Network-attached storage appliances for SMBs tutorial

Learn how to select the best network-attached storage (NAS) appliance in this tutorial on NAS purchasing considerations for SMBs.

Midrange network-attached storage (NAS) appliances can be an affordable solution for small businesses and midsized...

businesses. But choosing the best NAS system for your data storage environment isn't easy. In this tutorial on NAS for SMBs, we'll help you decide if a NAS system is really the best option for your storage needs, and we'll help you understand the pros and cons of NAS appliances. In addition, we have the latest tips, news and trends on NAS storage for SMBs from our storage experts.

Table of contents
How to decide if a NAS system is right for you
Choosing a midrange NAS system
Cisco launches NAS boxes aimed at smaller businesses
Podcast: Best practices for using NAS in an SMB environment
NAS tips and trends for SMBs
Network-attached storage quiz

How to decide if a NAS system is right for you

There are some scenarios where adding NAS would not be advantageous. Storage expert Tory Skyers says you should seriously investigate deploying NAS when you have valuable data assets exceeding 2 TB on hard drives throughout your network. If you spend more than 20% to 30% of your time tending to localized storage needs, you should put acquiring NAS on your shortlist for the next quarter. You can make far more effective use of your time by centralizing your important data assets, eliminating time-consuming touch points and centralizing your ability to implement controls on your data.

Read this article to find out if NAS is the best choice for you storage needs.

Choosing a midrange NAS system

NAS appliances can be an affordable storage solution for SMBs that offen have small budgets and less storage expertise. NAS devices are relatively easy to maintain, and many of today's entry-level NAS devices even have redundant components allowing for failover and hot swap of key components. SMBs today have a broader range of NAS devices available than ever before. These devices range from $300 consumer boxes to enterprise NAS systems made affordable for medium-sized businesess. When choosing a midrange NAS system, experts say you should examine your requirements carefully and then take advantage of vendor's willingness to bargain.

But choosing the best system for your storage environment requires some planning. Read this article to learn about how to choose a midrange NAS system.

Cisco launches NAS boxes aimed at smaller businesses

Cisco Systems Inc. recently launched two networked file storage devices designed for small businesses. The NSS2000 and NSS3000 are smaller versions of the NSS4000 and NSS6000 that was part of the Linksys product line acquired by Cisco. The new NAS boxes are targeted for backing up files on PCs and servers and storing digital files such as video from IP surveillance cameras.

Read this article to learning about Cisco's SMB storage push.

Podcast: Best practices for using NAS in an SMB environment

Ashish Nadkarni, Principal Consultant with GlassHouse Technologies Inc., discusses the pros and cons of using network-attached storage in an SMB environment, helps you decide whether or not NAS is a better storage option for SMBs than a SAN or a mixed solution, and offers some best practices.

You can read the transcript of his interview or download and listen to the NAS FAQ podcast.

NAS tips and trends for SMBs

Bookmark our special section on NAS tips and trends for SMBs to stay up to date on the latest network-attached storage product announcements, how-to information about NAS clusters, hardware and appliances, and NAS management strategies.

Network-attached storage quiz

Think you know NAS? Take our quick NAS quiz and test your knowledge.

If there's something missing from this tutorial that you would like to see or you still have questions about NAS, email the editors at

This was last published in February 2009

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