NAS not SAN – Why Not FTP?

In the October 2nd issue of Federal Computer Weekly, pag 29-32, John Moore discusses reasons why Virtual NAS (Network Attached Storage) hasn’t caught on. In case you aren’t familiar with V-NAS, John’s definition suffices:

“The technology works by creating a layer that masks the physical location of data. Client devices and servers are no longer mapped to specific physical storage devices.”

And when I read that, I just couldn’t get my mind around why V-NAS is required or desireable in the face of good old fashioned File Transfer Protocol (FTP). For example, if you download some of the aviation screensavers from, I can pretty much guarantee you that you don’t know the source location of the data. Similarly, the KDE desktop under Mandriva 2007.1 Linux virtualizes FTP file locations the same as any physical hard drive or partition or network share. What’s the big deal with V-NAS??

Both FTP and NAS are file oriented protocols, unlike the block I/O virtualized with Storage Area Networks (SANs). Setting aside SANs, is there some performance or management issue that prevents underlying FTP to do anything V-NAS is suppose to do?

About Brian

Engineer. Aviator. Educator. Scientist.
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