Use low power NAS (network attached storage) instead of file servers

What are the benefits of using NAS devices instead of traditional file servers? From a Green IT perspective there is a power saving but let’s analyse it deeply.

What is a Network Attached Storage (NAS) Device

A network attached storage (NAS) is a file level storage device that allows users to access storage shares from different types of devices. The idea behind a NAS device is to replace traditional file servers and other network devices and services.

NAS devices are often manufactured as network appliances.

Benefits of using NAS

  • Fast data access Most modern NAS Devices include 2 or more Gigabit Ethernet ports. Some also includes 10GB ports.
  • Easier administration NAS devices are easier to maintain and manage. That’s because less options are available if you compare with traditional File Servers.
  • Simple configuration The initial setup for a NAS devices shouldn’t take more than one hour instead of days that take to configure a traditional file server where you need to configure the hardware, install the operative system, and then network shares.
  • Lower Power Consumption Because of modern NAS at most have a few disks and a fan energy consumption is less than a file server.
  • Lower space required NAS devices are manufactured as network appliances so, in general, less space is required in the data center.

Using a NAS device from a Green IT perspective

The most important aspect of using a NAS devices from a green IT perspective is a reduced power consumption. 
Those devices are ideal for a small group of users like you might have on branch offices so an implementation of NAS devices to replace file serves need to be, at least, analysed.

Why for small group of users? I had very bad experience with NAS devices with high loads. Disks and fans broken to name a few. Even though most of them includes RAID configuration the time to get the spare part, install it and rebuild the RAID is incredible longer than with traditional file servers.

This post belongs to Explain different techniques and technologies that will enhance Green IT initiatives.