What is NAS (Network Attached Storage) and Why is NAS Important for Small Businesses?Data is a critical asset for companies today. Without access to their data, companies may not be able to provide their customers with the level of service desired. Poor customer service, loss of sales or team collaboration problems are all examples of what can happen when information is not available to teams within a company.
Each of these issues contribute to lack of efficiency and potentially, loss of income if customers cannot wait for a data outage to be corrected.
Additionally, when it comes to data storage, small businesses find themselves faced with other issues, such as needing their storage solution to be:
• Lower cost
• Easy to operate (many small businesses do not have IT staff)
• Capable of growing alongside their storage needs
It's estimated that by 2016, email archive capacity alone is expected to increase from 13,321.4 petabytes to 111,624.1 petabytes.1 Database archive capacity is expected to increase even more by then, moving from 13,527 petabytes to 106,472.54 petabytes.1 These dramatic increases call for a solution that grows alongside your business's increasing demand for more storage.
That's where Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices come in. NAS devices are rapidly becoming popular with enterprise and small businesses in many industries as an effective, scalable, low-cost storage solution.
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What is NAS?A Network Attached Storage (NAS) device is a storage device connected to a network that allows storage and retrieval of data from a centralised location for authorised network users and heterogeneous clients. NAS devices are flexible and scale-out, meaning that as you need additional storage, you can add on to what you have.
A NAS is like having a private cloud in the office. It's faster, less expensive and provides all the benefits of a public cloud onsite, giving you complete control.
NAS devices are perfect for small businesses because they are:
• Simple to operate, a dedicated IT professional is often not required
• Lower cost
• Easy to use for back up of data, so it's always accessible when you need it
• Good at centralising data storage in a safe, reliable way
With a NAS device, data is continually accessible, making it easy for employees to collaborate, respond to customers in a timely fashion, and promptly follow up on sales or other issues because information is in one place. Because a NAS device is like a private cloud, data may be accessed remotely using a network connection, meaning employees can work anywhere and any time.
With more scattered storage arrangements, small businesses may suffer from:
• Data being out of sync
• Reliability and accessibility issues if storage goes down (NAS devices can easily be used for back up, helping ensure your data is constantly at your fingertips when you need it)
• Delays in responding to customer service requests or sales queries
Use a NAS to Save Money and Improve Efficiency in the Home or in the WorkplaceImprove efficiency with a variety of lower cost, reliable and centralised NAS solutions. NAS solutions allow you to have the power of a public cloud right in your home or office, usually at a lower price than public cloud options. There are several excellent choices for your small business including:
• NAS 2- or 4-bay - perfect for small businesses with up to 25 employees.
• NAS Pro 2-, 4- or 6-bay - ideal for small businesses with up to 50 employees and offers more speed than the NAS 2- or 4-bay
• NAS HDD and the Enterprise NAS HDD are NAS hard drives designed to large capacity combined with reliability and performance
NAS as a storage solution is growing in popularity and with good reason. Access to company data can provide tremendous competitive advantages, increase levels of customer service, accelerate sales cycles, and raise and extend the reach and success of collaborative projects within a company. NAS solutions are available for any size business. In many cases, the only limit to the usefulness of having a NAS solution in your business may be not having one at all!