Network Attached Storage has been in the market for a decade. We see years over years customer challenges are getting complex and with many players in market chosing an apt model of NAS might seem to be tricky. Don't get driven away with plenty of options before you !! Finalize your detailed requirements like space required, storing and backup policies, network requirements, skills to manage these hardware, Warranty, Total Cost of Ownership for about 3 to 5.
Do a self check on the below points.
Do I really need Network Attached Storage ?
Often this is what you should ask yourself many times. Thumb rule is, if the choice of data storage capacity is less than 10TB, you should have strong business reason for the question, “Why you need NAS in your work place?” . Today the modern external USB hard disk can store more than 4TB and they are rugged as well. IMHO you don’t really need NAS for storing files that are rarely used or shared between less than 5 users.
If your external hard drive numbers are growing in two digits, and you have challenges in data retrievals and your employee/user size is increasing and your data archival is getting hotter, then it's truly time to think of NAS.
Am I paying gold price to buy a silver ornament ?
All that glitters is not Gold. Gold Can’t be purchased in silver rates. NAS isn’t a special hardware, it is more or less like workstation PC hardware specifications. No wonder some vendors sell hardware that is less powerful than your mobile processors/memory capacity. Make sure you demand the seller/retailer to provide you the CPU model/speed/cache memory, RAM type/size/speed, Hard-disk type/size/vendor/warranty/RPM, Future expansion possibilities like adding more disks, RAM. Long Story short is demand a Detailed Specifications of the Hardware. Make sure you are buying a hardware that is powerful to meet the demands you have today.
Does this Network Attached Storage (NAS) suffice my Backup Requirements?
Often customers miss this critical part of requirements/policy. Don’t assume Network Attached Storage is the only solution you need to keep your data safe. If you think so you are absolutely risking your data. As per recommendation you need to keep copy of your data in three places at least (including NAS). At least one copy you should keep in different machine. That could be your windows/linux or even your external hard disks. Ask your supplier to help you to keep one copy of data at any time in a different unit.
Can I expand the storage capacity in future?
Keep in mind the data requirements grow higher and higher as your business grows. So the need for expansion capabilities should be your primary driving factor before choosing a NAS. Understand if the particular model of NAS allows you to expand your Storage Just by adding a Bunch of Disks.
How difficult is it to manage Data ?
Check if your NAS provides Data protection features such as Snapshots which keeps your system intact with your data preventing Data loss. Data Management features like De-Duplication & Compression helps you in managing your data effectively by conserving the space.