Network Storage Server Options
A storage server is a type of server used to store and manage digital data and acts as
a backup server to store backup data. A storage server will be used for storing both small
and large amount of data over a shared network. Although the need for storage is evident, it
is not always clear which solution is right for your organization. There are a variety of options available.
The most prevalent network storage server options are direct-attached storage (DAS),
network-attached storage (NAS) and storage area networks (SAN). Choosing the right storage
solution can be as personal and individual decision. There is no one right answer for
everyone. Instead, it is important to focus on the specific needs and long-term business
goals of your organization. Several key criteria to consider include:
1 - Capacity
2 - Performance
3 - Scalability
4 - Availability and reliability
5 - Data protection
6 - IT staff and Resources available
7 - Budgets concern
DAS (Direct Attached Storage):
Direct Attached Storage (DAS) is a digital storage device that is attached directly to
a server or PC via cable, meaning that DAS is not a part of the storage network. A DAS device
may be an internal or external hard disk drive like internal hard drive in PC. These disk drives
can be protected with different RAID levels, depending on data importance and criticality.
For the server, a DAS storage is very much similar to its own internal drive or an external
drive that has been plugged in.
The main interfaces used for DAS connection include Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA),
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA), eSATA, Small Computer System Interface (SCSI),
Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), and Fiber Channel.
It is worth mentioning that high access rate due to network absence, capability of storage
capacity extension, data security and fault tolerance are some of advantages of DAS. However,
the primary benefits of DAS include low cost and simplicity. Since it does not need components
of network storage systems such as routers, switches and appropriate cabling and connections.
The drawback of DAS is that it is not accessible by multiple user groups and only one user
at a time is allowed.
DAS is the most basic level of storage. The storage devices are part of the host computer
or directly connected to a single server, in which the workstation must access the server in
order to connect to the storage device. On the opposite side, NAS and SAN are connected to
workstation and servers over a network.
In the DAS, if the server is down or experiencing problems, users can not store and access
data. Surveillance images cannot be retrieved or stored. If the organization grows and needs
new servers, storage for each server must be administered separately.