NAS servers will help us to mount our own private cloud in our home or business.
Thanks to NAS servers, we can store many files locally if we want to access them. We can use protocols such as Samba, FTP, FTPES (secure), SFTP (secure) and we can even access the local network domestic or professional thanks to the use of a VPN server installed on the NAS.
Other features of NAS servers are the ability to squeeze the maximum multimedia content, and we can even virtualize operating systems very easily.
To choose a good NAS server, we must look at several very important aspects such as:
Processor and RAM: the processor (CPU) of the NAS will be responsible for managing all processes. The faster a processor is, the better overall performance we will obtain when managing and transferring data from the NAS. The RAM is also very important. Having more than 4GB of RAM today is essential so that all NAS operating system processes are running smoothly and be able to virtualize at least one operating system.
Hard drive bays and SSDs: NAS servers can have one or more bays to host hard drives. It is recommended that a NAS have 3 bays for hard drives or more, and thus configure a RAID 5 to have data protection and a very good speed. It is also important that NAS has slots for the installation of SATA3 or M.2 SATA3 or M.2 NVMe SSD. The SSDs can accelerate the overall performance of the NAS using them as SSD cache or storage by levels (Qtier in QNAP).
Ethernet ports: NAS servers have a Gigabit Ethernet port to connect to the local home or professional network, although it is normal to find a 2-port Gigabit Ethernet NAS to perform Link Aggregation and have a bandwidth of up to 2Gbps speed. It is essential that the NAS has connectivity to be able to squeeze its hardware to the fullest.
USB 3.0 ports: The ports are used to backup external hard drives or removable storage devices. It is essential that the NAS CPU is powerful to transfer data at the maximum possible speed. These ports also help us get information from the NAS quickly to a local device.
NAS operating system: The operating system of NAS servers is one of the most important aspects, since they will manage all processes and provide us with many configuration options. If you are mounting a NAS server on your own, operating systems such as FreeNAS, XigmaNAS or OpenMediaVault are great choices.
If you are going to buy a NAS server from manufacturers such as QNAP, Synology or ASUSTOR, you should also keep in mind that their operating systems are very complete. They launch system updates on an ongoing basis, and not only to correct possible bugs, but they add new functionalities.