THE VALUE PROPOSTION OF A 4-BAY NAS ARRAY
The common myth of needing a NAS larger than 4-bays remains relentless, despite the advent of larger capacity drives of which the most recent being the 4TB models from Hitachi and Seagate. Buyers, be it Home users or Businesses really need to take a step back and re-evaluate their requirements to eliminate the emotional content in the decision making process. More is not necessarily better or even cost effective.
Keep it simple; find a manufacturer that is proactive and has an excellent selection of units based on the same platform that differs only by the number of bays offered. The hardware and features must remain exactly the same irrespective of the number of bays.
Currently, in this sector the only manufacturer that has such a holistic approach is QNAP, who have models with differing hardware platforms but maintain the same features for all models within a given family. The current models that display this trait are the recently launched TS-x69 series from QNAP. The range has a complete offering of all bays from its powerful 4-bays (TS-469PRO), 5-bays (TS-569PRO), 6-bays (TS-669PRO), to the versatile 8-bay (TS-869PRO). All have the exacting hardware and software platform, with no lack of features or messing about with exclusions to add on later here and there! Absolutely splendid when you consider QNAP continues this strategy within its entire product range including the flagship TS-x79 series of NAS arrays.
QNAP also offers a decent warranty and clearly excels in the features it provides. No other manufacturer has attempted a holistic approach at the entry to mid-range NAS arrays, this is unique for any manufacturer and QNAP has to be congratulated for its overall strategy. Having a non-holistic approach is really a serious omission as it hampers continuity for customers when it comes to product lifecycle and when buying more NAS arrays for the purpose of expansion and support.
In most cases the 4-bay NAS should be more than adequate when one considers that each bay can hold a 4TB drive, and fully populating these yields a gross storage capacity of 16TB (16 Terabytes). This amount of capacity to put it mildly is HUGE!
ROI (return on investment), evolving technology advancements eliminating the need to upgrade, just a few reasons along with many others really should make us ponder as why we even consider purchasing anything larger than a 4-bay NAS.
Let’s examine a simple scenario:-
QNAP TS-469PRO – with 4x3TB drives providing a total of 12TB raw storage. Use RAID 5 as your protection mode and we are left with 8.7TB Net capacity to use. Cost of unit from us at eAegis (March 2012) is currently at around $1,620.00 all in.
The ROI calculator takes a three year period in which the NAS system will cost $540.00 per annum (year), evaluated per month to cost a mere $45.00. At this rate in three years the NAS is paid for and if necessary you can reinvest in the latest NAS technology that may even be quadruple the power and offer features we have not even heard of as yet!
We have also undertaken performance tests on a single 8-bay unit compared to having 2 x 4-bay units, the latter with dual hardware platform were nearly twice the speed when stacked together over the single 8-bay. Clearly the price difference is more for having 2 x 4-bay units but certainly not higher than the single 8-bay unit when you consider you are getting two of everything when you purchase 2 x 4-bay units. Your upgrade for the future may be to purchase a second unit as opposed to upgrading a larger unit with additional drives. This can be a viable proposition.
This exercise clearly demonstrates how inexpensive it is to protect your data, and firmly puts the emphasis on carefully examining why the 4-bay has the strongest case for being the most favorable choice of NAS for anyone requiring no more than 16TB (Sixteen Terabytes) of RAW capacity today.
So to cap it all off, the main reasons for not buying to upgrade in the future are simply affordability in synthesis with ROI, obsolesce of technology, and performance if you are considering buying two small units to replace one large one.
Do you want to learn more or discuss your specific requirements? Why not call one of our experienced and professional storage consultants at 407-951-8935. We would be happy to speak to you.
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