Electronic data storage is an important aspect in any business from a small, computerized office setup to a large manufacturing unit. There are various ways and devices to store data; however, it should be stored in such a way that it is safeguarded from attacks and can be accessed by the right personnel on time, to make strategic decisions. From last many years, the client-server network has been used, wherein one of the computers acts as a server and stores the data of all the other computers or terminals. Nowadays, there are many virtual storage systems such as cloud; however, this largely depends upon your business requirement. For small businesses, network attached storage (NAS) is another basic, file-level storage system. So what is the difference between client-server and NAS, and which one is better? This post discusses the same
As the name suggests, this is a system wherein a device is attached to a computer network to store data. It has a centrally-located database comprising all the files and folders which can also be accessed by other users on the same network. This is more basic compared to a client-server architecture, although there are some similarities between the two. It is a hard drive connected to a small network. It is connected to an Ethernet switch linked to the server, which is accessible to users through an Ethernet cable connection. While this may seem like a primitive storage system, it does offer features such as addition of disparate or other-network devices, media streaming, remote access, cloud tier, and so on, other than the regular backup and archiving functions. However, there are some drawbacks, too. For instance, it is application dependent, which means it may not allow users to choose some other third-party software. Also, it consumes a large amount of bandwidth, which may slow down the processing speed of the computer. Another major drawback is that it may be easy to compromise on the security aspect.
The concept of client-server technology is slightly advanced than NAS. Here, if there are 10 computers on a network, nine of them work as terminals or clients, and one computer is made the server. This server stores the data of all the computers on the network with daily archiving and backup functions. This is mainly for small businesses. However, for large networks, there has to be a different server room wherein server devices are kept. Also, local machines or clients do have some data storage facility. So, the data is saved locally along with its backup on the server. These servers come with a built-in firewall, and hence are more secure. These are more flexible and allow the installation of third-party software. You need to have expert staff to work as administrators for these servers and their database. The updates and installations here may take a bit longer and need to done periodically. Also, they are more expensive compared to NAS.
A safe data storage system for small businesses is just as crucial as for big players. While they may not need the advanced versions, such as cloud, because of local operations, it is important to choose the right system depending on their requirements and budget. There are other storage devices such as pen drives, DVDs, and USBs; but, that is certainly not how you store official and confidential data as it may be easily hacked. Here are some factors which may help you make the right decision:
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