As you may recall, in an article published last month I looked at Microsoft stopping support of Windows Server 2003 from 14 July 2015 onwards. The article featured the new Windows Server 2012 platform as a logical alternative. Click here to view the article. In this current article, another alternative is suggested – the NAS (Network Attached Storage). The NAS can be used to replace Windows Server and be used for data sharing onsite or remotely. It however does not have the capacity to run applications which is a shortcoming of the NAS compared to a Server. However, for simple server function NAS can be a viable alternative.
A financial planning business with 10 employees with steady growth of about 20 to 50% increase each year currently uses Windows Server 2003. Their data requirement is 500GB and that they need to share files locally and remotely between computers.
Here we do a comparison between two mid range options: HP server Small Business Windows Server Package 2 & Small Medium NAS Package.
* TCO is based on having an external IT support company like Onsite Helper setup & maintain the device as well as the cost for hardware & software.
There are benefits and shortcomings for both types of products. To determine which best suits your business, look at your business’s IT network and requirement. In the case of the financial planner, they need a device for simple file sharing on the network along with secured remote access. They did not have any requirements for server based applications and had a limited budget. So clearly, the NAS solution best suits their need.
QNAP prefered NAS manufacturer
We highly recommend the QNAP brand of NAS for the following reasons.
- Reliability. QNAP is a highly reliable brand compared to competing brands. Competing brands include Dlink, Netgear, Western Digital which do have NAS products but are more well known for their quality routers, switches & hard drives. NAS is QNAP’s core product and they have spent years perfecting it. In our experience we have not seen QNAP NAS fail but we have seen failure of NAS from competing brands.
- Features. Ideal for small businesses to be used for local and remote access to stored data. Features include:
- VPN server to securely grant remote access and encrypt the data.
- Automated cloud backup options.
- Surveillance system, connect camera’s to the NAS to record and view live via mobile phone.
- Qsync app which sync working files between your computer and NAS. It is a better alternative to Dropbox as it allows you to work remotely and offline.
- Google Drive Sync between NAS and Google Drive. This provides a single point on the network to sync your files with Google Drive.
A real benefit of the NAS experienced by the financial planning business is that they could retrieve documents from the device from a mobile phone without the need to log into a computer. Using a mobile phone app, staff are able to immediately retrieve and refer to documents stored on the NAS during client meetings.
We have packaged 3 variations of the QNAP NAS to suit small to medium size businesses. Click here to download more info for you to better make a decision on which NAS to go for.
Speak to us today if you would like a personalised solution for replacing your outdated server. Contact us on 03 9999 3106 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.