Introduction: Growing businesses will ultimately collect more data than their computers can hold. But you can plan for this inevitability by installing a storage system that is flexible and has the ability to grow with your needs.
What Is This Solution?
This solution enables businesses to tap into the benefits of two different types of storage: iSCSI Storage Area Network, or SAN, and Network Attached Storage, or NAS.
iSCSI is a higher-end solution that works over standard Ethernet cables. You can easily increase your network capacity and create redundancy by adding additional servers, without making any changes to your workstations or servers. It’s a simple online process. But the initial installation of an iSCSI SAN can be complicated because you have to install client software on each system that will be accessing it.
NAS, on the other hand, is a simple type of storage that allows employees to share files. NAS does not require any client software installation and can be up and running quickly, even if you have a large or distributed network of workstations. While it doesn’t offer quite the same level of raw performance that an iSCSI SAN would deliver, NAS is often adequate for many businesses.
What Are the Benefits of This Solution?
This solution, provided by the German-based company Open-E, offers the best of both worlds. You can choose whether your server runs NAS or iSCSI SAN, or both. In other words, you don’t have to make the trade-off between ease of setup and performance. You can choose what’s most appropriate for your business.
Business benefits include the following:
- Central management of all your company’s storage. This makes backup and disaster recovery issues easier to manage. You can also easily comply with regulations such as protecting credit card data.
- Preventing waste by shifting unused disk space to the applications or servers that need it.
- Providing file storage and backup to any computer connected to the network, not just those running iSCSI clients.
- Web-based management of your storage server, which means that adding, removing, and managing users is easy from any workstation within your network. Logging and error reporting are also just a browser-click away.
- Using your preferred hardware vendor and the specific configuration that’s right for your needs, in terms of number of disks, speed, and cost, because this solution is installed on any standard x86 platform.
CHECKLIST: When Is This Solution Right for Your Company?
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do all network users need access to shared files?
- Do you have advanced users or databases that need more than simple file sharing?
- Do all of your employees have access to an office network to share Internet access?
- Is your budget such that you can only justify one server for both SAN and NAS functionality?
- Do you occasionally suffer server downtime because applications run out of disk space?
If you answer yes to at least three of these questions, you should consider an Open-E DSS for NAS.