Differences between NAS and RAS devices

  • 3319540
  • 16-May-2007
  • 26-Apr-2012


RADIUS Services


This document describes two common acronyms in order to identify which components will work with RADIUS systems.


First of all must be clarified that the NAS acronym is often and widely used with two different meanings, "Network Attached Storage" and "Network Access Server".

A "Network Attached Storage" is a file-level data storage device connected to a network, providing data access to heterogeneous clients.

A "Network Access Server" is a system that provides access to a network. In some cases also known as a Terminal Server or Remote Access Server (RAS).

A "Remote Access Services" device, refers to any combination of hardware and software that enable the remote access to a network; often used in dial-up networking scenarios. These devices typically use a RADIUS service.
  • To operate in a NetWare environment using the NMAS Radius package, the RAS device MUST use CHAP or PAP protocols (if CHAP is used, Universal Passwords must also be available to the NMAS service).
  • To operate in a Linux environment, the software package FreeRADIUS can be used to handle EAP (802.1x network authentication), MS-CHAPv2, CHAP, or PAP protocols via Universal Password. The Linux environment is the preferred way to go.

Additional Information

Here you can find some additional documentation on how to setup RADIUS services:
  • TID10078616 - How to install and configure RADIUS on NMAS
  • TID3003857   - Integrating FreeRADIUS and eDirectory
  • TID3009668   - Setting up FreeRADIUS and eDirectory for 802.1X Authentication
  • TID3714126  - FreeRADIUS, NMAS, and wireless (802.1x) Networks
  • TID3481215   - FreeRADIUS Documentation Source

Change Log

7th April 2009 - czemella: Added some links to TIDs describing how to configure RADIUS services.
6th April 2009 - czemella: Based on customer feedbacks the TID was modified to include that NAS does not only mean Network Attached Storage but is also used as Network Access Server.