Is a NAS right for your business?

What is a NAS?

NAS stands for Network Attached Storage. Basically it’s a mini server that sits on your network with hard disks (typically more than one hard disk). If one disk fails you can easily replace it without losing your data. A NAS is a great solution for companies that need to centrally store data for employees but don’t need (or want) to incur the extra costs of a full server. They typically don’t take up much space nor consume much power.

How is a NAS used?

My personal experience with with a NAS goes back to having a solid solution to store personal files, photos and media. I recently upgraded my NAS to a Synology DS216J. It was cheap and low level and I threw two 4TB drives into it. NAS boxes have come a long way and Synology devices come with a fully interactive operating system. You can create users, folders and give rights to users and groups. Additionally there are extra packages you can install to add additional functionality to the NAS. This link here gives some examples.

NAS devices can do much more than just store your data. One cool feature that comes with Synology devices is that you can download free mobile apps that work on both iOS and Android. These apps allow you to access your NAS data from wherever you are provided you have remote access configured with is super easy. Take the photo app for example. I now have it set up so that at any time I can view my entire photo library from my mobile device. If I take a picture or record a video, it will be automatically uploaded to my NAS the moment I take it…no matter where I am when I saved the media file. I can even tell the app to clear it from my mobile device after it’s uploaded so that I don’t consume all my storage on my mobile device.

How can this benefit my business?

Businesses need storage and easy remote access is very important. The ability to create users and group with rights to folders. The ability to upload media on the go when necessary are huge benefits to going with a NAS. Synology is just one brand, another solid vendor is QNAP.It’s like having your own business cloud but with the added benefit of having data locally. For added protection in the event of a disaster, you can easily back up the NAS to Amazon Glacier for fractions of a penny per GB of data.

Consider this a solid alternative to say or One Drive, Google Drive, DropBox or sharing a folder from an office PC to other users (don’t do this). If you’ve been thinking you might need a server for your office or if you have a server and you’re using it for file storage only, a NAS can be a viable cost effective option.

If you would like to know more about how a NAS might benefit your business, contact us. We’d love to help!