What NAS Storage Device Are You Using?

Jason sent me an email to ask about NAS Storage Devices. I sadly don’t have any particular recommendations, so I’m throwing it out to all of you. What do you recommend?

My wife’s company was hit by one of the devastating tornadoes last week. I’m trying to help them rebuild their IT infrastructure.

We were able to salvage the desktop PCs from their office, and I have been working on not only ordering new computers for them (the owner wants laptops now), but also backing up all data from the various PCs.

The single common, and striking, thread as I’ve gone through this is… all of their data stored is on single hard drives across various desktops. No server, no redundancy at all. I’m actually shocked that the “IT guy” before me allowed the storage of data in this manner. It’s actually quite scary. (Company financial records, payroll, tax information, customer PII and records, billing, receivables, etc.)

I need to present to my wife’s boss that she has single points of failure, across several desktops, for significant data loss, and we need to implement a storage solution that provides redundancy but also centralized access and management.

I considered an SMB server, but the price point may be too high, and at this point, they are now working out of her home; at least for now, an NAS device may be more suitable for their needs?

Do you have any recommendations for a quality NAS device that you have tested/used?

I’ve read several reviews from several sites and write ups, and have narrowed my preferences down to devices from Buffalo, Lacie, and possibly even ioSafe. But I trust your judgement and am open-minded to other manufacturers.

I would prefer a four-drive NAS system to support RAID5, as opposed to a two-drive RAID1, but am still open-minded. Also, seeing as this data contains PII, at least 128-bit encryption is very much desired.

The storage capacity requirement is not that large: 1-2 TB would be more than adequate. As far as budget? I’m thinking $1000 would be the limit on what the owner may be willing to spend.

I just wanted to write you in hopes that you may recommend a quality NAS device that you or your team has used and would recommend to someone in our situation?