Is a NAS box a viable alternative to a Windows Server?
January 11, 2011 3:33 PM Subscribe
Could/should a tiny NGO abandon the Windows server model (which is probably overkill for our simple needs) and just go with a NAS box for file sharing?
posted by gemmy to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I work for a small non-profit that has finally funded a much needed IT upgrade. We have been running a now-faltering Windows server for many years, and were planning on just following the same model by getting a new server and upgrading our workstations.
Today, however, I was chatting with a friend in a similar organization that just did an IT overhaul last year. Instead of spending lots of money on a server, his NGO instead uses a NAS box for file storage/sharing (with RAID 5, a UPS, and with rotating external hard drives for backup, together with a cloud backup solution). He says they love it - it was a lot cheaper than buying a new server, and that it's also a lot easier to manage.
Thinking about how we work, I can't really think of anything that the server does for us that a robust NAS couldn't do. I really like the idea of less complexity, so it's an idea that really resonates with me. We'll be hiring an IT consultant to help out no matter what we do, so I will of course bring this up with them as well. I am just looking for experiences with making this switch, and/or thoughts about the security/viability of this approach.
Misc Relevant Info:
- 3 staff, 2 interns. (Max # of staff ever = 7.)
- Staff turnover is nonexistent, but we do get new interns each semester.
- Using Google Apps for email, don't foresee needing to switch to in-house email (nor to an in-house web server).
- No applications running off the server, it's being used exclusively to store and share files (Office documents, PDFs, pictures, etc. )
- Server does provide centralized management of options for anti-virus/anti-malware (so users can't turn off scanning)
- Will need to provide different levels of access to files, based on user or group (e.g. staff vs interns).