(ATA Over Ethernet) A protocol for transferring data from an ATA (IDE) hard disk directly over the network. Developed by Coraid Inc. (www.coraid.com), AoE allows a storage area network (SAN) to be constructed economically within a LAN subnet. Originally targeted for Linux servers, the first implementation of AoE was Coraid's EtherDrive disk storage unit in 2004. AoE also became part of the Linux kernel starting with version 2.6.11. A NAS with Unlimited Storage A network attached storage (NAS) device can be built as an AoE initiator, residing between the network and the AoE disks. As a "NAS head," it provides NFS and CIFS file sharing to the clients in the network, but with a potentially unlimited number of hard disks for storage. See IDE, SAN, NAS and HyperSCSI.