Written by Chester Chiew, ANZ Business Manager, Iomega
Ultimately, accessibility, efficiency and most importantly, reliability are essential to ensuring business continuity. Having understood the function and benefits of a NAS system, resellers should work with customers to consider the following points when they are making the decision to move to a new network storage solution or if upgrading an existing NAS solution:
1) Is the NAS solution scalable?
Scalability is an important consideration for any storage solution. Businesses need to know that the NAS can handle today’s data needs and tomorrow’s data needs.As we have seen, last years technology was in gigabytes, this year’s is in terabytes (one terabyte = 1024 gigabytes). Next year’s should be in petabytes (one petabyte = 1024 terabytes = 1,048,576 gigabytes)…and it won’t be too long before we will see economical drives for the SMB market that have an exabyte capacity (one exabyte = 1024 petabytes = 1,048,576 terabytes = 1,073,741,824).
2) Is the NAS system compatible?
Even if an organisation has outfitted its office with one consistent type of operating system, such as Windows or Mac OS, this may change in the future or become patchwork if some areas of the business upgrade or change earlier than others. Choosing an NAS solution that is compatible across all platforms is central to future proofing an organisation and ensuring its resilience as internal changes to the IT landscape occurs.
3) Is the NAS secure?
NAS devices in general are more secure than file servers. However, this doesn’t mean that you can rest on your laurels knowing that you have a fail-safe file storage system. The most secure NAS devices will have strong access-rights management, with password-protected accounts, and password-protected shared files and groups.
The best NAS devices will also be set up in a way that even those without IT pedigree can tweak to make sure the device has the most secure options chosen. It is remarkable the amount of NAS security issues that arise not from an issue with the NAS itself but simply that it was set up incorrectly.
At the end of the day, NAS technology provides a solution for employees who work remotely who want to share work with other offices. It provides a level of reliability and security that can not be matched by external hard drives, file-sharing programs or public cloud applications. As with any investment though, it is important to do your due diligence in selecting the most appropriate NAS for your installation. Scalability, compatibility and security are just some of the important factors to consider. A NAS should offer the ease of use and flexibility small businesses need, while providing the superior data protection the customer demands.
Advice for resellers
Network Attached Storage represents a great opportunity for resellers. It is the perfect add on for a wider solution and it is important that resellers understand what other products best compliment a NAS system. For example if a customer is setting up an IP Network Surveillance system in its store or factory, a NAS is the perfect device to store the footage created by the cameras. Most IP Network cameras are equipped to save data directly to the NAS. This means that when the end user comes in to work. they won’t find their computer operating at snail-speed due to the gigabytes of data created by the cameras over the weekend.
Another key application as part of a holistic solution would be for a business wishing to set up an employee to work from home. Obviously they will need to be set up with a computer, possibly an IP telephony system, and maybe a low-end video conferencing system. Including a NAS in the setup will allow the employee to collaborate with the main office without relying on email and negotiating inbox limits to share work.
The common theme is that resellers need to understand NAS as part of a solution and need to be selling it as such in order to achieve the best results for both themselves, and for the end-user.