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Do I have the right kind of storage?

By September 14, 2014November 19th, 2015IT Miscellaneous Support

Do I have the right kind of storage?

Storage is one of the most important things to consider when running a computer network for a business. The business could be large or small, either way, as the leader of your business you should be asking the question “Do I have right kind of storage?” That question alone could save you headache or two, as having the wrong type of storage setup for a specific business can lead to low productivity and possibly business down time.

There are a few different ways to manage storage and deciding what sort of technology to use to store your business’ can be challenging.

We’re all familiar with external hard drives, however in a business environment no one should be relying on one small hard drive to serve data to 10 people at the same time. It can be done, however the hard drive will become slow quite quickly. For home offices and small businesses a Network Attached Storage also known as “NAS” is the more suitable route. They are very affordable, depending on your needs. The more popular NAS’ have the ability to be expanded with an add-on unit – this creates the perfect solution to expand your storage capacity, without replacing all of the hard drives in the original unit. NAS devices can become as expensive as servers as more features and performance is required.  For example some Synology NAS devices have option to fail over entirely to a second NAS device if the first NAS unit was to fail. This technology is called “High Availability”. You must have to identical NAS configurations and configure one as the master and one as the backup. If the master NAS was to ever die, within minutes the backup NAS takes over seamlessly. The end users wouldn’t even notice.

The more commonly known storage solutions are file servers. A file server in an organiza

Do I have the right kind of storage?

tion can be configured to do a lot more than a NAS can, such as operate a database which manages all of the users file and folder access permissions. File servers can cost a lot more, however they are more flexible. This is not to say NAS devices aren’t flexible. In a short time a lot of development has occurred in the NAS market, and they can now perform a lot of tasks that file servers can. However, realistically a NAS should only be used for storage of data and nothing else, as most of them are quite underpowered in terms of processor and memory capability when compared to a real server, but still perfect for hosting files within a business network.

The last storage technology is a Storage Area Network or SAN, not to be confused with NAS. SAN’s are not popular and not used in small to medium business networks. These setups cost a lot, require special cabling and special, high performance network equipment to take full advantage of them. They are by no means plug and play equipment. Operating a SAN network takes special skill as the technology is more geared towards data centers and operations that require true, raw performance, where every millisecond counts, as to how quickly data can be accessed.

If you’d like to know more about NAS devices, servers, and SAN networks, feel free to contact Group 4 Networks.