Network Attached Storage:
There are only two things that remain constant in business:
1. It is ever evolving
2. Information is vital to growth.
As a result effectively sharing information is paramount when communicating business goals and strategies to be implemented.
In 1983 with the “Newcastle Connection” file sharing across a network became a reality. From there firms like Novell, Sun Microsystems and Microsoft would develop and grow database structures along with Internet protocols allowing companies and individuals to share information more easily. Now just over 40 years later we have the Network Attached Storage (NAS).
There are really three different types of attached storage for networks:
1. NAS – Network Attached Storage:
2. DAS – Direct Attached Storage
3. SAN – Storage Area Network
Both the DAS and SAN have their place in different network configurations however they would be considered more of a static data resource. The NAS, due to its capabilities to its Operating System can be considered more of a dynamic file resource. In their current iteration NAS operating systems are robust high performing data resources that provide local area file and remote access but also application capabilities for hosting websites and streaming movies. Many NAS units also have data redundancy (RAID) and printer sharing options.
The Benefits of a NAS
Most small companies these days have need of a robust data sharing network that can accommodate a remote / traveling workforce in a secure manner. At the same time they don’t have the need for the complications a domain style network. In addition small business and individuals are more sensitive to the costs associated with a domain type of network.
Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to work with several different types of NAS units. Initially they were installed not so much for file sharing but for simple backups. In the beginning there weren’t’ so many choices, now there are so many choosing the right one can be difficult. In my business I deal with smaller companies and individuals. The two models of NAS units that have worked well for my clients are by Buffalo Networks and Synology. While there may be models for both larger companies and individuals out on the market I will primarily focus on one NAS unit, The Synology DS214+.
Why the Synology DS214+?
Great question! The short answer is ease of use and price.
The DS214+ does not come with hard drives but even so the price was reasonable. Adding in the features of the DS214+ makes it an exceptional value to the business owner. The latest unit with hard drives purchased from Amazon came in at approx. $800, well under the comparable costs that would be paid if a domain server was used.
You can view the company feature list here: DS214+. My short list of features for the DS214 includes:
– Fast Data access provided for onsite and remote users
– Pre-installed Applications like Antivirus and Cloud Sync
– 2 year warranty
– Simple to navigate the OS
– File permissions
When coupled with a high quality router the DS214+ effectively bridges the gap between a simple file sharing workgroup and a full-fledged domain without busting the budget. Individuals and small business will find the DS214+ a great solution to the age old business problem of secure and timely information sharing.