Storage Area Networks of SANs still rule the data center industry but Network Attached Storage or NAS arrays make up quite a large proportion of the main storage. Since data growth is mainly from unstructured data, it is profitable to buy NAS for file storage. For instance, about a third of businesses worldwide have a minimum of one NAS system installed while a significant number is keen to buy another NAS in the months to come. This shows that the demand for NAS arrays is much more than other primary storage options like the unified arrays or hyper-converged and converged infrastructure. It is believed that by 2023 the global NAS market is going to expand at a rate of 20.1% to come to almost $45 billion.

When you buy NAS arrays from a vendor you will obviously be considering the cost factor. After prices, you should take into account the product features followed by maintenance and support. Other key factors to consider are customization, migration supports and plug-and-play installations. It has been that nearly 60% of the buyers have bought their Network Attached Storage or NAS systems from resellers while 40% have purchased directly from vendors. The vendors can lure customers with a wide variety of discounts.

The suppliers of NAS arrays also offer many extra concessions in order to close deals with their customers. Most of the enterprises feel that the main reason to get the NAS is because it improves performances of existing applications. Other reasons are replacement of existing hardware, better supports for virtual servers, adding storage for new apps, uses as backups or archive target etc. Almost half of the businesses buying NAS argue that the file system size is perhaps the most valuable feature of the NAS, followed by features like scalability, clustering, network file system, Ethernet, power to scale up capacity and performance by itself etc.

Why Should You Choose The NAS?

  The biggest reason to choose the NAS then is for adding storage space. Since laptops and computers seem to have physically shrunk their storage sizes are also less and this is more prominent with an increase in adoption of the cloud.

  NAS also offers a very cost-effective means of adding storage. Rather than allocating a certain amount of space for an individual user, it is possible to pool together space and then use only as much as you need. This frees up more space which can satisfy data-hungry users. In comparison to hard drives which can range from 100GB to around 8TB in capacity, the NAS can help you increase storage size by attaching many hard drives rather than upgrading the entire system.

  Earlier you would need to send emails for sharing and collaborating on documents and this would lead to many clones of that same document. But with the NAS you can cut down this unwanted mess and you may allow users to access documents which are important from one centralized location. You may even add the feature to group edit these documents just like Google Docs.

  Cloud storage is popular because it is super convenient. However, it is but natural that one would worry about who gets to access his documents. This is particularly so when you may have confidential data like certificates and bank account details in the cloud. To prevent any such potential snooping you can choose to buy the NAS because this will allow you to enjoy your own private cloud. Most of the NAS devices offer software options which let you configure remote access in order to get files and documents no matter where you are.

  There is no denying the importance of backing up data on a regular basis. But manual backups are a problem and you may even become lazy and skip doing these on time. Soon, the hard disk crashes and you find that you have no recent backups. When you buy NAS, you can install automatic backups that will reflect all changes which are locally made on any PC. When you use NAS RAID it implies that all changes made on local computers are immediately captured on the NAS backups. These are then copied onto many hard drives. So, you get multiple backups in case of failure of hard drives and you do not have to make any extra effort for it.

  Risks of damaging laptops are high and this can be a problem as most people use mobile devices these days. Instead of isolating the data on every computer, the NAS server will ensure that you can place the data on a secure NAS drive which cannot be affected by any local hardware problem. Since NAS may also have their own operating systems on the devices which you buy, you may even get data encryption features which can protect data from outsiders.

  Finally, one of the strongest reasons to buy NAS is because they are simple and easy to install. Most use user-friendly web-based interfaces which will allow you to install the device easily and access its settings. Most major NAS providers also offer mobile apps which can make your experience of using NAS even more satisfying.

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