In the past, I have written about Network Area Storage (NAS) to have a large storage capacity on your network and also set up an automated backup system. You can also take two NAS drives and have them sync remotely to give you remote back. Now we have a new term to deal with: Storage Area Network (SAN).
These terms mean almost the same thing, but let me try to put some practicality around it. Simply put, SAN are more for larger networks with multiple servers. Remember, neither can run your application—you still need a server to do that. But when it comes to storage, both are great.
The way I distinguish the two is that NAS are more appropriate for smaller offices, whereas SAN are useful for larger firms that are running multiple servers. Additionally, SAN have great capacity for storage and expansion. With an SAN you will need a tech person to help, or at a minimum you will need some training. For most firms I would suggest NAS will work well—and these products keep improving each year, so plan to budget a replacement every two to three years.
Ash Bhatnagar, CFP®
RIA Independence Co.