All businesses—even small businesses—need to store data. Yes, even those small to midsize businesses (SMBs) that don’t have a dedicated IT staff must store content, customer data, financial numbers and other integral business information in a safe, secure solution. And until recently, finding such a platform that was affordable and provided easy access to current technologies was difficult at best.
But new offerings are coming to light created with smaller businesses in mind. Seagate, a leader in storage solutions, is launching a full portfolio of network attached storage (NAS) options designed specifically for SMBs that includes the new NAS OS 4 and lines of hardware products in sizes just for smaller offices.
In a briefing last week, Greg Falgiano, product marketing manager for Seagate, explained the impetus behind the creation of these new solutions:
“We’re taking a different approach in the market compared to what we’ve done previously… One thing we’ve worked on is creating our own hardware designs. On top of that, software is critically important; the more you can marry software with hardware, and design them to work specifically together, you get a better experience. Our new theme ‘Working together works better’ has two meanings. One, drive hardware and software are designed to work together so you’ll have a better experience with all those key components. But also, the main reason you’re buying a NAS device as a small business getting started with network storage is so you can collaborate and work together.”
Seagate offers a line of NAS and NAS Pro solutions to fit many budgets and capacity needs. In each line, though, Seagate ensures that the drives and hardware are high-quality components that are made to work together seamlessly and will provide your business with access to data for collaboration and from anywhere even via mobile devices. This capability is something many SMBs are struggling to provide for employees who are demanding to be able to work from the road, from home or just from another office.
Falgiano added that many small businesses are looking to get into cloud storage, but have concerns or are confused as to how it would work for their business:
“When we talk to small businesses that are interested in the idea of cloud storage, some of the turn offs for them are one, the price. So if you have several terabytes that you want to have access to in the cloud, that can become very expensive. And also security. When you put your secret sauce on someone else’s server somewhere, it’s inherently less secure than keeping it on a device you own. So one way to combat security issues and cost is to actually have your own cloud instead… Simply owning one of these devices and using some of the features that are built-in, you essentially have your own private cloud for your business. All you need to do is plug in two Internet cables and use the connection to the Internet that you’re already paying for and now you have access to terabytes of your content no matter where you are and the extra security of having it stored on your own property.”
Seagate provides this private cloud through a variety of NAS devices that fit many SMBs’ budgets and office sizes. The products offered by Seagate include:
- NAS 2/4 Bay, which provides 2- or 4-bay drives that fit small offices with up to 25 employees, including those without dedicated IT staff.
- Pro NAS 2/4/6 Bay, which offers a higher-capacity drive with 2-, 4-, or 6-bays and is more suited for offices of up to 50 employees or even smaller offices that need to support creative endeavors and large-sized file transfers.
Both product lines include the NAS OS 4 software, which the company touts as “the industry’s most intuitive interface.” It features contextual help and is very easy to use. As Falgiano said, “You don’t have to know a lot of technical stuff” to be able to set up your NAS. Settings can be changed through a web browser via the dashboard visual interface. It comes preconfigured to your specifications or you can choose custom configurations, which are also fairly simple to do. The NAS also includes an option for encryption, which works well for several industries that are required to do so for compliance reasons, including the health care industry.
Prior to shipping, the NAS device goes through Seagate testing. And once it’s in the customer’s hands, it should take only about 10 minutes to set up. Falgiano added that setup is “about as easy as configuring an email account.”
The NAS solutions are also less noisy and compact than other products on the market. Falgiano explained that he had several running in his office and he felt his laptop fan was louder than the NAS drives. As for space, they don’t require much, according to Falgiano:
“Even the 6-bay takes up only about as much room on your desk as a laptop. Put it next to a printer, on someone’s desk, under a desk or in an IT closet.”