Storage SAN and NASThe current and continuous developments of the digitization process are there for all to see. Documents, images, slides, videos, audio files that come from everywhere: we are literally invaded by data. And even more so are the companies that, every day, accumulate in their data structures on data, with the need to share them between the different business areas and to store them for possible future uses. It is clear that individual computers have limited storage spaces .

What can you do, then, when you have exceeded the available storage space and you need shared access to data and files from multiple digital devices (such as PC, smartphone and tablet) ? The solution is provided by storage systems .

In this article we will try to provide you with an overview of these media intended for storing information, we will deepen the characteristics and advantages of the different technologies, with a focus on the best SAN and NAS 2019.

We will also give you some useful tips, for example to limit the risk of data loss, select the right SSD / hard disk for Synology NAS and much more.


  • Storage SAN and NAS: what they are, how they work and why use them
  • What is data storage
  • SAN storage features
  • The benefits of SAN storage
  • The characteristics of NAS storage
  • The advantages of NAS storage
  • How to choose the NAS
  • The best SANs and NAS 2019
  • HPE MSA 1040 SAN storage and HPE MSA 2050 SAN storage
  • NAS Synology
  • Network NAS: how to avoid data loss
  • The RAID configuration
  • Additional methods to avoid data loss
  • Choose the storage unit from UAE Data Recovery

What is data storage

Data storage is the conservation of large quantities of information in electronic format, through the use of technologies, recording media, hardware devices, infrastructures and software specifically developed to store such data, making them reusable in case the original version is damaged or lost, and accessible as needed.

There are several storage architectures.

The attached storage ( Direct Attached Storage ) is the architectural solution on the longest. It is a data storage device connected directly to the machine that requires disk resources, without a network to act as an intermediary. The main limitation of this architecture is the inability to use shared resources between multiple systems.

Generally, in fact, the DAS system allows the simultaneous connection of only two devices . A limit that is instead exceeded by the other two storage architectures available on the market: NAS storage and SAN storage.

The terms SAN and NAS are sometimes confused because the acronym is very similar. It is actually two different technologies.

Storage SAN

SAN storage features

The storage SAN ( Storage Area Network) is a high-speed transmission network, consisting of the storage block devices, which can be accessed by multiple users. The aim is to make storage resources available for any connected digital device.

In the SAN network, storage peripherals are connected to servers via high-speed connections and switching devices, which allow the coexistence of heterogeneous storage systems.

The most common protocols used for communication within a SAN are FCP ( Fiber Channel Protocol ) and iSCSI ( Internet SCSI ) . Interconnections must be able to support high levels of bandwidth in order to adequately manage peak data activities.

The benefits of SAN storage

A SAN architecture moves storage resources and reorganizes them into a separate high-performance network. In this way, each server of the LAN network of which the SAN system is a part, can access the shared storage as if it were a directly connected unit.

The main advantage of an architecture of this type lies in the fact that all the computing power of the servers is used for applications, since the data do not reside directly in any of them, but precisely on the SAN network.

The SAN network has characteristics that make it an effective tool for business needs. Through this solution, you can access data quickly and safely, taking advantage of high performance, high availability, as well as ease of management.

SAN is also a highly scalable solution : you can add additional capacity according to the needs of the moment, an intent that can be easily achieved through the use of highly technological devices offered by the current market, such as HPE MSA 1040 SAN storage or storage HPE MSA 2050 SAN.

Storage NAS

The characteristics of NAS storage

A NAS ( Network Attached Storage ) is a device connected to the local network, which provides users with a shared mass memory, consisting of one or more hard disks, which can be accessed to save, read or retrieve files. We list below its main features:

A NAS is generally a computer that has everything needed to communicate over the network. The administrator of a home or business network can connect a NAS device to the LAN. The NAS system maintains its IP address just like computers and other TCP / IP devices

To get a more precise idea of ​​the type of functionality carried out, you can compare it to the most well-known storage solutions, such as the external hard disk , which however allow the connection of only one device at a time.

NAS storage, on the other hand, being connected to the network, supports numerous devices simultaneously. It is therefore in all respects a sort of server, aimed at making available memories that can be interfaced and connected to other network resources

Using the software that normally comes with the NAS device, network administrators can configure automatic or manual backup copies of files between the NAS and all other connected devices

A basic NAS storage always has at least one interchangeable hard disk for saving files.

At a domestic level, however, the ideal is to provide at least two hard drives, since if one of them breaks, you can risk losing all the stored data.

Having two hard drives available, one will be exactly the copy of the other, and in case of breakage you can proceed with the replacement. In this way you will get a copy of your data automatically.

The best NAS on the market, used especially at company level, are capable of containing dozens of hard disks, depending on the storage space required.

Usually, a NAS manages a large amount of data, up to several terabytes . Administrators can add more storage capacity to the network by installing additional NAS devices, despite each NAS acting independently.

In the beginning, this type of solution was intended exclusively for businesses and companies. Now the situation has changed and NAS systems are starting to spread even among home users.

The advantages of NAS storage

NAS architecture is a highly scalable architecture: this means that you can easily increase storage capacity, without the need to update or replace existing servers and without interrupting network operations.

The NAS also guarantees high levels of accessibility: every device connected to the network can access the storage unit.

