Network Attached Storage – Advantages

NAS offers the following advantages in comparison to the File Server approach: faster data access; easy configuration; much simpler administration; and lower cost. This makes NAS more attractive to small businesses. For larger organizations, a NAS system is often used to reduce the load on existing file servers by assuming all of the data access and redundancy responsibilities.

A NAS computer (one or more) is connected to the network and is dedicated to provide only file-based data storage services to other attached client computers (or workstations) and servers. NAS computers are not designed to be servers; they do not have keyboards or monitors, but are controlled or managed generally through a browser. And NAS computers generally have more than one hard disk, usually arranged in a RAID configuration, which relieves this chore from file servers connected to the network.

What are the advantages of NAS? The following is a partial list:

  • A lower cost centralized storage device
  • Redundant storage arrays (RAID) that provide near real-time backup
  • Fast access to all types of data, including multimedia
  • Lower maintenance costs compared to file servers
  • Low cost network based storage for the home consumer market (cost equivalent to USB external hard drives)
  • Ease of use and simple configuration

An indirect advantage of a NAS computer is that it improves the security of file servers connected to the network. This occurs as a result of all data being stored on the NAS computer(s) and not the file servers, reducing the possibility of lost or breached data.

Given the advantages cited above, a NAS system could save a small business thousands of dollars annually in reduced down-time, improved data access efficiency, lower IT support costs, and lower hardware costs.

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