That's a very long, involved answer that I wouldn't want to attempt to address without a great deal more time investment. The first step, however, would be to determine what market the product was targeting and what problems are being solved. The different market segments put different requirements on the products and that in turn drives different solutions, which means a different cost structure and development effort.
A product that is targeted to handle streaming media (with long transfers that require guaranteed bandwidth) is much different that a NAS device that is oriented toward transaction processing where I/O is done is blocks (small segments of data in a file) with many transactions per second. The product design would be different unless many compromises were made which would not necessarily yield the optimum product.
Another example would be a NAS device for file sharing in a department or workgroup space vs. a higher performance requirement for database accesses in transaction processing. The product requirements are different and should addressed with different solutions (may be similar in design but different in final result) leading to different cost structures.
This is a broad question and would require much more definitive information to address fully.
Evaluator Group, Inc.
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This was first published in April 2002