Data storage is a vital aspect of any business and its application, whether it’s a small or large enterprise. It’s imperative to store the data and back it up safely for making strategic decisions. Two main storage options, NAS and storage server are available for data storage and access, and file sharing. This article discusses the difference between NAS and server, and which of the two is better.
What is NAS, and how does it work?
NAS presents a storage architecture that connects to a network and allows many users and heterogeneous client devices for accessing data from a centralized disk capacity. It connects to the Ethernet switch directly which links to the servers. The shared storage can be accessed from NAS through a local area network (LAN). NAS devices come with built-in operating systems to support software functions like remote access, printer streaming, or native media streaming. They provide a central location to access data through file sharing and storage in addition to data backup and disaster recovery.
What is Client-Server Technology, and what is it used for?
The client-server technology is an advanced type than the NAS. A server is a high-end performance system that processes requests and gives responses to other computers over an Internet or local network. It stores all data with data archiving and backup solutions. The server is configured with powerful computing, memory, and storage capacity for processing business workflows efficiently at robust speeds. Based on different standards, like processor, form factor, hardware architecture, and application types, servers can be classified into different categories like rack servers, blades, towers, and cabinet servers.
Factors to Consider While Choosing a Data Storage System
Ease of use
Both servers and NAS are easy to use. NAS is more basic and doesn’t require system administration processes for data protection. A server can perform numerous business functions, such as file sharing and printing, database applications, website-related operations, etc. Some servers can also be available to perform multiple functions simultaneously. NAS doesn’t operate like a server that is specifically designed for data storage. NAS would be a great option for a start-up business, where three or four people are working and data sharing to other locations is not needed.
Since NAS optimizes the software and hardware system architecture, it performs well in terms of storage efficiency compared to the servers. network-attached storage devices ensure faster speeds of processing and greater bandwidth as they transmit data between storage devices and clients directly without involving the RAM functioning like servers.
Availability of space
A server occupies a much larger space than a NAS device which means the server is not well-suited for space-constrained business environments. On the contrary, NAS devices are easier to move as they are portable and can connect to a switch or router to perform functions related to small or medium business applications.
Servers include an advanced and high-end security architecture with in-built firewalls for protecting your business’s critical data. NAS devises process file-based data and enables data sharing through LANs that lack security over the cloud processing systems. NAS systems can be easily picked up and stolen as they’re susceptible to environmental factors.
Both NAS devices and servers are durable. Their lifetime relies on numerous factors, like hardware quality, device workload, management, and future support. For example, a new server has higher longevity than a refurbished server.
As the budget is a fundamental factor for any business, it’s required to make decisions carefully when choosing a NAS and a server. The cost of a server is much higher than a NAS device. Besides, servers need maintenance coverage and other expenses like more cooling fees, higher power consumption, and license costs. NAS devices come with in-built software systems and don’t require licensing support.
Which Device Suits Your Small Business?
A client-server network technology improves the efficiency and reliability of small business systems. It’s essential to consider your business and budget needs before choosing a server. For instance, you can opt for a refurbished server in case of budget restrictions. An application server is a suitable option for organizations, where higher functionality, maintenance, higher cost, and more complicated configuration are needed. NAS devices are an affordable choice for businesses seeking file storage and backup options with basic functionalities.
Data storage and backup using either a NAS or a server will be dependent on the availability of space, storage expansion needs, and data security capabilities. It’s important to consider your current and future business needs when you’re choosing between NAS and a server.