Nattering about NAS QNAP


Shu-Hung (Arthur) Yeh, Head of Business Development Asia Pacific, QNAP

Shu-Hung (Arthur) Yeh / Head of Business Development Asia Pacific for QNAP

Spun off from parent company IEI Integration Corporation in 2004, Taiwan-based QNAP Systems (standing for Quality Network Appliance Provider) specializes in developing networked storage solutions for file sharing, virtualization, storage management and surveillance applications to address corporate, SMB, SOHO and home user needs. In 2006, QNAP launched its Turbo NAS TS-101, which is the first NAS with SATA interface in the world.
Shu-Hung (Arthur) Yeh / Head of Business Development Asia Pacific for QNAP spoke to DataStorageAsean to discuss how the company addresses the diversified storage requirements of customers.
DataStorageAsean: With cloud-based storage solutions such as file-sync-share as well as object-based storage growing in popularity, is NAS still relevant?
Shu-Hung (Arthur) Yeh: With storage demand predicted to reach over 40 ZB (Zettabyte) in 5 years’ time, it is more important than ever that people should understand the amount of digital data that we are generating and come to realize the value of these data. As long as there are smart devices and computers involved in a compa- ny’s operation, secure and convenient storage solution is fundamental. Unfor- tunately, most users are not aware of this problem until crisis hits them. 

DataStorageAsean: What’s the difference between SMB and Enterprise NAS?
Shu-Hung (Arthur) Yeh: NAS come in different forms and different specifications, Enterprise NAS come with the best performance hardware. Feature-wise, SMB NAS is not that far off Enterprise NAS models, the reason being that SMB companies also need (or soon will need) some of the enterprise features as their business grow, and NAS is (or will be) the heart of the company’s operation. 

DataStorageAsean: What use cases are companies using NAS for?
Shu-Hung (Arthur) Yeh: NAS is no longer just a media device to store files. It does much more than that. It also encompasses user/group management, all the way to ensuring data and file security to staff productivity. In other words, it is a means of sharing per- sonal and company data safely and conveniently. There are also specialist ap- plications to which NAS are ideally suited for instance as a NVR (Network Video Recorder), providing surveillance solution to companies. Some companies use the Digital Signage feature built-in the QNAP NAS solution to project company advertisements or relevant information on TV screen to boost their brand im- age to visitors. Of course, one single NAS can also run many different types of servers applications, including VPN server, FTP server, Web server, etc. QNAP offers its customers a wide range of applications available for download in our website. For larger companies, where they already have application-specific servers running, NAS enclosures are used as storage to reduce server costs. Some companies use NAS to backup all the workstation computers throughout the cooperation. 

DataStorageAsean: What are the key functions companies should look for in a NAS product?
Shu-Hung (Arthur) Yeh: Before deciding on the NAS enclosure to purchase, the company must look at the issue of scalability. A scalable NAS should be able to allow users to buy one NAS, and as years goes by, add expansion units instead of buying and replac- ing the NAS box with a new NAS appliance.

The second issue to consider is user authentication. This can include the abil- ity to easily create and manage users/groups. Ease of use, including allowing managers to access user rights on the go, is important for enterprises. Your NAS solution should allow you to use your current authentication method if any, such as LDAP and Window AD. You also need to consider the NAS’ capability to secure your data. Ask your vendor if the NAS solution comes with an option for securing locally or even remotely.

Today faster network is essential to company operation, so the NAS appliance must be able to handle all these traffic. Speed is particularly important during

disaster recovery. By allowing SSD caching, RAID recovery can be reduced from 7 days to 24 hours. To reduce turnaround time, you should be able to set one HDD as hot-spare, in case of HDD failure. Advanced NAS should also have features such as Auto Tiering, which the NAS is intelligent enough to auto- matically decide between your hot/cold data, therefore moving date between SSD/HDD installed in one single NAS to keep cold data in lower cost HDD, leaving hot data in speedy SSD, and vice versa. 

DataStorageAsean: What is unique about your NAS offering?
Shu-Hung (Arthur) Yeh: QNAP NAS can run virtual machine within itself, meaning you can install an operating system such as Windows inside the NAS appliance. Because of this feature you can also install Windows-based software in the QNAP appliance. It is also one of the reason why QNAP NAS hardware specification is high than competitors in the industry. Every business is different from one to another. The thing about QNAP NAS is that it has something to offer you regardless of which industry you are in as long as your life and work involve digital content. Con- sider the versatility that QNAP offers: a single unit of equipment that does it all – that’s what a good NAS should do, and that’s unique to QNAP.

NAS is no longer large corporations’ rights to own. It has already walked into our daily lives. QNAP NAS features HDMI output (4K on some series) to best entertain its owner in multimedia usages. Many of QNAP products are “World’s First”, with our products, it is safe say we are the leader in NAS technology. 

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