Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Simple, scalable, on-demand and reliable network attached storage for use with ECS instances, HPC and Container Service.

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Alibaba Cloud Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a file storage service for Alibaba Cloud ECS instances, Alibaba Cloud E-HPC and Container Service. It provides standard file access protocols, so you do not have to modify existing applications. This enables you to have a distributed file system with unlimited capacity and performance scaling, with a single namespace, multi-party sharing, high reliability, and high availability.

Alibaba Cloud NAS has many advantages over a self-built NAS on the cloud and conventional NAS products.

OverviewAlibaba Cloud Network Attached Storage (NAS)On-cloud Self-built NASConventional NAS
Reliability99.999999999% data reliabilityPoor reliability. Data may be lost during data synchronization between master and slave nodes.99.9%-99.99% data reliability
AvailabilityNo Single-Point-Of-Failure. 99.9% availability. SLA-guaranteed.Poor stability. Storage services become unavailable during server downtime.Single-Point-Of-Failure
ElasticStorage capacity is elastically scalable and may reach a maximum of several petabytes.Elastic resizing is not supported.Limited storage hardware capacity and long hardware upgrades
ThroughputThe throughput capacity is horizontally scalable and has a linear relationship with the storage volume.Low throughput which cannot be horizontally scaled.High-end NAS storage devices and a large volume of hardware are required.
SecuritySupports end-to-end permission managementOnly supports protocol-level permission management.Supports end-to-end permission management.
SimpleAlibaba Cloud NAS is available for use immediately after simple creation, mount and other operations, and can be seamlessly integrated with other Alibaba Cloud products.Self-built NAS on the cloud requires investments in establishing and maintaining file servers, which can be a complicated process.Conventional NAS requires manual management of numerous resources including hardware, storage pools, file systems and protocols. It requires complicated and error-prone operations for a service to use the NAS.
Low costsAlibaba Cloud NAS supports both Pay-As-You-Go and Subscription storage packages and charges fees fully based on the storage volume, without other costs.Disks of self-built NAS on the cloud do not support Pay-As-You-Go payment options (you need to plan and pay for the maximum usage in advance). Additional server and maintenance costs are also required.Hardware is offered in whole sets regardless of the actual usage, and a large amount of hardware O&M costs are required.

Product Details

Alibaba Cloud NAS is a distributed file system, enabling file systems to grow elastically to 10 petabyte-scale and support thousands of clients to access data from ECS or Container Service instances. The distributed architecture avoids the bottlenecks and constraints inherent with traditional file servers.

Multi-threaded applications benefit from the distributed architecture design, which grants data access from multiple ECS or Container Service instances to aggregate throughput and IOPS. In addition, NAS can be mounted to ECS or Container Service instances dynamically vwith Auto Scaling on-demand.


Seamless Integration

Alibaba Cloud NAS supports standard file access protocols. Mainstream apps can be used seamlessly without any modifications required.

  • Supports NFSv3/NFSv4.0 protocols to use standard file system syntax for data access.

  • Mainstream apps and work loads can be used in seamless combination and no modifications are required for apps to read and write data.

  • SMB (2.0 and earlier versions) protocols are open for testing.

Shared Access

Alibaba Cloud NAS shared access helps multiple cloud servers to use the same data source.

  • Multiple ECS instances, E-HPC hosts or Container can visit the same Alibaba Cloud NAS at the same time, which is suitable for use cases where apps deployed across hosts need to visit the same data source.

  • Servers in the same region can visit the NAS across zones so that ECS servers in multiple zones can share the same data source.

Elastically Scalable

The storage capacity ceilings of a single performance-oriented file system and a single capacity-oriented file system are 1PB and 10PB respectively. The two types of file systems are charged by actual usage to meet the NAS capacity requirements posed by business growth and cost control.

  • You only need to pay for your actual usage and are entitled to discounts by purchasing Subscription storage packages (the space in excess of the storage package is paid by usage), fully meeting the elastic expansion requirements of your business.

  • The capacity of a single file system may reach several petabytes, saving you stress over running out of app capacity.

Security Control

Multiple security control mechanisms guarantee safe access to data in the file system.

