By Joanne Weng
The enterprise market has traditionally been seen as the one that sits up and pays expensive and complicated attention to cloud storage. It is, after all, only suitable for those companies that have large wallets, skill sets and infrastructure, right?
Then there’s the other side of the cloud – public. This is where consumers gleefully drop their storage needs as they don’t need as much space and privacy as the enterprise. The small to medium enterprise sits in the middle – unable to take full advantage of the rich ubiquity of the private cloud due to its size and cost, and not entirely convinced of the security and scale of the public cloud. It was a strange and lonely no-SME-land, until now…
Network-attached storage (NAS) has stepped up and into the Small and Medium enterprise (SME) space, providing accessible, secure and localised cloud storage capacity to the market. These all-in-one servers are ideally suited to the business looking for large storage and data protection solutions without the weighty personnel, infrastructure and tech investment. NAS allows the SME to secure their digital assets and improve work efficiency in ways that suit their unique requirements. It’s customisable and flexible, so the hard wall of ‘either or’ is replaced with the adjustable agility of ‘anything you want’.
Cloud has been a tad unfair to the SME. Solutions that they can really trust have been priced way out of their range, aimed at the big enterprise fish swimming in the depths of on-premise promise. The ones that can be easily caught on the surface of cloud are handy and provide significant advantages, but rarely deliver on the compliance and regulation mandates that every business has to subscribe to. An unprecedented hack or leak on any one of these publicly available solutions could instantly impact on the SME’s reputation and future.
NAS neatly sidesteps the drama and puts the cloud into the SME with all the security, features and technology that have traditionally been handed to the larger business. It has backup solutions that protect against unpredictable disaster, human error, malicious deletion and unplanned data loss. The Synology NAS includes Desktop backup solutions that automatically backs up files from employee computers to an assigned destination on the NAS and helps recover files from a previous point in time. It also comes with Drive, an all-in-one portal for business files that makes access easy and security in-built.
The Ponemon Institute found that small businesses paid around $690,000 to recover from a hack, and the US Cyber Security Alliance found that 60% of small businesses fail after a disaster, with this in mind, it seems that perhaps NAS’ disaster recovery advantage is a necessary one. From data mirroring to snapshot replication, NAS systems should include a variety of disaster recovery tools designed to ensure the SME is protected when catastrophe happens.
Of course, it isn’t all security and disaster when it comes to the advantages of NAS. It also introduces the ubiquity of cloud collaboration and infrastructure. NAS has real-time collaboration and file sharing solutions embedded, all engineered for the business and designed to maximise efficiency in the workspace. The Synology NAS delivers high efficiency collaborative tools with real time synchronisation of documents, spreadsheets and slides. With Drive, employees can access files via any platform, and share files across any operating system.
Taking NAS to the end of its feature list, the SME can also use it to create a virtual machine manager which allows the setup of various virtual machines. These can be located centrally to reduce IT costs and management resources and allow for the business to migrate virtual DSM instances from one NAS to another. From the virtual machine and hyper-converged-like infrastructure benefits that are usually the domain of the enterprise alone, to building a security centre and crafting a robust cloud infrastructure, NAS is the collaboration and ubiquity of cloud on one simple, silver platter.
Think the SME can’t have cloud storage? Now it’s time to think again.
(Joanne Weng is the South Africa Sales Manager of Synology).