Stepping Up To Storage, Part III

Data StorageStorageWorkspace

SMBs need a storage solution that will bring efficiency and banish confusion from their files

There are two major storage challenges facing many small to medium businesses (SMBs). One is the constant transference of documents from place to place as orders are fulfilled and the duplication of files that this involves. The other is the complexity of backing up this information in a coherent way that helps, rather than hinders, the business.

Both of these problems can be answered by using a network attached storage (NAS) solution, such as the Dell PowerVault NX200. This file server becomes the primary, centralised disk for all users and allows files to be stored in a logical, structured way that avoids duplication. Everyone involved in a specific order or project works from the same set of files and the possibility of using outdated information is eliminated, once a structured company procedure is put in place.

Dell’s NX200 NAS Tower Improves Business Efficiency

The NX200 makes life easier for everyone involved by allowing a logical workflow to be implemented that not only assists productivity but also simplifies the back-up process. If an accident occurs, such as a virus in the system or accidental corruption of a file or folder, the business can resume operations rapidly to minimise losses and preserve the company’s reputation.

The setup Wizard for the Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 software gets the preconfigured server up and running extremely quickly. With native support for Microsoft networking, the system easily integrates with any existing Active Directory environment or can be used to establish one to add better security and integration with other Active Directory compliant software across the network.

The Windows Server software provides an enterprise-class platform which is far superior to the more consumer-targeted NAS drives available from other manufacturers. At best, these use proprietary software or just a simple RAID controller and do not offer the Dell support infrastructure which gives the business the options of Basic, Pro, or Pro Manage services.

Each order, service or project can be assigned to as separate folder and access can be controlled using the Active Directory settings. This allows users to clearly see their daily workload and not the entire storage contents, at the same time shielding sensitive information from prying eyes.

As files are added to the NX200, which is available with up to 8TB of storage, they can be backed-up regularly through a permanent connection to a back-up device. Files that are mission critical can be backed-up regularly during the day and a full overnight or weekend back-up can be scheduled for off-site storage to guard against disasters or theft.

On-site, files are further secured by the in-built RAID controller which automatically spreads the data across the four hard drives in the server according to a logical sequence. This means that when a drive is nearing the end of its lifespan, or if a drive suddenly fails, it can be replaced without turning off the server and with minimal – virtually undetectable – interruption to the users. Though not a frequent event, this hot-swapping capability ensures that the PowerVault NX200 secures the company’s digital assets for many years.

Altogether, the workflow improvements of a centralised data store, combined with its daily reliability and the long-term security of knowing that the data is being backed-up according to a standardised company policy, bring financial benefits. The modest capital outlay for a PowerVault NX200 ensures a rapid return on investment and the savings continue to build throughout the life of the server.

The Dell NX200 Tower not only protects the business flow but could also enhance and protect a company’s reputation.

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