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Five reasons SMBs should get a NAS

NAS
(Image credit: Synology)

Did you know that the average data generated per person is up to 1.7 megabytes per second? According to IDC, the entire digital universe will consist of 44 trillion gigabytes of data by 2020, and is expected to grow to 175 trillion gigabytes by 2025.

While this “future currency” is the most valuable asset to a company. It is necessary for daily operations, customer service, assessing performance, or even making a better business decision. With the rapid growth of digital adoption across various sectors, where to store and how to safeguard these valuable digital assets become crucial. 

As the global pandemic accelerates digital transformation, with the increasing threats and disruptions that may put business continuity at risk, it is crucial for SMBs to have a functioning IT infrastructure ready for the post-Covid workplace. If you are still struggling to find a solution that requires low management efforts and a low learning curve, NAS might be your turnkey solution that streamlines your data management.

About the author

Joanne Weng is a Senior Sales Manager at Synology Inc.

What is NAS?

Now, you may ask, so what really makes it outperform a traditional storage device or a public cloud service? Well, first of all, NAS is more than just storage, it is an all-in-one application server that fulfils almost every IT needs of SMBs, and here are five reasons why.

NAS is a storage device that connects to a network and allows data access from authorized users. It is a centralized storage solution for households and businesses to manage data more efficiently. Modern NAS also comes with a user-friendly operating system along with other built-in software applications that help users stream, sync, share, or back up their data.

Reliable data protection plan by easy deployment

It is very common for SMBs to use a Windows PC with mapped network drives as a file server solution. However, unexpected data loss happens all the time, from human errors, hard drive failures, natural disasters to ransomware attacks. Should any of these accidents happen, there is no turning back and it poses great threats to your digital assets.

Most NAS support various RAID types to provide different levels of data redundancy. In the case of a hard drive failure, the data is still intact. Moreover, some NAS providers offer built-in (even license-free) backup applications that achieve full data protection, including backup tasks for both physical and virtual environments, and even let you offsite backup data to the cloud. By seamlessly integrating the backup solution with the NAS device, IT admins can have a comprehensive backup and recovery plan in place.

Enable remote access and maintain your productivity

In response to modern working trends such as BYOD, or more recently WFH, people's workplaces and devices have become increasingly flexible, making cross-device, cross-location data access, and synchronization more critical than ever before.

NAS is ideal for its rapid implementation of access control for VPN and File Storage, which also provides remote access through the internet and has built-in data syncing and sharing applications supporting multiple devices and platforms. It allows employees to work from home, share, and simultaneously work on the same files without lagging, which presents an effective collaboration that levels up productivity under this new working norm.

Ensure storage scalability and efficiency 

With the ever-increasing volumes of data, it brings uncertainty to businesses on how to handle their data. For SMBs that rely on third-party cloud services to store their data, the increasing storage subscription costs may gradually become a heavy burden.

A scalable and efficient storage device is your answer. NAS devices are flexible and easy to scale-up; they provide room for growth without replacing the existing IT infrastructure. Furthermore, some NAS solution available in the market comes with data deduplication technology, which can reduce storage consumption and maximize storage efficiency.

An on-premise private cloud

Since NAS is connected to the company’s own network, privacy is assured with complete data ownership. Whereas with the public cloud service, data security is constantly in doubt as there is a third party involved.

There are countless public cloud data breach incidents over the years, and a recent survey even suggested that over 80% of the companies had experienced at least one cloud data breach in the past 18 months, and nearly half (43%) confessed to 10 or more breaches. When you entrust your data and applications to the public cloud, you have no real assurances that they will be safe.

A solution to eliminated data-storage operational expenditure

Compared to public cloud services, NAS is indeed more expensive in terms of initial deployment. But if you look at the long term, public cloud users must pay a monthly subscription fee based on the number of users, and the cumulative TCO (total cost of ownership) in one year may already far exceed the cost of implementing a NAS. Not to mention that a NAS usually comes with at least 2, up to 5 years of warranty.

On the other hand, many SMBs are used to getting hardware and software services separately. Yet this may cause extra procurement and management effort. By seamlessly integrating hardware and software, NAS solutions ensure a greater solution consistency. “One-time purchase and One-stop support”, with streaming acquisition and technical support, NAS requires lower management effort and time by only having to deal with one single vendor, which results in low TCO.

Sum up

NAS isn't perfect. For tiny companies with just a few employees, cloud services can be easier to implement and can be "leased" for a monthly fee without investing all budgets at a time.

For large enterprises with sufficient IT resources, a SAN architecture may provide better manageability and scalability. But for most SMBs that care about data security and productivity, NAS may be a decent choice providing the best balance between cost and performance.