NAS Authentication

Written by Jon Griffin on October 11, 2017

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Network Attached Storage (NAS) systems such as Synology, FreeNAS, and QNAP have become quite popular for IT organizations. Despite the move to the cloud for many components of the IT infrastructure, storage and file servers have been somewhat slow to complete the transition. A key component of that problem is how you control user access to Samba file servers and NAS devices. In this blog post, we’ll discuss how you can leverage Directory-as-a-Service® for NAS authentication.

Moving to the Cloud

The shift to the cloud has impacted virtually all areas of the IT landscape. From applications (Salesforce, G Suite, and Office 365), to cloud infrastructure (AWS, Google Cloud Platform, and Azure), and any number of other cloud and web systems, IT organizations are leveraging the cloud to reap major benefits. These benefits range from lower costs in capital expenditure and operating expenses to reducing the time burden of ongoing maintenance and management. Not only is the shift to the cloud a cost saver, but it has also allowed IT organizations to focus on their core mission.

Storage has been no stranger to the cloud transformation either. With Google Drive, Dropbox, and Box, there is no shortage of high quality cloud storage and cloud file server options. The challenge has been that cloud storage options can be difficult to use. For video files, large data files, images, and much more, the transport time between the cloud and the user’s machine can be painful. In these situations, on-prem file servers still win. This is the market that NAS systems and Samba file servers have carved out.

The other significant benefit of on-prem storage solutions is security. With NAS, IT admins can tightly control who gets access to specific files and directories, easily and quickly. In addition, by connecting NAS and Samba file servers to a core identity provider, a user’s core identity can be leveraged to control access to data. This is a significant benefit for IT organizations looking to simplify and streamline their operations. Cloud storage services may require a completely duplicated set of access control, while NAS authentication can be tied to a core identity provider.


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Streamlining NAS Authentication in the Cloud


There is a new method that is breaking this trend though. With a new identity provider that is leveraged from the cloud, IT organizations are being enabled to connect one user identity to virtually anything that a user needs access to, including on-prem file servers. Called Directory-as-a-Service, this cloud identity management platform easily and seamlessly connects with NAS and Samba file servers. IT admins simply point the NAS authentication path to the cloud hosted directory service, then enable LDAP Samba authentication within the DaaS platform. A user can then seamlessly authenticate to their files using the same core credentials that they use for their Windows, Mac, or Linux systems, cloud servers, web and on-prem applications, and WiFi networks.

If you would like to learn more about NAS authentication and how Directory-as-a-Service can help centralize your identity management infrastructure in the cloud, drop us a note. Alternatively, feel free to sign-up for a free cloud directory account and integrate your file server authentication to the cloud. Your first 10 users are free forever.

Jon Griffin

Jon Griffin works as a writer for JumpCloud, an organization focused on bringing centralized IT to the modern organization. He graduated with a degree in Professional and Technical Writing from the University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and is an avid learner of new technology from cloud-based innovations to VR and more.

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