Network Attached Storage (NAS): Pros and Cons

The present day’s human works and activities are much different and he mainly runs with the help of machines only.

Out of so many machines discovered till now, the major machine which governs the human totally at the present period is the computer.

The computer works are in high speed and the humans are also revolving around it at the same speed.

Network Attached Storage

As the workload of humans is increasing day by day with computers, the accessories for computers are also increasing proportionately.

Creating data, transferring the files, and file storage works are the primary works which humans deal with the computers daily.

Creating and processing of files will take place in the computer itself, whereas for saving those files and data a separate storage device is needed.

Normally the computer system itself will be having a partition of storage drives where the files and folders will get saved automatically.

But in the case of a large number of files with huge memory the inbuilt storage device will not be sufficient.

To compensate for this issue an external hard drive or memory card is needed.

The drawback of an external memory device is that you have to carry it whenever you are moving from your place.

To solve all these issues a new storage device is invented which helps in multiple ways for the proper works of humans with their computer.

This is named Network-attached storage (NAS).

Pros of Network Attached Storage

  • It acts as a complete and standard platform for the administrators for storing the files and documents.
  • It helps to fasten the work by storing a huge amount of data within a short span of time.
  • It helps for easy and fast communication between other electronic devices like computers, printers, scanners, etc., and thus reduces both the time and the extra workload of the individual.
  • As the network-attached storage server device holds a large capacity of files within it, it helps in preventing unwanted and unexpected errors like missing files, file corruption, etc., and thereby leads to a healthy outcome of the work in the company.
  • The network-attached storage formula makes the company retrieve even the old dated files very easily because of its multiple partitions creating a system for storing the files.

Cons of Network Attached Storage

  • The major drawback of using the network-attached storage device is that it mainly runs on the file system Linux. During a power loss or machine failure, to retrieve or to recover any document or file from the system you are in need of the help of professional data recovery software and services.
  • The end-users who want to back up the data cannot proceed directly. They have to do it through the installed operating system only.

According to the statistics till now the pros are more in numbers when comparing to the cons regarding the network-attached storage.

Thus anyone can make use of this good storage server device for better improvement in the working atmosphere either it may be home or office.

Different Types of Network-Attached Storage

The network attached storage device is basically a server design single hardware system which is often termed as NAS head or NAS box. This NAS head mainly acts as an interface between the clients and the NAS.

The network attached storage device does not require any assisting hardware like keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc. Instead of the full-featured OS, the NAS normally runs an embedded OS which thus works independently without any troubles at some point of work.

One or multiple drives can be added to the network attached storage device to increase the storage capacity. Even the disk drives can also be added easily to the network attached storage device. Rather than adding to the individual storage device, most of the clients normally used to connect their computer device to the NAS head only.

The network attached storage device stores any number of data and any form of data like normal files, email files and boxes, website contents, system backup files, and folders, etc. The use of a network attached storage device is similar to the vintage file servers only but the former is faster, comfortable, and compatible with usage.

The network attached storage device contains inbuilt multi-functional applications with which the disk space clearance, disc space quotas, authentication, sending the emails automatically, alerts for incoming as well as outgoing mails, etc. are highly functional.

Depending on the manufacturer’s model, the network attached storage devices are available in three different types. They are as follows:

  • NAS based on embedded systems,
  • NAS based on the computer, and
  • NAS based on ASIC

In the case of embedded system-based NAS, certain embedded systems like ARM, RTOS, MIPS, etc. were used for the proper functioning of NAS. The energy consumption is much less in the case of embedded-based NAS and thus most clients prefer this model NAS server device.

The computer-based NAS needs separate software and hardware servers without which the NAS is highly impossible to function effectively. The energy consumption is a bit higher in the case of computer-based NAS, hence the preference is also less only.

In the case of ASIC-based NAS devices, a single ASIC chip and hardware are used to implement the extra storage sever. This server consumes very little energy for it works and it is also an easy administrative processing system. Thus it became another commonest storage server device that is used by most of the clients presently.

Advantages of Network Attached Storage for Small Offices and Home

In the olden days, people used to keep their documents and books on their shelves in the home. There was no reliable soft copy of those materials.

In those times even soft copy was not that valuable when compared to hard copies. Then people started using external devices such as USB drives, floppy or compact disc for storing the information.

Now there are many methods of online storage systems. People find this as a more convenient method to store their files online.

Buffalo NAS

Advantages in small offices

Generally, in a small office, there would be less physical space and the numbers of employees are more. Administration becomes easy with the Network added storage system. When a physical hard disk is used then it cannot be shared easily sitting at their desks.

This would disturb the work schedule of the employees and may lead to unwanted waste of time. But when NAS is used, anyone from their own desk can get access to the files and use them as and when needed. The modification also becomes easier with this system.

Another important advantage is that the protocol used by the network added storage system is very user-friendly. It means that it uses different protocols for the different operating systems. So all the computer users such as the Microsoft OS users, Linux or the Mac users anyone can use this.

Instead of using the external hard disk, the network added storage system uses the server which has an operating system installed in it. It just uses a different storage protocol for each operating system.

The protocols which are supported by the Network added storage system are NFS, SMB/CIFS, and AFP used for the Linux, Microsoft, and Apple Mac operating systems respectively.

Some other different protocols are also required for communication purposes which are also included in the NAS system.

With all these factors NAS is highly beneficial for small offices also. With this system, the files which are downloaded from the torrent magnetic links can be directly stored in the network and retrieved as and when required.

Then the documents can also be directly printed out for hard use. Another advantage is that this is comparatively cheaper than the physical external hard disk or USB drives.

Advantage in Home

Generally, people think that storage devices are not required in houses. But is there any home without a compact disk, USB flash drives? This shows that there is a requirement for storage even in the houses.

It may not be the important official files but there are photos of sweet memories, videos, and books that may be kept safely for immediate access whenever needed.

Just think how easy it would be to have all your important contents stored safely in a network from which you can retrieve the data as and when required.

The next advantage is that it is very common for an external hard disk or flash drives to get corrupted easily and you may lose all your files, but this is not in the case of the network added storage system. Even if there is any problem with the computer, the data will be safe on the server.