Storage issues are increasingly frustrating small businesses.  Without fast and easy access to data, companies experience poor customer service, lost sales opportunities, poor team collaboration and an overall lack of operating efficiency.

One emerging solution is called Network Attached Storage, or NAS.  A NAS system is an intelligent storage device connected to a network that allows storage and retrieval of data from a centralized location for authorized network users.  NAS systems are flexible, scaleable, accessible, fast and inexpensive.  It’s like having a private cloud in your office.

CranstonIT is now your source for a NAS solution.  Since several manufacturers make NAS devices — including Synology, QNAP, Drobo and WD — we can help you determine the features, benefits and pricing that best fit your business requirements.

First, let’s take a look at how this budget-friendly addition can help you without disrupting your existing technical infrastructure:

Added storage. Most NAS devices provide multiple drive bays, allowing for a few large hard drives or expansion units for a vast amount of additional storage.

Expandable storage.  A NAS is perfect if you anticipate your storage needs growing over time. You could start with 3TB drives today and swap them out for 6TB drives when ready.

Data protection.  Drives may fail, but most NAS devices will ensure you won’t lose data by combining multiple drives into RAID arrays.

Network backups. Because a NAS is always available on your network and provides scads of storage, it works well for on-site backups.

Mobile access.  Attaching an external hard drive to your MacBook Pro®, for example, is a clumsy process.  With the always available NAS, that step is eliminated.

Remote access, cloud storage. You can typically configure your NAS for access over the Internet from outside your network.  That means it works like a private version of Dropbox — but entirely within your control and without a monthly fee.

Second, CranstonIT will help you evaluate the important NAS criteria that best align with your requirements.  Criteria such as the number of drive bays you need; RAID support to prevent data loss should one drive fail; the amount of Ethernet speed and ports you need for optimal performance; hardware encryption for additional security and data protection; and both hardware transcoding and expandable RAM, if required.

Third, we’ll help you avoid potential pitfalls.  For example, NAS-specific drives (such as those in the WD Red and Seagate IronWolf lines) offer features designed to minimize data corruption, lessen vibration and adjust rotation speeds for longer life.  Older drives may be limited — or simply fail.  And combining drives of different capacities can often result in unusable disk space in some RAID configurations.

While Network Attached Storage is a great option and a smart investment, choosing the right one can be a complex decision.  And that’s where we come in. Contact CranstonIT at 888-813-5558 or support@cranstonit.com for a customized NAS recommendation.