Next, note the port for remote access. Then open the recovery software and click “Next”.
Connect to the NAS server remotely
The software will detect your IP and port automatically. All you need to do is enter your username and password.
If the IP address or port is not correct, you can correct it manually. Then click on “Connect now”.
Recover lost/deleted NAS data
Next, the data recovery software will connect to your NAS and start a scan of the device. Wait for the process to finish.
After the scan, you will see all the deleted, lost or existing files on your NAS server.
You can apply the “Filter” feature or click on the “Search files or directories” option to find the lost files on the hard disk.
Select the desired NAS files that you have lost on the server and click on “Recover” to save them to another location.
Finally, click on the “Recover” button to restore the deleted NAS files.
How to recover NAS without taking risks?
Recovering a NAS without risking anything is a delicate process, especially when it comes to important data.
The only way to recover a NAS without risking anything is to call on specialized assistance such as that from Bot.
Here, our highly specialized team can recover your NAS with state-of-the-art tools and in a fully particle-controlled environment.
We deal with the most varied cases, such as:
- NAS configuration loss
- Burned or corrupted NAS controller
- Internal RAID components with firmware corruption
- Data cannot be transferred over the network
- Human error
- Volume formatting or accidental data deletion.
- NAS volume file system corruption.
However, if you’d rather risk doing the procedure yourself (which we don’t recommend), here are some tips on how to do it safely:
- Back up important data: before starting any recovery procedure, make a backup of the data stored on the NAS. This is essential to ensure that your data is protected in case something goes wrong during the recovery process
- Identify the cause of the failure: try to determine the cause of the NAS failure before taking any action. Check for error messages, indicator lights and other information that can help identify the source of the problem
- Avoid untested solutions: don’t try to use untested or unrecommended solutions to recover the NAS. Using unreliable software or methods can make matters worse and increase the risk of data loss
- Seek professional help: if you have no experience in NAS recovery, it is best to seek professional help. Companies specializing in NAS recovery are the best alternative for recovering your NAS safely and minimizing the risk of data loss. After all, if you have any doubts or difficulties, it’s always best to enlist the help of qualified professionals.
How to recover NAS data with a problem?
You should also opt for a specialized service – such as Bot – to recover NAS data with problems.
After all, our experts can quickly recover your lost data on any system using the world’s best tools and techniques.
This applies to all types of NAS servers and RAID levels, all RAID controllers, all configurations (regardless of hard disk or SSD) and all manufacturers.
Now, if you prefer to take your chances, it’s also possible to recover faulty NAS data by disconnecting the NAS drives and using CMD.
However, we would like to point out that, despite offering the possibility of recovering data from faulty NAS, this method is not recommended. This is because the disconnection process can damage the NAS hard disk if done incorrectly.
That said, here’s how to do it:
- Disconnect your NAS from the internet: this is important to prevent new data from overwriting lost data
- Remove the hard disk from the NAS configuration: this step is necessary because data recovery methods require the use of techniques or tools that cannot be run on your live NAS server. You therefore need to remove the hard disk from which the data was lost from the NAS configuration. You can remove the hard disk by opening the case of your NAS device. When removing the disks from the NAS, identify each one with the bay it belongs to.If you find this too difficult, consider calling in a specialist or technician
- Put the NAS back online: once the hard disk has been removed and your NAS configuration has other hard disks, you can put the NAS server back online. After all, now users won’t overwrite the hard disk from which you lost the data.
Connect the hard disk to your computer: after removing the hard disk from which you lost data from your NAS configuration, it’s time to connect your hard disk to a fully functional PC. This computer will serve the main purpose of recovering your data. You can connect your hard disk using SATA cables or any other means, depending on the type of NAS hard disk you use. Once the hard disk is connected to a working computer, you can start data recovery using the Command Prompt
- Open Command Prompt: make sure your NAS hard disk is connected to your computer. Press the Win and R keys simultaneously.
- Then type ” cmd ” in the “Run” window to launch the Command Prompt
- Execute the command to perform the recovery: in CMD, type the command below and then press “Enter”, remembering to replace “X” with the letter of your NAS SSD or hard disk. After entering the command, you will see the missing files on the NAS hard disk.
ATTRIB -H -R -S /S /DX:*.*
Once this is done – if the process is carried out correctly – your NAS data will have been recovered.
Bot offers data recovery solutions for NAS (Network Attached Storage) systems covering various manufacturers, operating systems and configurations.
Our specialized team has the expertise to efficiently diagnose and perform NAS data recovery.
This applies to all types of NAS servers and RAID levels, all RAID controllers, all configurations (regardless of hard disk or SSD) and all manufacturers.
From the oldest to the latest versions on the market.
Our services cover NAS recovery in situations such as:
- NAS configuration loss
- NAS controller failure or corruption
- Firmware corruption in internal RAID components
- Network access difficulties
- Human errors
- Accidental formatting of volumes or deletion of data
- NAS volume file system corruption and much more.
Using the most advanced global tools and techniques, our experts are able to restore your lost data quickly and effectively, regardless of the system used.
In addition, we guarantee the protected delivery of your data via secure transfer or an encrypted external hard drive.
Not to mention the fact that all our laboratories are highly confidential and have totally restricted access.
Trust in someone with a tradition and excellence in data recovery, with more than 26 service centers in Brazil and Portugal: start recovering your NAS with us now!