The simultaneous explosions of big data and mobility have left many organizations scrambling to figure out the best way to store and protect data. While the amount of data being produced and the number of devices being used has skyrocketed, storage and backup strategies haven’t been able to keep up. This can have a significant impact on performance, productivity, customer service and disaster recovery.
There are two primary storage options for small to midsize businesses:
Cloud-based storage has emerged as an appealing option because capital expenses are minimal and storage management becomes the responsibility of the cloud service provider. The provider is responsible for purchasing, maintaining and updating the storage infrastructure. By storing and backing up data remotely, organizations can avoid the cost of constantly adding storage capacity while improving disaster recovery. However, latency and bandwidth issues are common drawbacks of the cloud, especially with the high-performance demands of primary storage.
Network-attached storage (NAS) is a storage appliance that has its own IP address and is connected to the network. Primarily used for file sharing and storage, some modern NAS devices can also be used as multimedia, print, email and database servers. To enhance disaster recovery, NAS products can be configured for data backup. Business-class solutions can be scaled up to meet growing demands, and a failing drive can be “hot-swapped” with a new drive without shutting down the NAS.
There are a number of factors to consider when evaluating cloud storage and NAS:
- NAS typically costs more upfront because you have to purchase, install and configure the device. As storage demands increase, you’ll probably have to purchase larger drives or add more drives. With the cloud, you’ll never have to purchase hardware, but the ongoing monthly cost of cloud storage may be more expensive over time.
- The cloud offers virtually unlimited storage capacity. When you need more storage, you upgrade your plan. While NAS allows for drives to be added, each drive does have finite capacity.
- Features and Expertise. As mentioned previously, NAS devices have an impressive list of valuable features and capabilities. Business-class devices will have a control panel that for creating drives, adding users and setting permissions, but you’ll need someone to manage that. Cloud storage will also have to be managed to keep a lid on cost.
- Security and Control. NAS enables you to host and control your own data, and to use encryption, user access controls and other controls to secure your information. Cloud infrastructure can be more secure than onsite hardware, but you’re responsible for securing your data. Misconfigurations are a common source of data exposure.
Instead of choosing between cloud storage and NAS, you may want to consider a hybrid approach. For example, mission-critical data that is accessed and modified most often can be stored in a NAS device, while archival data is stored in the cloud. Datto’s NAS solution integrates with the Datto cloud, making frequent snapshots of your data so that it can be recovered in case of ransomware attack or other disaster.
Developing an efficient storage strategy without compromising performance is as complicated as it is important. Let Verteks analyze your IT environment and recommend a storage solution that meets your specific needs now and in the future.