Different types of Network Attached Storage (NAS)

Most of you might not be aware that they are different types of NAS boxes in the market. Some are available from a minimum price of just $350 and some cost around thousands of dollars. So, what is the main factor which influences the cost of the NAS appliance?

To know more, first let us learn about a Network Attached Storage in simple terms. NAS or Network Attached Storage is a device which can connect to network and can help users share the content stored from it on different computers. Most, NAS appliances come up with two or more drives, where RAID can be implemented. A NAS device can act as a best replacement for a storage plan, where a lot of portable drives are connected directly to each computer.

NAS devices are available as consumer NAS, SMB NAS and Enterprise NAS models and their expense part depends on the available features and storage capacity.  There is also a high possibility that, while searching for a suitable NAS solution, you can come across certain technical terms like iSCSI, Link Aggregation and ZFS. Here are some points, which will prove helpful while shopping for NAS solutions.

Consumer Level NAS

For enterprises, which simply need to share documents around the office with built-in backup and file sync features, a consumer NAS is the right solution. Print server, photos storage, music storage, media server features will be available in such type of typical NAS appliances.

Small medium business-level NAS

For those environments involving large file sharing, where say 20 users need to access storage simultaneously, then a SMB NAS solution is a perfect plan to use. Since, this solution is offered with fast processors and high end ram capabilities; better performance can be attained. These solutions can accommodate more amount of internal storage, as they have in-built drive bays and expansion ports. These systems can be used as primary backup systems and have failover network ports. They also come with iSCSI protocol support and so managing this storage appliance over long distances will be easy.

Enterprise NAS storage

Enterprise NAS Storage are offered with high expansion ability and advanced features such as redundant power supply. So, if a power source fails in the unit, a second power source will be on standby in an automated way.

In general, NAS appliances come in rack mount option and will be excellent to deploy with existing physical server environments. Cost, of a network storage appliance depends on the number of drives the appliance can hold and on number of drives it is being presented with.

Note- This article is by no means is an exhaustive guide to NAS. But it offers rather a basic introduction to what a NAS appliance is and intended for.

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