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I currently have a SBS 2008 server that acts as my DC, DNS Server, File SErver, Print Server. I want to move the shared files over to either an IP NAS or a SAN. The data stored are microsoft word, excel, access files. I would have about 30 users using the storage. What should i use NAS or SAN?
3 Solutions
Usually a SAN will present a resource (a storage disk which would require your SBS to still share this resource or partitioning the data such that each system has a resource mapped to it.)  while the NAS will provide access to the data.

Since you are AD based setup, make sure the NAS you get supports ADA or make sure you have configured your SBS to allow LDAP access from the NAS.
The other issue deals with the capacity you are looking to get, redundancy, backup considerations should be included.

Depending on your budget, obtaining another server that could be configured as a secondary DC, DNS, Fileserver, print server might achieve more.  With a single SBS, should anything happen to it, your environment could become inoperative.

2008 includes DFS and DFS replication that could provide redundancy/fault tolerance for fileserver functionality using AD domain based shares.
Seth SimmonsSr. Systems AdministratorCommented:
do you understand the difference between the two?
a san has storage that is attached to a system which appears to be a local disk and is fairly expensive
a nas is a device that can have storage from a san and presents file shares for different protocols like cifs, nfs, rsync (different vendors have different protocols available)

for a simple file share like this, you could get away with a buffalo nas device

Walter PadrónCommented:
Giving you advice is very difficult without a deeper knowledge of:

What you are trying to accomplish?
What are the problems you face with the current server and storage?
Why are you moving your data files out of the server?
All 30 users are concurrently using your server?

Best regards
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madunixChief Information Security Officer Commented:
SAN is the high-speed storage sharing system. SANs often utilise a Fibre Channel fabric topology, an infrastructure specially designed to handle storage communications. It provides faster and more reliable access than higher-level protocols used in NAS.

NAS systems contain one or more hard disks, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays. NAS uses file-based protocols such as NFS, SMB/CIFS or AFP.
Dawid FusekVirtualization Expert, Sr B&R, Storage SpecialistCommented:

there are few answers we would like to know:
1. Why You want to move data from server to NAS or SAN? What do You want to accomplish by that? do You also move out from a server of even from SBS itself??? Or just need to unload a filesharing from a server to another box?
2. Do you wanna to have separated box connected to the network that acts as a Network Storage (NAS) to share your data to the users and unload your SBS server a function of sharing files via CIFS/SMB (and eventually other file based protocols like NFS or AFP) or You would like to connect your old SBS server to a shared storage (SAN) via FC or iSCSI or FCoE or SAS and then share your data to the users still via that SBS server but with connection to SAN that acts as a local disk of that server (and may be eventually shared local disk to other server/-s if you will use appropriate protocols or/and shared filesystems)??
3. what budget do You have for that new storage (SAN or NAS)...?
4. how many and what kind of disks you have on that SBS and in what RAID (if any) right now?
5. how much users/shared data there are on the SBS server right now?
6. do you know that right now there are also a Unified Storage solutions (often calls NUS - Network Unified Storage) which is a connection between NAS and SAN so it is also file based protocols (like NFS, CIFS/SMB, AFP or RSYNC) and block based protocols (like FC, iSCSI or FCoE or SAS) ?
7 . do you want your new box will be a dedicated hardware box or it may be a software solution based on some new server?
8. what exact functions that new box need to have? What You expect from it?
9. Do you have any SAN fabric? (like FC switches, or dedicated switches to iSCSI SAN or FCoE switches or SAS switches)?? if no, do You think to bought that fabric with that new box (and have budget for that) or you would like to bought only a SAN/NAS box itself?
10. do You plan to expand your/your company business by adding or expanding a SAN infrastructure?

As others says NAS are a solutions (appliance based or software based) connected to network and serve files via some protocols (like NFS, CIFS/SMB, AFP and RSYNC) and SAN are rather more expensive solutions (also appliance and sometimes software) based on some fabric (rarely used without a fabric and connected directly to the server) and serve block based storage (FC, iSCSI or FCoE or SAS) for the servers that acts for a servers as a local storage or shared storage between the servers if they support such functionality, and there ale also NUS solutions that may simultaneously act as a SAN and NAS (file based protocols and block based protocols).

let us know the answers for that questions and we will provide optimal storage (solution) for Your needs.

best regards
Dawid FusekVirtualization Expert, Sr B&R, Storage SpecialistCommented:
good we can help choose proper solution for Your needs.


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