(1) A specialized device for use on a network. For example, Web servers, cache servers and file servers can be implemented as general-purpose computers with the appropriate software or as network appliances, which are computers dedicated to a single function and cannot do anything else. See server appliance, Internet appliance and Web cache.
(2) (Network Appliance, Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, www.netapp.com) A leading provider of network file storage and content delivery systems. Founded in 1992, it pioneered the network attached storage (NAS) device as an extension of the industry trend toward single-function products. It developed storage, content distribution and reporting software and content delivery platforms under the Filer and NetCache brands. Network Appliance products use the innovative Data ONTAP operating system and WAFL file system, support multiple protocols and provide transparent integration between Unix and Windows. See NAS, WAFL, ICAP, DAFS, NetApp Filer, NetCache and Content Alliance.