If you're the IT director at a small-to-mid-size business, you might be considering NAS (Network Attached Storage), potentially combined with virtualization, to increase your server capacity while reducing maintenance and infrastructure costs. Consensus from large corporations and small business owners alike say this is a wise move. You can read more about the benefits of virtualization here.
But what should you look for in NAS solutions? As the technology advances, prices drop, so you can expect a lot more storage for the money than you could a few years ago. Here are some additional features to consider:
1 - Plug-and-play set-up - It's not difficult, and it shouldn't be time-consuming, to establish NAS across your network.
2. RAID level 5 or higher to combine the best attributes of speed, reliability and redundancy
3. Storage capacity - Storage capacity is expanding and, while prices aren't dropping, they are stable. Buy as much storage as you can afford, today, but keep in mind you can always upgrade later. Remember, your NAS hosts all your apps, OS and data, so you want to have enough hard drive space.
4. Automated back-ups - Back-ups are critical to avoid a data recovery emergency. A back-up wizard should make it easy to schedule jobs and back-ups should not detract from performance, slow down the system or make it inaccessible.
5. Various access methods to support mixed-client environments, including Mac OS, Windows and Linux
6. Capability to tie in to an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) - This feature makes it less likely you will face a data recovery emergency or lose mission critical data in the event of a power surge or power outage.
7. Solid performance even when used in virtualization applications - A dip in I/O speeds can be expected when you use NAS for storing virtual machines created through VMware and other virtualization software. Read reviews from people who are using different NAS appliances in ways similar to your own uses, and speak to knowledgeable salespeople to make sure you're making the right choice in an NAS appliance.
With all the benefits of NAS, there's no reason not to make the transition to the cloud. Remember, with any process where you are changing data storage methods and moving data, it's critical to test your back-ups before you proceed.
If you run in to trouble and your back-ups don't work? 24 Hour Data is always here to help.