Apsara File Storage NAS is a cloud service that provides file storage solutions for compute nodes. The compute nodes include Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances, Elastic High Performance Computing (E-HPC) instances, and Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK) clusters. NAS is a distributed file storage solution that provides the following benefits: shared access, scalability, high reliability, and high performance.

Overview

NAS uses Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX)-based APIs and is compatible with native operating systems. NAS provides shared access, ensures data consistency, and implements mutual exclusion by using locks. NAS provides scalable file systems and allows simultaneous access to a NAS file system from multiple ECS instances. The storage capacity of a NAS file system automatically scales in or out when you add or remove files. NAS provides shared data sources for workloads and applications that run on multiple ECS instances or servers.

NAS supports various storage scenarios. For more information, see Scenarios.

NAS provides the following file system types: General-purpose Capacity NAS, General-purpose Performance NAS, and Extreme NAS. For more information, see Specifications.

Benefits

NAS has benefits in terms of cost-effectiveness, security, usability, reliability, and performance.

  • Cost-effectiveness
    • A NAS file system can be mounted on multiple compute nodes at a time and allows simultaneous access from these nodes. This reduces a large number of data copies and synchronization costs.
    • The performance of a NAS file system increases with storage capacity. This eliminates the need for an upfront investment in high-end file storage devices and reduces hardware costs.
    • NAS allows you to pay only for the storage space that you consume without the need to configure storage in advance. No minimum consumption or extra configuration cost exists. For more information, see Pricing.
    • NAS features high availability, which allows you to greatly reduce data security risks and maintenance costs.
  • Ease of use

    You can create a file system in a few clicks without the need to deploy and maintain the file system.

  • Security

    NAS provides access control based on Resource Access Management (RAM), and access isolation based on virtual private clouds (VPCs). NAS supports encryption in transit and encryption at rest to prevent data interception and tampering.

  • High reliability

    NAS provides multiple replicas for each data entry that is stored in a file system. These replicas reside in devices that are isolated across different fault domains for geo-redundancy. NAS provides data reliability of 99.999999999% (eleven 9's). This minimizes data security risks.

  • High performance

    NAS provides a distributed file system whose performance linearly scales with capacity. Compared with traditional data storage solutions, NAS provides a higher level of storage performance.

  • Compatibility
    • NAS supports standard protocols, such as Network File System (NFS) and Server Message Block (SMB). NAS ensures data consistency and file locking based on POSIX APIs.
    • After the content of a file is modified in a NAS file system, you can view the result in real time.

Features

  • Lifecycle management

    The lifecycle management feature is used to reduce the storage costs of user data. If the files in a General-purpose NAS file system are accessed less than twice a month, we recommend that you enable the lifecycle management feature. After you enable the feature, the files that meet a specified lifecycle policy are automatically dumped to an Infrequent Access (IA) storage medium. The billing method for IA storage media is used. This helps reduce storage costs. For more information, see IA storage media

  • ACL
    • NAS SMB ACL: This feature allows you to use Active Directory (AD) to manage user identities and user access to SMB file systems. The feature supports file system-level authentication and access control based on Alibaba Cloud accounts and the permission group-based whitelist system in which one or more source IP addresses are specified. For more information, see Use the ACL feature of a NAS SMB file system
    • NAS NFS ACL: This feature allows you to grant users and groups different access permissions to implement access isolation. You can enable this feature in the NAS console. You can grant permissions to specific users and groups in addition to the owner, group, and other classes. For more information, see NAS NFS ACL.
  • Quotas

    You can use the quota management feature to manage the directory quotas of NAS file systems with ease. For example, you can use the feature to create, modify, or delete quotas. For more information, see Manage quotas

  • Data encryption
    • Server-side encryption: NAS encrypts data that is stored in file systems. When you access data, NAS decrypts the data, and then returns the decrypted data. For more information, see Server-side encryption
    • Encryption in transit for NFS file systems: This feature uses Transport Layer Security (TSL) to prevent data theft or tampering when data is transmitted between ECS instances and NAS. For more information, see Encryption in transit for NFS file systems
    • Encryption in transit for SMB file systems: This feature uses Authenticated Encryption (AE) to prevent data theft or tampering when data is transmitted between ECS instances and NAS. For more information, see In-transit encryption of SMB file systems
  • Backup

    You can use this feature to generate multiple replicas of data based on flexible backup policies. You can use these replicas to restore files if data is lost or damaged. For more information, see Back up and restore files

  • recycle bin

    If you enable the recycle bin feature, the deleted files or directories are temporarily stored in the recycle bin. If you accidentally delete files from a file system, you can restore the files and the metadata of the files from the recycle bin. The metadata includes the UID, GID, and ACL. For more information, see Recycle bin.

Related operations

If you want to create, use, or release a NAS file system, use one of the following methods that are provided by Alibaba Cloud:

Related services

After you upload your data to NAS, you can use other Alibaba Cloud features and services to manage your data.

The following features and services are frequently used together with NAS:
  • Elastic Compute Service (ECS): a cloud computing service that provides elastic and efficient computing capability. For more information, visit the product page of ECS.
  • Data Online Migration: You can use Data Online Migration to migrate data from Object Storage Service (OSS) to NAS. For more information, see the Data Online Migration documentation.
  • Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR): You can use HBR to back up the files in a NAS file system on a regular basis and restore the files if data is lost or damaged. For more information, visit the product page of HBR.
  • CloudMonitor: You can use CloudMonitor to view the performance metrics and storage usage metrics of NAS file systems. You can also configure alert rules for metrics. For more information, visit the product page of CloudMonitor.

NAS pricing

For more information about the billing rules of NAS, see Billing. For more information, see Apsara File Storage NAS pricing.