In remote office and branch office NAS is still viable

Designing remote office, branch office storage solution can be difficult for VARs. Security, speed and reliability are all factors that have to be considered. Marc Staimer writes that NAS is up to the challenge.

Channel takeaway: VARs don't always have to design expensive, new infrastructure in all remote office, branch office (ROBO) settings, but it doesn't hurt to keep an eye out for new technology. While NAS may still be the best infrastructure for most ROBO settings, there are new technologies that may add value for the customer and make a VARs life easier.

The conventional wisdom about NAS is that it's a storage system primarily for the small to midsized businesses (SMB), the Remote Office Branch Office (ROBO) or even the Small Office Home Office (SOHO). The rationale being that it's simple storage for the storage-challenged administrator and lacks the IOPS, throughput, scalability and data protection of the more enterprise capable SAN storage.

Like most conventional wisdom, it's based on the past and not the present. In other words, the conventional wisdom is wrong.

More on ROBO storage solutions:
Remote backup trends and technologies

Remote office backups bring new life to the SSP

NAS is still the ideal storage structure for the SMB, ROBO and SOHO markets because of its incredible simplicity to install, manage and maintain, which is the main reason why SAN storage traction has been slower than predicted. However, the NAS products of today go far beyond simple storage, or to paraphrase an old automobile commercial: It's not your father's NAS.

New technologies and architectures are providing performance that is equal to or better than the best SAN storage arrays. For the best per NAS system performance there's BlueArc's Titan 2. It can demonstrate as much as 300,000 NFS IOPS or approximately 98,000 SpecSFS IOPS per system (600,000 NFS IOPS or 195,000 SpecSFS IOPS per clustered pair) and throughput as high as 1.25 GBps per system (2.5 GBps per clustered pair).

Read the rest of Marc Staimer's article at SearchStorage.com.


This was first published in April 2007

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