Stepping Up To Storage, Part II

Data StorageStorageWorkspace

Small businesses need storage which is easy to use – but it also must meet tough regulations

Switching to Network Area Storage (NAS) offers distinct benefits for small to medium businesses, apart from the ease with which they can be installed. Using a fully integrated solution, like the Dell PowerVault NX200 file server, which centralises file storage so files can be easily  shared and accessed. It also saves money by reducing the amount of data scattered around an organisation on desktops, notebooks, external disks and USB drives while radically reducing the cost of managing all of that data.

Regulatory compliance takes many forms but it all boils down to a few simple principles: financial records have to be stored, customer transactions and details have to be protected and company communications such as email have to be retained. Loss of any of this information can carry large financial penalties. It will certainly affect the reputation of the company.

Don’t trip up over backup

Backing up this data is vitally important but the process is often compromised when it is stored across a small or medium business. The backups take time and individuals are often expected to take responsibility for ensuring the correct procedures are followed.

Moving all of this information across the network and storing it as consolidated data on a NAS storage server, such as Dell’s PowerVault NX200, reduces the responsibility and allows the backup process to be automated.

The NX200 is based on  Microsoft Windows Storage Server 2008 R2, allowing standard software packages to be used to manage the backup process, rather than forcing the user to accept a proprietary product tied to a specific file server. Similarly, files can be virus-checked by any chosen Windows-based anti-virus package.

Between backups, the data will be protected by the  in-built RAID 5 protection. This offers a tried and tested method of storing data across the disks inside the NAS server rather than risking everything on a single disk.

Hardware RAID also allows Dell to tailor the performance of the server. Combined with the backup options, it makes the PowerVault NX200 a truly reliable, business-grade solution. Set up in minutes, the NAS system just works in the background and requires minimum attention.

If any problems or questions do arise, the system is covered by Dell’s one-year basic warranty and there are several options that will extend this support to three or five years. Dell recommends, for a relatively small premium, to offer next day, on-site service or a four-hour response service for more business-critical implementations.

For any small-to-medium business (SMB), Dell offers the sophistication, data security and support enjoyed by larger enterprises but the PowerVault NX200 offers this in an easy-to-use package at an affordable price. For SMBs, especially those without dedicated IT staff, this offers greater assurance of 24×7 data available and no sleepless nights worrying about whether all the data is backed-up and secure.

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