NAS or Network Attached Storage, is a dedicated file server that connects to your network, allowing multiple users and devices to access and share files from a centralized location. In simple terms, it’s a small computer with hard drives connected that acts like private DropBox or OneDrive, allowing everyone in the office to share and access files, and so much more.

Benefits of a NAS

Centralized Data Storage

A NAS provides a central location for all your business files. Instead of having files scattered across various computers, thumb drives, external hard drives, etc, a NAS allows you to store everything in one place. This makes it easier to manage, organize, and back up your data and eliminates problems like not being able to find a file or having multiple versions across different computers.

Improved Collaboration

With NAS, team members can easily access, share, and work on files in real-time. This is especially useful in small offices. Gone will be the days where you need to email a file back and forth, or save a file to a thumb drive to run it over to someone to work on. A NAS can support multiple users accessing files , even simultaneously, ensuring everyone can work without delays.

Data Protection and Redundancy

NAS devices come with features to help keep your data secure and backed up. You control what users have access to what files. Data redundancy features mean that even if a hard drive fails you experience no down time and no lost files.

Scalability

When you need to expand the storage of your desktop, that usually means external hard drives. A NAS has the ability to easily and seamlessly scale up it's storage to meet your growing needs by adding hard drives. (It also has the added benefit of freeing up space on work computers as the no longer need to store copies of files on the server.)

Cost-Effective

For small offices, budget is always a consideration. A NAS offers a cost-effective solution as one set of hard drives serves the entire office all while handling multiple users and roles, making it a great investment for small businesses.

Remote Access

Nearly all NAS devices allow you to setup your NAS to connect to the internet allowing you to access your files remotely, ensuring that you always have access to important files.

Automated Backups

Did you run the backup this month? There is a question you won't have to worry about anymore. A NAS solution can automate backing up company files and computers and help you meet the 3-2-1 backup rule for truly reliable backups that you don't have to think about.

Enhanced Security

With a NAS you control the hardware and can choose the level of security that is right for you, all while controlling your own data. No longer will your data be in the hands of third-parties.

How we use or NAS

Acme Ventures uses an Asustor 2-bay NAS. This inexpensive NAS has proven to be worth it’s weight in gold for our operations. In 2019 our implantation of the NAS with our business operations was featured as a success story on Asustor’s website. While we can’t touch on every way we use our NAS today due to security and time restraints, below is a simplified explanation of how we have ours setup.

Hard Drives and Backups

Our NAS has room for two hard drives, which are currently filled with two 8 TB drives. Rather than using both drives for a combined 16 TB of file storage we have our NAS configured in a RAID 1 array, where one hard drive is used to store files and the second hard drive is a mirror image of the first one, meaning even if one of the hard drives out-right fails, we would not loose any data.

The NAS also has a built in ‘network recycle bin.’ When files are deleted it is moved to the recycle bin for 30 days before being deleted, meaning if we delete a file, we have up to 30 days to recover the file before it is erased.

In addition to having a second copy of our data locally on the mirrored hard drive, all files are backed up each day to the cloud through the Cloud Backup Center app. This fulfills the requirements of the 3-2-1 rule where for a proper backup solution you have 3 copies of your data, on two different devices, and at least one copy off site.

Note – It’s also possible to set this up to backup to another NAS in another location so even when stored off-site you still control all your data. 

Network Drives

Rather than storing our company files on a single computer, or trusting a provider like OneDrive or Drobox with all of our company files, we have connected our NAS to all the computers in the office as a Windows Network Drive.

With this setup we’re able to access our files from any device in the office even when the internet is out.

Another neat feature we love is our shared “Office Share” network drive, which every computer has access to allows for quick sharing of files between employees to quickly print or share a file, without the need to attach it to an email improving collaboration and communication.

Home for all our files

Our NAS is the place where all our company files live. From where we dump our cards from our cameras, to accounting files, to company records and projects, all live on our NAS. No more do we have to hunt down for where we saved a file or have to wait for an employee to come back to the office to login to give access to a file stored on their computer. All of our files are in one place, easily accessible from any device.

A Backup Destination

While there are plenty of commercial services and add on’s at hosting providers for backing up WordPress sites, at Acme Ventures we use our NAS to keep a copy of our backups of not just our sites but also the websites we manage for our clients.

Interested in deploying a NAS for your small office?

If you are interested in how a NAS can improve your workflow, collaboration, communication, and reduce overhead and costs at your business we’d love to help. Schedule a call with our sales team and we can discuss your needs and help you find a solution that meets those needs and your budget.

Schedule a call with the sales team