Network Attached Storage for Smbs

By: techwriter

SMBs that find themselves adding servers frequently to accommodate data should consider NAS. NAS is a very easy to deploy storage networking system that frees up space on individual computers. NAS is accessible through standard Ethernet connections. NAS devices do not hook up to individual machines; instead they connect to a network of PCs that allows individual machines to access data.

NAS is perfect for managing terabytes of file-based data and in this regard it is fast becoming a favorite with the SMBs. Storage requirements at SMBs are growing at 50%-60% per annum and these companies need a reliable and inexpensive data storage solution. There are several NAS offerings in the market and they cover a wide range of price, features, and performance abilities. SMBs need to consider the cost, scalability, and management of the solution when selecting a NAS.

The cost of a NAS device can vary from $250 to a few thousand dollars. Their sizes vary as well, from the size of a magazine, a PC, and then other bulkier specimens. Basic NAS devices contain only a single hard drive and offer limited storage which however can be up to 500 to 750 GB, more than what the normal PC is capable of holding. With multiple drives, the capacity can be jacked up to reach terabytes. A NAS offering 2 terabytes capacity would be available for around $1000.

Multiple drives offer your business the advantage of redundancy and better security. It may reduce the amount of storage but for SMBs that value data, this is a great proposition. Since the data is on a network with several people accessing it, speeds may not be as fast as with a drive attached to a PC. However, for an SMB this slow speed should not be a major problem.

SMB with fewer personnel are better off with an inexpensive NAS box that may not offer faster uploads and downloads of files but that will not be a limiting factor because the number of people utilizing the data is less. NAS performance becomes a consideration when the number of people trying to access data simultaneously increases. Consider scalability, inexpensive solutions may present problems with scalability. Your options include adding a new box or exchanging the old box for a new one. As with every IT purchase, there are always hidden costs. These may include license costs for every person that connects, additional software costs, upgrade from basic management tools, etc. Ask questions beforehand so that you are not made to bleed later. Avoid a complex NAS if you do not have an IT person to manage it.

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