Analyst: Look at NAS as a viable alternative to the cloudBy Glenn Bischoff (email@example.com)Penton Business Media
Regardless of what sector one is talking about publicsafety, the enterprise or government entities increasinglyare turning to cloud computing as a lower-cost, less-troublesomeway to effectively manage their data. But for those organizationsthat are dealing with very, very large files or sensitive,proprietary data, a technology known as network attached storagemight be a better option, said Rob Kaufmann, an analyst withKPI Analytics.
There is no question about the need to effectively manage data,which is mushrooming in lockstep with the growth of broadband.According to a Cisco research study, 1.3 trillion gigabytes ofonline data will be generated worldwide by 2016, roughly triple the500 billion gigabytes generated in 2009. Moreover, Web-connectedbusiness devices are expected to increase to 5.1 billion by 2016, asignificant leap from the 2.2 billion in use in 2011. According toKPI Analytics, which is hosting a webinar on NAS on July 17 inpartnership with Dell, the amount of internal data generated bybusinesses will parallel this growth.
Consequently, storage and access is going to become an issue a very large issue. But where cloud computing offers a bigadvantage in that it allows data access via any device fromvirtually anywhere, the fact that it relies on the Internet createsspeed issues, according to Kaufmann.
"With NAS, you would create a single appliance, or a cluster ofdevices storing your information onsite, and you would access itthrough your local network," Kaufmann said. "You tend to have afaster network at your location, compared with your Internetconnection so there are tremendous speed advantages withNAS."
Also, because the data is stored at the company's premises,there are fewer security issues.
"Because NAS is part of your company's system, you have fullcontrol over the security levels, the backup of it and theredundancy, so you can keep your information a lot moresecure."
In addition, NAS is scalable, which is a big advantage fororganizations that are dealing with very large files, such as videoeditors, animators and those engaging in computer-aided design anddrafting, Kaufmann said.
"It all depends on your price tag, but you can scale to enormoussizes with NAS, where a lot of cloud services will have limits.Because they're serving [tens of thousands] of people, they mightbe able to give you only 20 gigabytes," he said. "Some of thesefiles get very large, such as when you're [rendering] something ascomplex as a car."
Yet another advantage to NAS, compared with cloud storage, isthat there are no recurring costs.
"Cloud is a service, so you are paying monthly," Kaufmann said."So if your storage needs are large, you might pay hundreds, eventhousands of dollars each month. With NAS, once you get past theinitial cost of setting it up, then all you're paying for isupkeep."
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