The NAS architecture allows for easy management in terms of file serving. The NAS provides users of your network with disk space to save , edit, read or create files in a shared or accessible way based on specific rules and permissions. As a network manager, in fact, you can assign your users distinct permissions and authorization levels, thus ensuring adequate protection for shared data.

How to choose the NAS

There are several things you need to keep in mind when choosing a NAS system:

First of all, you don’t have to focus exclusively on the needs of the moment but you have to evaluate what the long distance storage needs may be : 12, 24, 36, 48 months.

As with PCs, NAS systems provide better performance depending on the memory and processors present in their structure. The faster the processors and the more memory is expanded, the greater the performance you can get.

An important aspect that you need to consider in NAS units is the number of slots for hard dis k / SSD , which are technically called “bay ” (eg quantity of SSD / hard disk for a Synology NAS).

Having more bays is equivalent to having more storage space. You may not be able to use some of the bays immediately, but they are still available for future updates to the NAS drive.

Additional features you need to keep in mind when choosing a NAS are supported applications , the number and type of ports available . NAS systems can be equipped with USB ports that allow direct data transfer to external drives and one or more Fast Ethernet / Gigabit Ethernet ports that allow you to connect the NAS to the local network or to other NAS or that represent spare ports .

Finally, another important aspect that you need to evaluate is the speed with which the NAS unit passes data through the network in which it is configured. Currently, many NAS support Wi-Fi connectivity: however, to move large amounts of data it is advisable to use wired connections.

The best SANs and NAS 2020

The market offers an ever wider range of storage products. Being able to choose carefully in the variety of proposals available is not always a simple operation. Let’s find out some of the best SAN and NAS 2019 together

HPE MSA 1040 SAN storage and HPE MSA 2050 SAN storage

Among the solutions aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises that have to compete at high levels, particularly interesting are the proposals of HP, which has a more advantageous category of products on the economic front but equally valid and flexible. HPE MSA 1040 SAN storage , a scalable solution up to 99 HDD / SSD drives and 384 TB capacity, belongs to this product range .

Equally affordable and high performance is HPE MSA 2050 SAN storage , scalable up to 192 HDD / SSD drives and 960 TB of capacity.

HPE MSA storage solutions include advanced software features that increase productivity and ensure business continuity . The products also have a software suite with simple and “snapshot” management tools that allow immediate data recovery.

NAS Synology

Synology NAS are also on the podium of the best storage solutions . A strong point of these devices is Desktop Web Multitasking , a series of simple tools that facilitate and optimize administration, allowing you to easily manage the various dedicated functions.

Synology NAS solutions are also widely scalable , thanks to the addition of special SSDs / hard drives for Synology NAS. The Synology FS and XS series products allow you, for example, to provide scalable network services for up to 3000 users.

Remember that for maximum performance it is always essential to use appropriate SSD / hard disk for Synology NAS, disks specially designed to limit vibrations, consumption and to remain constantly on. These features are necessary to make the most of the Synology NAS, without damaging it.

Network NAS: how to avoid data loss

As in any type of storage, even with NAS the risks of data loss should never be underestimated. To be able to safeguard them in the best way, you must therefore adopt proactive strategies.

The RAID configuration

The configuration called RAID represents one of the main tools available to NAS drives to avoid data loss. The term RAID , which stands for ” Redundant Array of Independent Disks “, is a system used to share or replicate information between a group of hard drives.

If you enable this feature, your data is duplicated on multiple disks. The RAID configuration allows you to deal with the loss of one or more disks and to be able to replace them, without interrupting the service. The function also allows you to significantly improve performance.

There are several configuration modes , but the most common are RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10:

The RAID 0 system , also called “striping” (or sectioning), divides the data equally between two or more disks;

With the RAID 1 technique , also called “mirroring”, the data is saved on a primary disk, to then be replicated on one or more secondary disks, which allows you to avoid the loss of information in the event of a disk failure ;

RAID 5 , a mode available only on NAS with three or more disks, distributes data evenly among all disks: in the event that one is broken, the NAS continues to operate but with lower performance;

RAID 10 is the combination of the RAID 1 and RAID 0 levels: for this reason, it is also referred to as RAID 1 + 0. The combination of the two storage levels makes RAID 10 not only very fast, but also very resilient.

Be careful though. RAID and backup do not indicate the same operation. Even if the RAID configuration writes data simultaneously to multiple disks, the operation does not create backup copies.

Additional methods to avoid data loss

To avoid data loss, in addition to enabling the RAID function, you can increase the security of the NAS by following a series of precautions:

First of all pay attention to the login: avoid the classic username “Admin”, changing it with a personal username

It also uses fairly difficult passwords and enables two-pass authentication whenever possible

Take advantage of functions that can increase system protection levels such as the firewall , a useful defense component to block extraneous and dangerous connections

Remember to always update your NAS .

Choose the storage unit from UAE Data Recovery

UAE Data Recovery is a reality in Dubai , in the province of UAE , specialized in the supply of storage devices and not only throughout the territory of United Arab Emirates

Latest generation solutions for optimized performance, in order to best meet your storage needs and enhance the full potential of your data.

In the wide range of products offered by our company you can find some of the best SAN and NAS 2020, highly scalable, such as HPE MSA 1040 and 2050 SAN storage , as well as various solutions (including SSD / hard disk for NAS) Synology .

To learn more about our storage proposals, visit the dedicated page and contact us for a quote.

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