Channel takeaway: Before recommending network attached storage to customers, VARs need to consider the goals of the customer. Storage needs, management costs and value in the future are topics VARs should discuss with clients before agreeing to their NAS.


NAS management software tools will need to be selected to identify available storage, handle

    Requires Free Membership to View

backup and restore tasks, support replication and tackle a variety of other tasks. Most NAS devices include vendor-specific management tools, but there are some generic tools intended to provide heterogeneous NAS platform support. Aside from considering the obvious issues of pricing and support, here are some other important points to keep in mind during any NAS purchase.

Determine the underlying need for NAS. Before selecting a storage platform, consider the applications that will be using the storage -- storage should accommodate the applications, not vice versa.

>

More on network attached storage purchasing:
Round up: NAS purchasing

NAS services you should be offering

Consider storage needs over the long haul. NAS may be easy to implement and expand, but it can become difficult to manage as deployments proliferate. Before making a NAS investment, consider the changing patterns of storage allocation and use in your enterprise.

Consider different modes of implementation. Generally speaking, there are three ways to implement NAS -- use a dedicated NAS system (appliance) with its own local storage; use a NAS head or gateway to access external storage on an array or SAN; or some combination of both approaches.

Consider product utilization and value. Industry experts note that NAS selection criteria should extend beyond getting the most storage for the minimum cost. The problem is that many NAS features have little tangible value other than differentiating vendors.

Consider the management overhead. NAS appliances and gateways will need to be managed using software tools. Management overhead will typically increase as NAS storage expands and proliferates across multiple devices.

Evaluate the performance of any potential NAS device. LAN connectivity can be a potential bottleneck with NAS devices, and storage performance can suffer with heavy network traffic or storage I/O requests.

Define any new or different skill sets that are required. Although NAS devices offer a lot of similarities, there are also subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, differences between models and manufacturers.

Read the rest of Stephen J. Bigelow's article at SearchStorage.com.


This was first published in April 2007

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.