NAS File Servers and Directory Services

Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances are a popular option for IT organizations. When sharing access to large amounts of stored data, they can be invaluable to enable tools for teams, delivering faster file transfer when compared with cloud-based alternatives such as Dropbox and Google Drive.

Since file servers are conventional and on-premises, they can be implemented with conventional directory services (e.g. Microsoft Active Directory® (AD) and OpenLDAP™). These tools are capable of managing user access to NAS devices. But for modern organizations that don’t want to deal with the upfront cost, overhead, or ongoing management of an on-prem Active Directory instance, NAS file server management has proven difficult. Most cloud-based IAM solutions simply ignore the Samba “protocol” and Network Attached Storage.

If you’re here looking for modern, cloud-based directory services that require no on-prem infrastructure yet can manage access to your on-prem NAS file servers, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explain how below, but first, let’s take a step back and offer an overview of Network Attached Storage.

NAS in a Nutshell

heterogenous IT windows mac linuxNAS appliances have been a core component of an organization’s IT infrastructure for many years. They are often used as storage devices and file servers that can hold an organization’s most critical data and applications. With that in mind, it is easy to understand why IT administrators tend to prefer that NAS appliances remain on-prem rather than making the leap to the cloud.

Of course, keeping storage systems on-prem isn’t an issue if most of your IT infrastructure is also on-prem. In fact, NAS appliances were effectively designed to integrate into these types of networks. Therefore, controlling access to NAS devices has typically been the responsibility of on-prem domain controllers.

However, the shift to the cloud changed this relationship. The cloud-forward trend started in the early 2000’s with web-applications, but has since expanded to include the majority of a modern organization’s IT infrastructure.

Cloud solutions have become so popular that it is now possible to shift the entire core directory service to the cloud. At the same time, while the shift to (Read more...)

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from JumpCloud authored by Vince Lujan. Read the original post at:

Vince Lujan

Vince is a documentation and blog writer at JumpCloud, the world’s first cloud-based directory service. Vince recently graduated with a degree in professional and technical writing from the University of New Mexico, and enjoys researching new innovations in cloud architecture and infrastructure.

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