Sep 20 2021

What is a NAS Drive and How Does it Work

Without access to critical data, organizations are not able to provide their customers with a desired level of service. Therefore, it is important for organizations to backup their data in case of a data loss event. If a disaster struck such as hardware failure or a crypto-malware attack, an organization can at the very least restore their data from their backups. This can save them time and money compared to if they had lost all their data forever. Having good quality equipment to store the backup data is important too. In this post, we’ll define what a Network Attached Storage (NAS) is and provide reasons we always recommend our customers have one.  

What is Network Attached Storage (NAS)?

A network attached storage (NAS) is a centralized storage system that is connected to a network where an organization can store files safely and securely. NAS systems are popular with small businesses in many industries as effective, scalable, and low-cost storage solutions. They can be used to support email systems, accounting databases, payroll, media recording and editing, data logging, business analytics and more.

What is NAS Stand For?

The primary function of a NAS is to store your files. You can store anything on the NAS, and it is accessible from all devices on the network. A NAS uses hard drives to store the information. The most popular NAS options for organizations contain two to five hard drives. The general rule is the more hard drives present, the more data you can store and the more redundancy, and faster file access possible. The larger the device and storage capacity, the higher the cost. Data redundancy for a NAS relies on how much available potential empty storage you are willing to give up to obtain it. For example, in a mirror configuration, a NAS will simultaneously duplicate your data from a drive to a second drive as you copy it. This means that when something is stored on one drive, it is simultaneously stored on the other drive. If one drive fails, the information is still accessible on the other hard drive, and you can get a replacement drive for the one that failed without having to replace the entire NAS or losing important data. In our Beginners Guide to Backups, we highlight that a NAS device is a great example of one of two storage media types an organization should have when following the 3-2-1 backup model.

The NAS can be connected to your network either through a hard cable or Wi-Fi. NAS devices contain CPU (computer processing unit) because computing intelligence and power is required to manage the file system. The size of the NAS required for an organization is dependent on how much data an organization’s storage capacity requirements are. When evaluating the size of a NAS to purchase, an organization should also consider their growth potential. If the organization plans to grow, it should make sure to purchase a NAS large enough to store more data. Keep in mind, most NAS devices last approximately 5-7 years before having to be replaced.

Why We Recommend to Use Network Attached Storage (NAS)

When we work with an organization, one of our requirements is that they must have a NAS device. This is because, at Yardstick we believe strong backups are extremely important for an organization to have. We know that disasters happen, and it is better to be proactive rather than completely reactive to a data loss event. Good backups protect a business therefore having a good quality storage device like a NAS is one of the checkboxes we must check off when onboarding a new organization. The NAS allows Yardstick to remotely manage and monitor customer backups 24 -7. We use an enterprise-image level software to manage the NAS device which is included in our Total Network Care program. All our customers have to worry about is providing a NAS device that meets our quality standards. If something fails on the device or there is an error with the backups, our Network Operations Centre team is alerted to address and resolve the issue immediately. It is much more cost effective for an organization to purchase a NAS than other storage device systems such as a SAN (storage area network). 

Does your organization need support with your backup strategy?

Having accessible backups can reduce data loss and for that reason, having a good quality device to store backup information is important. A network-attached storage (NAS) device is a storage device that organizations can use to keep their files and important information safe. At Yardstick, it is a device we recommend to all our customers so that we can manage and monitor their backup information and ensure their data is restorable if they ever experience a data loss event.

Contact us to request a free discovery consultation with one of our team members to discuss your backups and the technology in your business.

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