NAS: Enterprise-class storage made easy for the SME
As is typically the trend with IT, enterprise-class technology finds its way to smaller businesses over time, and even eventually to consumers. This ‘trickle down’ effect is common in many industries, but perhaps it’s never more true than in IT. As Moore’s Law has stayed true and ensured the cost of technology halves every 18 months or so, the complexity of the technology has continued to drop, making it more and more accessible to those with less specialist knowledge.
One such technology is storage. Whereas just a few years ago you would be lucky to implement anything more complex than an external hard drive for ‘networked storage’, the development of NAS (Network Attached Storage) devices over the years has made server style storage accessible to the rest of us who don’t have computer degrees. NAS is the perfect storage solution for the SME. Taking the most important functionality of an enterprise-class storage device but without the jargon and management complexity. While setting them up isn’t quite child’s play yet, any IT generalist should have one up-and-running pretty quickly.
We have a range of NAS devices for SMEs of all sizes, most of which are RAID compatible, which is a must for any SME. In a nutshell, RAID is a form of redundant backup where your data is stored on multiple drives simultaneously, ensuring you don’t lose all your data if one drive fails. Depending on how important your data is, how much data you have and how much you’re willing to spend, there are different levels of RAID to consider, ranging from RAID 0 to RAID 6. These levels dictate the configuration of the RAID set up, such as how many drives are used and how the data is distributed between the drives. But basically the higher the number, the better protected your data will be. The more IT literate among you can read up on the different levels of RAID here. For most small businesses, RAID 1, where data is written to two identical drives at once to essentially make identical copies of each other, should be enough, since the likelihood of both drives failing at once is pretty low. However we would still recommend you consult an expert before choosing which specific RAID set up is right for you, so feel free to give your BT Business Direct account manager a call.
No matter which RAID set up you choose, we would always recommend you have an offsite backup process in place too, such as an external drive which you backup to each night and remove from the premises, or a cloud backup solution like our Online Backup Service.
In the meantime, here’s a few of our top NAS deals right now:
Non RAID NAS:
RAID 1 NAS:
RAID 5 NAS: