Which is right for your business? NAS storage or file server?

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Data storage is an essential component of any business since it’s necessary to transfer data promptly and store vital information safely. As your business expands, so will your requirement for better storage facilities, especially those who require access to vast amounts of data in the office as well as off-site. NAS (Network attached storage) and storage servers are two of the most popular storage options to access data and store it. So, which is the best choice for your business?

What is NAS storage

Network attached storage is the access to your file storage system connected to your company’s network and lets your users’ and clients’ devices access data stored on the disks. All that data is centralized, and all drives work in unison to make a global file space.

NAS is connected directly to an Ethernet switch. Users connected to a local area network (LAN) have access to the shared storage via the NAS through an Ethernet connection. The best NAS systems offer infrastructure for consolidating storage into one location and support tasks like backup and archive to HCI appliances and managing cloud tiers.

Contrary to conventional storage systems, NAS appliances typically have an operating system, supporting printer and email services, native streaming, and remote access. In addition, most high-quality NAS systems like StoneFly SSO enterprise NAS appliances have embedded security features like Anti-virus and anti-ransomware, Immutable delta-based snapshots, Write-Once Read-Many (WORM) volumes, AES 256-bit encryption, Sync/async multi-appliance/multi-site replication.

Pros

  • Less bulky than servers and free more office space.
  • The NAS devices are less expensive than servers.
  • They can be used to host applications and provide ease of access.
  • NAS storage can be utilized to automate the creation of locally stored backups on DR devices.
  • NAS makes sharing files more manageable and provides easy collaboration between many users.

Cons

  • NAS is LAN-dependent. If the LAN gets down, then so does the NAS
  • The NAS uses a lot of bandwidth that can impact the performance of the network.
  • If you’re using the NAS, there is a limit to the applications downloaded on the NAS appliance.
  • Most manufacturers make users choose one of their applications instead of selecting any software from a third party.

Servers are high performance yet expensive storage systems

A server is a high-performance device that can process requests and transfer data to other computers on local networks and the internet. A server is usually equipped with processing capacity and memory to manage massive requests and users.

Pros

  • Stores large quantities of data and gives you greater processing power to speed up your network infrastructure.
  • No restrictions to install other programs since servers allow users to install third-party software
  • Improved security and reliability that includes a built-in firewall to secure your business’s information

Cons

  • It is essential to perform regular maintenance of your server.
  • A server typically requires that companies purchase a server license.
  • Servers use higher power as well and can be expensive than NAS devices.
  • Server installations are much more challenging to set up and require expert knowledge to administer.

Bottom Line

If you are a small business and require cheap compact storage and can take care of your daily storage needs, go for NAS storage. It makes more sense to choose NAS storage since the budget is always a factor for small businesses, and you only buy as much storage as you need. Plus, scaling your storage is much easier on NAS storage. On the other hand, if budget isn’t an issue and you want maximum performance, handle buck loads of data by making a one-time investment, and you can afford to create a separate IT department to manage your servers, you might as well go with the traditional file servers. However, if you want the plug and play option, NAS storage is the best option as it can be set up without having expert knowledge.