NAS Solution for Small Business

Posted on 2011-04-23
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I'm looking for an affordable storage device for a small business (About 10 users). Looking for some redundancy (raid-1 or raid-5) and something that is reliable and under 300.
Any suggestions would be great!
Question by:Cobra25
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    Accepted Solution

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    Author Comment

    Sounds good, i like the Netgear. Im assuming there arent any Raid-5 options below 300?
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    Expert Comment

    by:Aaron Tomosky
    The smallest raid 5 I'd mess with is 5 drives in a Drobo for about $1k ($500 for drives $500 for good chassis). Raid 1 I just an easy mirror, raid 5 takes a better controller you don't want to cheap out on.
    LVL 4

    Author Comment

    Ok great. Should Raid-1 be sufficient?
    LVL 25

    Assisted Solution

    May want to check out Smallnetbuilder which has a decent number of nas performance figures and reviews,

    Two companies I would recommend looking at are Qnap and Synology.  Both of these companies only do NAS,  all models have a very complete set of features and are user friendly.  Synology is a bit more consumer oriented and Qnap is a bit more business oriented.

    Software demos,

    The different models use more or less the same software so the 2 drive model from X is funtionaly very similar to the 5 drive models.  

    In the price range you are looking at you probably will need to go with a 2 drive model with raid 1.  Anything in that budget with raid 5 is likely going to be disappointing performance wise - very weak processor and small memory.  This leads to situations with tons of storage but a raid rebuild takes days,  backups can be very slow and overall performance quite weak.

    In any case I highly recommend fully reading the manual for any NAS to avoid nasty surprises like features that do not work as you would expect etc.

    If you shop around the qnap or synolgy 2 drive models are likely in the ~$250-300 range without drives.  Likely a Qnap TS-212  or Synology ds-209 or 211.  The 4 drive models are around $400-500 range.
    LVL 14

    Expert Comment

    You only get what you pay for, so research your requirements carefully first and what your peak loads will be.

    If you want performance you will need a decent CPU, as many spindles as you can afford and at least two NIC ports if you intend to service lots of clients.

    If you plan to use iscsi and want to share the storage make sure the unit supports shared storage the Drobo Pro doesn't but the Elite does!
    If you intend to use it in a Virtual Environment make sure it has the VMware or Hyper-V HCL approval.
    Be sure your chosen vendor has a level of support you are comfortable with.

    Everyone of the major storage suppliers have offerings from £500 - £5000 to do the job but as always the budget is likely to determine your final selection.
    Just don't sell yourself short! Determine your real needs and sell these to the SMT and Finance.
    LVL 25

    Expert Comment

    LVL 20

    Expert Comment

    A word of advice:  if you're building a RAID system, *please* make sure that your drives are supported by the RAID controller manufacturer in RAID configurations.   You can read the tales of woe here and in other fora  when people use cheap non-RAID disks in RAID systems.   It' gets "not pretty", pretty fast.

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