In the past much file storage was typically located in the individual server or individual workstation computer. This is often not a very efficient or reliable method to facilitate storage.

Today much storage is handled in devices that are designed to maximize storage effectiveness called Network Attached Storage (NAS). As the name implies the storage device is directly attached to the network. One NAS can often support storage for numerous servers. Computer users too can often store their files on this same storage unit.

System data backup is made easier because the Network Attached Storage holds most if not all of the data requiring backup.

Because data files are so critical to a business many NAS devices utilize redundant storage containers such as RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Drives) arrays to further enhance reliability. One note of caution; even though RAID is used for increased reliability, both off-site and local backups are still critical.

Centralized storage can also work well with virtualization technology to add even more flexibility, recoverability, and manageability to a network.

Other devices such as Direct Attached Storage (DAS), Storage Area Network (SAN), and others can be implemented depending on the needs of the customer.