Advice on using a NAS as an alternative to a server

im currently running a sbs 2003 server which needs replaced as it is very old
i mainly use server as storage and i have exchange running
i was considering replacing the server with a NAS box
i was thinking it would be much simpler and much cheaper
i could use something like a sysnology nas box which can provide dhcp ftp etc
and switch my 8 exchange users to office 365
whats peoples thoughts on this or would i be better of with a server
the only downside to this would be security and no ntfs permissions etc
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Cris HannaConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If you have business work environment, where access to files must be granted on a user by user basis...Then active directory and NTFS permissions is a must.

But that doesn't mean you have to have an onsite server...Microsoft Azure can now do AD and you could put all your data in the cloud, with some local storage incase the net is down
Tony GiangrecoCommented:
Cris HannaCommented:
You pretty much answered your own question.  With the NAS you get very little control over who can access what unless AD is in place.

For that number of users you should consider Windows Server Essential 2012 R2
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Administration of Active Directory does not have to be hard.  Too often what should be a simple task is made more difficult than it needs to be.The solution?  Hyena from SystemTools Software.  With ease-of-use as well as powerful importing and bulk updating capabilities.

dougdogAuthor Commented:
does it include exchange
Cris HannaCommented:
No.  You can still buy SBS 2011 which is the last version that includes Exchange.  You could install on new hardware yourself.

But Essential 2012r2 integrates with O365
dougdogAuthor Commented:
From a performance point of view and storage
would read / writes be much better using a server for storage  rather than a nas
Cris HannaCommented:
There is no real answer to that.  
Depends on network speed, depends on the drives in the server, depends on the speed of the drives in the NAS, depends on how the nas is connected, depends on drive conttoller.
Lots of variables.  For 8 users all with gigabit NICs and a Gigabit NICs, you'd have to have a pretty huge difference in the types of drives in the server vs the NAS to see any real performance issues
dougdogAuthor Commented:
so the best solution going forward is still a server then?
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