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What can a server really do that a NAS can't?

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  • What can a server really do that a NAS can't?

    I'm curious about this and what I'm finding in my review of products (and limited experience) is that neither is really better than the other. However, I'd really like to get more opinion on this.

    A small office business with say between 6 and 11 users.. Primarily doing file sharing, require some element of file security/policy (and I mean some- there aren't many secrets in the data and everything is pretty much open), already have a firewall/router.. Do they really need a server 2008 setup? Why not just get a fancy NAS with security features- is this a better alternative to businesses facing budgetary constraints right now but who need a better way of doing things than peer-to-peer?

    Whatever your preference, may I know why and how the features of say, server 2008 standard versus a redundant 1TB NAS with security features and print server capability can provide more value? I like the server route personally because it allows me the opportunity to learn more (2008 and now the new 2011- exciting!)- but have trouble offering this over something that could save money and (possibly) be a better solution. Thanks for any ideas.
    2
    I'd go the Server route for this environment
    100.00%
    2
    I fancy the NAS for this environment
    0.00%
    0

    The poll is expired.


  • #2
    Re: What can a server really do that a NAS can't?

    Well, for 6-10 users I would specify SBS so you get Exchange and all the advantages of AD.

    In general, a NAS will provide very limited security and no possibility of "expansion" (e.g. AD, DHCP, DNS, adding on SQL, IIS or any of the other server roles, so while it might do in the very limited situation you describe it would not do so for long.

    Won't bother voting but I think you can guess what my answer would be.
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

    ** Remember to give credit where credit is due and leave reputation points where appropriate **

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    • #3
      Re: What can a server really do that a NAS can't?

      Server 2008 is far better
      1. Provide more granular security on file share + it has complete inbuilt File Server Role
      2. In future you can also add redundancy to the File Share using DFS
      3. Provides you print Server capability [can use accounting and restrict printer to set of user]
      4. With Server 2008 DC you can manage your users, permissions, file / print server centrally additional there are lot of feature sets you can make use in longer run. You can look for SBS2008 for a small user base
      Thanks & Regards
      v-2nas

      MCTS 2008, MCTIP, MCSE 2003, MCSA+Messaging E2K3, MCP, E2K7
      Sr. Wintel Eng. (Investment Bank)
      Independent IT Consultant and Architect
      Blog: http://www.exchadtech.blogspot.com

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      • #4
        Re: What can a server really do that a NAS can't?

        How would you set up backups for the NAS?

        -vP

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        • #5
          Re: What can a server really do that a NAS can't?

          Originally posted by v-2nas
          You can look for SBS2008 for a small user base
          I would NOT look at SBS2008 due to SBS2011 now being available.

          I will DITTO all that Ossian said. For an office of 6 - 11 Users SBS2011 would be ideal. If you were to purchase Server 2008 R2 (who really wants Server 2008 as it is rapidly approaching its 3rd birthday) then all you have is a Server. Anything like Exchange or SQL etc has to be purchased separately at an overall higher cost than the SBS product PLUS you also have to purchase CALs for those products as well.

          CALs for SBS cover all the products that come with SBS.
          1 1 was a racehorse.
          2 2 was 1 2.
          1 1 1 1 race 1 day,
          2 2 1 1 2

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          • #6
            Re: What can a server really do that a NAS can't?

            Even cheaper option is the new version of SBS (Essentials?) which is an AD/File&Print server with cloud based Email, Sharepoint etc.

            Implementing file sharing when you don't have a central logon authority is always a nightmare IME, it's impossible to manage and doesn't scale well, and should you in the future have more confidential data that's another layer of complexity.
            BSc, MCSA: Server 2008, MCSE, MCSA: Messaging, MCTS
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            • #7
              Re: What can a server really do that a NAS can't?

              Thanks for clarification biggles77
              Thanks & Regards
              v-2nas

              MCTS 2008, MCTIP, MCSE 2003, MCSA+Messaging E2K3, MCP, E2K7
              Sr. Wintel Eng. (Investment Bank)
              Independent IT Consultant and Architect
              Blog: http://www.exchadtech.blogspot.com

              Show your appreciation for my help by giving reputation points

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