Earlier this month, Thecus launched their new line of Windows Storage Server 2012 R2 Essential NAS appliances. In a recent article on HardBoiled, we pointed out that a NAS is one of the most useful pieces of computer equipment a law office could have. Thecus’ new NAS offering however, gives nearly all businesses the ability to deploy NAS capabilities regardless of their level of IT know-how.
A NAS solution allows businesses to provide storage without having to worry about the costs and administration associated with a full-fledged storage server. In addition, a NAS with private cloud capabilities can offer more security and up-time than some public cloud solutions.
So what is Thecus’ Windows NAS Solution?
There are three products in Thecus’ latest NAS launch, the W2000, W4000, and the W5000. All three are powered by an Intel Atom processor, have 2 GB of DDR3 memory, built-in HDMI output, and a Seagate boot drive. The differentiation is in the number of drive bays they offer. The W2000 offers two drive bays, W4000 four, and the W5000 features five. Each of these add secure data storage to networks under 50 seats; which model you choose depends on how much data you need to store.
“At the price points Thecus is offering these units at, they’re very competitive with existing products utilizing inferior processors such as ARM- and Marvell-based processors,” says David Chen, Newegg’s NAS expert and product manager. “They already make for relatively powerful systems with performance on par light-performance laptops.”
However, the most important component here is the fact that all three systems are Windows-based. Other NAS solutions, such as the Synology DS412+, typically run proprietary systems based on Linux. So what is the advantage in running a Windows-based NAS device?
A Familiar Look and Feel for the Lay User
Many SMBs—not to mention one-person businesses—lack a dedicated staff or expert. For such operations, esoteric operating systems like those found in many NAS devices may have a learning curve that is far too steep. Often, SMBs in such a position rely on a third party to manage their data needs. A Windows-based NAS gives users without in-depth IT knowledge an interface that they are likely already familiar with.
Office 365 and Azure Backup Integration
For businesses that utilize Office 365, a NAS running Windows allows for management of their users and subscription all from the NAS. It also synchronizes with the Office 365 service so that users can use both online and local services seamlessly. One of the great benefits is that local backups on the NAS can be synced with the cloud.
Support from a Household Name
One of the best reasons to go with a NAS running Windows Storage Server 2012 though, is the fact that you will receive support from Microsoft. For an SMB with no dedicated IT personnel, this support can be very beneficial.
If you’re on the fence about implementing an NAS for your SMB, a Windows-based should sway you towards getting one. As stated above, it is easier to manage compared to other NAS systems and can offer more integration with your Windows-based subscriptions.