Storage of information data is the most critical task, the solution of which can be provided by the information technology infrastructure of virtually every organization, including small and medium-sized businesses. According to experts’ forecasts, shortly, the average annual growth rate of the global market for network information storage systems in financial terms will exceed 50%, which will be facilitated by implementing special server information storage facilities.
At the time, innovations in network storage systems of lower classes had arisen virtually everywhere where NAS (Network Attached Storage, that is, data storage servers) were used for small and medium-sized businesses. Starting from standard network storage and ending with backup systems and video recorders.
Companies today face the complex challenges of storing ever-increasing volumes of information, including structured and unstructured data. This can be done centrally on network storages, which makes backup and information retrieval procedures more accessible, and also makes it possible to apply uniform rules about storage methods and objects.
NAS data replication among remote offices or automatic transmission of files with important information to the cloud storage or the central office protects against possible failures.
Organization Of Network Storage In The Enterprise
To minimize the risks of cloud storage, organizations can store especially valuable information in their information technology infrastructure and send less critical information, such as archives or backups, to cloud storage (CloudBackup).
Studies conducted by analysts have shown that in almost all networks, only about 30% of the data referred to as “hot” is actively used. The remaining 70% are very rarely adjusted and not applied. This is “cold” data that can be stored in archives or the cloud.
For this reason, NAS systems are increasingly being combined with cloud services. Their use allows you to quickly access the required storage capacity, but you can also reduce it when necessary, quickly responding to fluctuations in business conditions. In addition, it simplifies the provision of access to data for partners and customers.
The widespread use of these services is still constrained by existing prejudices against the use of cloud technologies, which often seem like they need to be more reliable. Reduce trust and possible leaks of confidential information from cloud services. Providers should convince potential users that the cloud is reliable and secure network storage.
At the same time, the need for online storage of information data is constantly growing along with the development of other cloud services. In small businesses, online storage services can be used instead of their computers dedicated to storing data.
For medium-sized firms, they can become additional means of information storage. The most likely directions for combining storage systems with cloud services are backing up to the cloud and synchronizing selected folders with cloud storage for easy access to information.
The use of network storage for organizations with several branches is shown in the figure below.
High-performance storage systems with features such as SSD caching, synchronous replication, and other tools have become available to most companies today. At the same time, in challenging economic conditions, mid-sized companies prefer devices without unnecessary functionality but with high reliability and good performance.
Manufacturers such as Buffalo, D-Link, Lenovo EMC, Seagate, Starwind, Netgear, Synology, Thecus, QNAP, and WD are well-known in the NAS market. They are constantly updating their product lines, releasing powerful, high-disk-count systems for large firms, as well as products for home use and small offices, and NAS software free for various special tasks.
Consolidation of information data allows you to increase their security, so backup is one of the most important functions of network storage, and individual products are designed to implement only this task.
Which Nas Server To Choose?
When choosing a NAS server, there are several factors to consider, including the tasks and operating conditions assigned to it.
A form factor combines a computing device’s chassis type, size, and physical characteristics. It defines how the components of a device can make up a larger system. For a NAS server, the form factor usually has two main options: a rack-mounted device and a stand-alone unit, a tower. The first is suitable for corporate business, the second is for NAS storage for home and small businesses.
Capacity and Redundancy
When we select a NAS server, we need to determine in advance the number of disks it can contain. For some applications, one drive is enough, other NAS may have 16 or more drive slots. To determine the number of disks, you must also select the redundancy technology RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks). If the network NAS has only two drives, it can only support RAID 0 and RAID 1. Other RAID options require more drives.
Some NAS models have a built-in Wi-Fi function. In this case, an access point can be configured on the server through which other devices will connect. Wi-Fi access eliminates the need for routers and Ethernet cables.
A good system should recover quickly from errors. In addition to providing 24/7 services, the NAS server must also be able to handle growing loads. So when it comes to choosing NAS storage, it’s important to look for features such as fault tolerance and disaster recovery.
The main function of a NAS device is to store data and access files. This requires a powerful processor, which, as in conventional computers, can contain a different number of cores and belong to different models and generations. User request processing speed is a key factor in system performance when many users connect to the NAS at the same time. The choice of processor is not so important for a home NAS server, or a small office since the number of connections will be small.
In addition, the overall performance will be affected, and even more so than the processor, by the amount of RAM (Random Access Memory). A computer with a large amount of RAM can run many programs simultaneously without much impact on the speed of each of them. Therefore, when choosing the amount of memory, you must proceed from the planned number of connections to the NAS server and the amount of data storage. As a general rule, each terabyte of the disk should correspond to one gigabyte of RAM.
Ease of use
A complex system usually requires a dedicated IT staff to maintain it. With limited resources, you need to find a NAS server solution that works with the minimum required and easy maintenance. You should also choose NAS server models that can be quickly installed with minimal labor, especially if you choose a NAS server for your home. The benefits of a powerful NAS server for the enterprise outweigh the cost of installation and maintenance.
The NAS server is also not the last choice to protect valuable data from unauthorized access. Therefore, many NASes now come with a variety of data encryption options.
The primary task of network storage is to store user data and provide access to it. But the possibilities of modern NAS are much broader. By installing packages, the NAS becomes a multimedia server, a surveillance station, a private cloud, a collaboration tool, and so on. NAS provides a set of services that are very useful in both small office and large enterprise environments.
We hope our article will help you choose the most suitable network storage for your business.