So many available storage options, which one suits your business best?
The most commonly used storage solutions tend to be SAN (storage area network) and NAS (network attached storage) or DAS (direct attached storage) though there are many others and even SAN, DAS and NAS have numerous options available.
Ultimately whichever option you choose the decision will most likely be based on cost, performance, functionality and data integrity. So which option could deliver reliable, affordable and secure data to your business?
SAN, fast, resilient, block level storage.
A SAN allows storage devices to pool on their own separate network and communicate directly with each other over very fast fiber optic links. SANs bypass common data flow issues found with LAN server storage and are far more scalable than the SCSI bus based systems.
Some of the main benefit's to SAN include data redundancy, snapshots and backup. Your SAN storage device can communicate directly over high speed fiber connections to a second SAN in a continuous state of backup and replication. Your data can be constantly copied on a block level to a second location (on site or off site) with no impact to your network, meaning no additional backup solution or server is required. In many cases SANs are configured in 'fail over' meaning if the first SAN were to fail the second SAN would automatically take on the role of delivering company data seamlessly so your company can keep on working whilst the first SAN is diagnosed and repaired. A SAN allows you to assign drive space (LUNs) and present them to computers as a directly connected disk. This technology allows you to 'on the fly' increase or decrease storage availability to all machines on your network.When considering investing in a SAN storage system on your network you should consider how much data you currently have and what your monthly predictions for storage requirements will be going forward. It is important to understand that SAN storage is not the cheapest option per Gigabyte of data when compared to DAS (direct attached storage) though it provides far more technically advantageous features with how you manage and control your data and access to it, the ROI with a SAN will not be overnight but the enhanced capabilities quickly outgrow that of DAS.
NAS, reliable, affordable, 'file level' storage.NAS systems are networked devices which contain one or more storage drives, commonly configured into logical, redundant disk containers or RAID. Network attached storage 'NAS' removes the requirement for a dedicated file server on your network. NAS devices are flexible and scalable, this means as your company requires additional storage you can add to what you already have, often 'on the fly' without downtime. NAS is like having a private cloud in your offices. It is faster, less expensive and provides all the benefits of a public cloud on site.
Network attached storage comes in many different sizes and acts as the company's central storage resource but can be 'scaled up' to the largest data centers. NAS systems can be purchased pre configured with disks or an empty enclosure where hard drives of many types can be installed to expand the total storage capacity. NAS systems are compatible with multiple operating system environments, meaning if your company uses Windows 7, Windows 10 or perhaps Linux or MAC all users will have easy access to company data and because NAS operates on the 'Ethernet' layer of your network it can provide safe, controlled access to your data over Wifi, your local LAN network and even over the internet.
NAS systems store, manage and control access content locally or remotely to all of your users and is a secure cloud for your company data.