A NAS, or Network Attached Storage, is a network attached, dedicated storage server which typically serves a Local Area Network (LAN). NAS devices range from a small unit designed for home use to a rack style unit used in enterprise environments.
NAS units are very beneficial for both the home and the business environment as it typically offers some sort of redundancy to protect the data housed within, offers some form of user security, and the ability for multiple users to easily access the data over a wide variety of protocols.
NIC, or Network Interface Controller, describes a component in the computer which allows it to communicate over a network. Early examples of NICs were generally in a expansion card form, which has also led the term NIC to also mean Network Interface Card. However, newer NICs are now typically chips integrated into the motherboard.
NKRO, or N-Key Rollover, is a feature of some high end keyboards that allows the keyboard to register an unlimited amount of simultaneous keyswitch actuations. This is typically a feature important to gamers as it allows them to do many different actions simultaneously.
NVMe stands for Non-Volatile Memory Express, a next generation controller interface specification designed for non-volatile memory such as Solid State Drives (SSD) using the PCIe bus.
Prior to the advent of NVMe, computer storage was primarily connected over the SATA bus which utilized the Advanced Host Controller Interface, or AHCI. AHCI was originally developed for HDDs back in the early 2000’s and while it performed well for HDDs, it was not well suited for SSDs which operate very differently when compared to HDDs.
- Parallel Operations – One of the biggest benefits of NVMe is that it allows up to 65,535 I/O queues per storage device and up to 64,000 commands to be issued to each I/O queue. This is significantly more I/O queues than compared to previous interface specifications which allows just a single queue with up to 32 commands per queue. When dealing with SSDs, which can process data much faster than HDDs, this allows the SSD to parallelize operations to greatly improve performance.
- Reduced Latency – NVMe also significantly reduces latency by optimizing the command issue and completion path for non-volatile memory based drives. On average, this provides over 50% latency reduction when compared to older interface specifications.