Is It Time To Retire File Server and NAS?

To get an advanced copy of our exclusive white paper “Are File Servers Holding Users Back?” watch the webinar “How To Increase User Productivity and Ensure Data Security” on demand and you can download the paper today.

Is the File Server and the NAS Dead?

The file server has served users well for more than a decade. It provided users the ability to share documents with other employees within the organization. So successful was this storage with users that many organizations implemented multiple file servers which quickly created a data management problem. To solve this problem, multiple file servers were replaced by a single Network Attached Storage (NAS) system. These systems were essentially “super file-servers” but the method of user interaction remained unchanged. The problem is that the modern user no longer solely relies on a single desktop computer system. Instead, they access and share files from multiple devices – desktop/laptops, tablets and Smartphones. File servers and NAS systems were never not designed to manage file access from all these devices.

The Modern User Breaks The File Server

File servers and NAS systems started to show the first signs of weakness when laptops became truly portable and inter-office connectivity became a reality. Users now wanted to access their data from any office location. While IT provided VPN access to the corporate file share, this was typically very slow and highly unreliable. As a result, users started copying data to their local hard disk and either stopped using the file server or used it as a backup repository.

Modern users are now highly mobile workers, performing their tasks not only from a variety of offices that the organization may have, they also work from coffee shops, airport lounges and even airplanes. They also have multiple computer systems, including a desktop at the office, a desktop at home and a laptop or two that travels with them. These users also have devices, like tablets and Smartphones, that they use to not only to consume information but also to create information. They want all their data on all their compute devices all the time. They also want to be able to access all their data from their tablets or Smartphones at anytime.

This multi-point, multi-device access requires a VPN-less environment that can be securely accessed from anywhere. As we discuss in our exclusive white paper, “Are File Servers Holding Users Back?”, file servers and NAS systems are poorly equipped to handle these new requirements.

Is The Cloud The Solution?

Users are resourceful and to meet these new requirements they have looked outside of IT to an emerging cloud based offering – File Sync and Share. While IT may be tempted to divorce themselves from the problem and leave users to pursue their own solution, doing so will likely put corporate data at risk and eventually make IT’s job a lot harder. The problem is that when users look to the cloud, they often look to consumer grade solutions that don’t provide the security, availability guarantees and IT oversight that file servers and NAS solutions do. As we have also pointed out in our paper, these consumer solutions are strong on the sync portion of the solution, weak on the share part of the solution and they have almost no collaborative capabilities.

In the paper, we discuss how business class solutions are starting to emerge that can provide the security, oversight and availability that IT needs while at the same time actually increasing user productivity through better sharing and collaboration technology.

To get our white paper “Are File Servers Holding Users Back?” watch “How To Increase User Productivity and Ensure Data Security” on demand and you can download the paper from the attachments button. In this webinar experts from Storage Switzerland and Soonr discuss how IT can offer users a better File Sync and Share experience that can secure corporate data, improve IT’s control of the service and that enhances user collaboration to improve user productivity.

Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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3 comments on “Is It Time To Retire File Server and NAS?
  1. […] Click here to read the whole article […]

  2. hegwah says:

    @storageswiss file sync and share. backed off to cheap commoditised object stores whilst retaining the look and feel of a heritage fileshare/NAS is inevitable in the budget starved enterprise to reduce cost and satisfy the data hungry consumer. Cloud storage is the future model for semi structured and unstructured blobs regardless of the IAAS location

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