  • Support standard directory/file permission operations on a file system, and supports read/write/execute permission settings for a specific user/group.

  • Support mount points in both a VPC and a classic network. But Alibaba Cloud NAS only allows ECS instances within the same VPC or under the same account to visit the file system, and provides IP address-level permission groups for fine-grained access permission control.

  • Support RAM settings in the console as well as master account and sub-account authorization.

Linear Expansion Performance

Alibaba Cloud NAS's linear expansion storage performance is a perfect fit for data throughput-oriented apps.

  • The linear relationship between the NAS storage performance and its capacity can meet capacity and storage performance requirements arising from business growth.

  • Alibaba Cloud performance-oriented NAS uses SSD as the storage medium to provide high-throughput, high-IOPS and low-latency storage performance for app work loads.

  • Alibaba Cloud capacity-oriented NAS offers efficiency and high performance at lower cost to meet demands of various application scenarios.

High-performance Features With industry-specific Characteristics

Online broadcasting-level nonlinear HD 4K video editing capability

  • Alibaba Cloud NAS provides throughput of up to 200 Gbps and as low as 1 ms latency and supports horizontal expansion.

  • Numerous industry features including process-level firewalls, data encryption, multi-level storage, virtualized hardlink sharing, intelligent stitching, and quick search.

  • Out-of-the-box and fully compatible with Windows and Linux platforms.


NAS fees are calculated based on the total volume of storage used per month. There is no minimum fee and there are no set-up charges. There are also no charges for bandwidth or requests.

The following prices are for reference only. The exact price will be based on the customized plan you select.

Choose Your Plan


Storage fees are billed based on the amount of storage space you use.

NAS file system of the capacity type currently does not support Pay-As-You-Go. When creating a NAS file system of the capacity type, you must purchase a storage plan at the same time. However, your actual storage volume is not limited by the volume included in the storage plan; any excess usage exceeding the storage plan will be charged on a Pay-As-You-Go basis.


Throughput scales based on storage volume size.

The read and write throughput of a NAS file system scales linearly with its storage volume according to the following formula:
     Throughput limit (MB/s) = 0.15 MB/s* file system storage (GB) + 150 MB/s
     Up to a maximum of 10 GB/s

     Less than 1GB: 150 MB/s
     500GB: 225 MB/s
     1TB: 300 MB/s
     10TB: 1.4 GB/s

Pay-As-You-Go file systems receive a throughput limit calculated using the highest storage volume over a one-hour period.

Upon purchasing a storage package and assigning it to a file system, the file system receives a throughput limit calculated using the storage volume of the package. When the actual storage volume exceeds this package, the new throughput limit is calculated based on actual storage volume.

The throughput limit is calculated per NAS file system; therefore, the throughput limit for multiple file systems under the same account are calculated separately.

The throughput limit is a design target; actual throughput of the file system may fluctuate and differ from the calculated limit.


The following are common NAS use cases.

Server Log Sharing

Server logs of apps on multiple ECS instances are stored on the shared NAS to facilitate concentrated processing and analysis of logs in the future.

Highly Available Load Balancing Servers

In scenarios where the Server Load Balancer is connected to multiple ECS instances, the apps on these ECS instances store their data on the shared NAS to achieve high availability of the load balancing servers.

Enterprise Office File Sharing

For enterprise employees that need to visit and share the same datasets for working purposes, the administrator can create a NAS file system for individuals in the organization to access certain data. The administrator can also set file- or directory-level user and user group permissions.

Getting Started

Alibaba Cloud Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a simple, scalable, on-demand and reliable network attached storage for usage with ECS instances. NAS can be managed through a self-service portal for storage provisioning and monitoring.

Using Alibaba Cloud NAS With Management Console

The Management Console provides a simple web-based user interface which allows you to access and configure NAS. You can create, modify and monitor NAS file systems from the console.

For step-by-step directions on how to deploy Alibaba Cloud NAS through the Management Console, please read this Quick Start Guide.

Accessing Alibaba Cloud Documentation

To use and better understand Alibaba Cloud NAS, please read the product's Documentation, including how to deploy and design scalable file storage using NAS.