We get this question all the time, “Should I buy a server or a network attached storage, or NAS? Here are the pros and cons for both:
Pros for server:
- Install just one program. Just install one application, i.e. Adobe Photoshop, SAGE, Microsoft Office, and just buy licenses for your workstations. That way, you don’t have to install software on all the computers. The files and databases may reside on the server. Everyone accesses the server files and programs and is on the same page. Easy and smooth.
- More targeted administration and control. You are in charge, or your server administrator is. No relying on outsourced Godaddy or Google servers for your stuff and user network administration. You have it all on your server in your possession. Some feel peace of mind knowing confidential info is on the premises and not overseas somewhere.
- Scalable. Need email accounts or a web server. No problem, you have the capability all within the server.
Pros for going with a NAS device:
- It’s thousands of dollars cheaper. No need to worry about a full-fledged server box, antivirus software, and redundant parts. No need to pony up for a static IP address or back-up Internet connection. Keep in mind that if you buy a server, you have the responsibility to secure your network as it is a portal to potential threats and hackers.
- It’s a faster setup. The server requires domain joining, software roll-outs, anti-virus software updates, and everything else that is needed for a new server setup. NAS setups are a fraction of the time needed as opposed to server setups.
The decision is up to you. Do you want more control or do you want to save a buck or two?