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Using a NAS to reduce admin tasks

We have 65 LAN-based servers connected to our corporate WAN. I want to get out of the server hardware business at these 65 sites due to equipment age, backup issues and non-technical staff. These are basic file and print sharing servers.

Would a NAS solution work in this case?

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A NAS device can replace your file servers and greatly reduce (but not eliminate) your administration tasks. It will not do the print serving you require so you'll still be left with that task. Is there any opportunity to consolidate these? The print serving could possibly be consolidated in some cases with just the remote printer at the local site. Network-attached printers might be a good answer with many fewer (maybe even one) print servers.

Additionally, depending on your bandwidth and requirements, you may be able to reduce the number of NAS devices (or file servers) and just provide the remote file serving over a longer distance. You need to understand the requirements of the customers and the applications being run. I think you can greatly reduce your admin cost/time with NAS and network-attached printers.

Randy Kerns
Evaluator Group, Inc.

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This was first published in January 2003

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