It’s time to get rid of NAS and start using cloud storage

In the past, many enterprises used NAS as the storage space for their company files, but with the advancement of cloud storage technology, many enterprises are starting to consider using cloud drives. How then should enterprises choose the suitable storage space? And how should they best use these two types of storage space?

Should enterprises use NAS or cloud drive to store files?

With advance in cloud storage technology, more and more enterprises have gone from using NAS (Network Attached Storage) in the past to considering using cloud drives to store their files. However, while both can be used for file storage, they are not the same thing, and it is also not necessary to have to make a choice between the two. NAS are physical drives for local area networks, and can be used for storing files that are used internally at a company, and can be expanded on by themselves to increase storage space. On the other hand, cloud drives are virtual drives on cloud, which is storage space more suited for file sharing and information storage away from the office.

Four advantages to using cloud drive for data storage

Cloud drives are also known as network drive, online storage, etc., and refers to services that provide online storage space for users to upload and download files from. Currently, the cloud drive service providers with the most users are Google Drive, Dropbox, and SkyDrive among others. Regardless of which service you go with, almost of them have the following benefits:

1 – No need to be connected to the company’s local area network to be able to use the company files

Cloud drives need to be connected to the internet to allow access away from the office, which is unlike NAS that requires connection to the company’s LAN for use of the files. Some cloud drive providers also provide applications for mobile devices, so that smart phone or tablert users can also access the files with ease.

2 – File sharing can be achieved through links, and does not require uploading attachments

Cloud drives can directly use links to files or folders to quickly share files. Just past the link into the e-mail or chat message, and others can look at or download the files. You don’t have to wait for the files to be uploaded as an attachment to your e-mail, which speeds up your communication and collaborations.

3 – Uses the search function to find the files you want even more quickly

Compared to file storage on NAS in the past, where you have to known the directory path when looking for a file, you can use the search function on a cloud drive by entering the keywords for the file name or content thereof, to quickly track down the corresponding file. You don’t need to click through every folder to find the file you need. The search function will find the information you need in three seconds flat.

4 – No need to purchase physical hard drives for storage space expansion

Compared to traditional physical hard drives, if you wanted to expand your storage space, you had to purchase hard drives and find places at your company to install them. If you are using cloud drives and want to increase your storage space, you just need to apply for more storage space with your cloud service provider, which takes up no space and you also don’t have to worry about storage and maintenance issues.

Google Drive also has an enterprise version which makes it even easier for your staff to share files

Aside from the personal version for standard users, Google Drive also provides enterprise version cloud drive for companies that utilize G Suite. Compare to the personal version, the enterprise version offers even more cloud storage space and other benefits, making it even more convenient for staff to share and and manage data.

Difference between the personal version and enterprise version of Google Drive

Private user G Suite User
Storage capacity 15G 30G and upwards
Word processing cloud collaboration tools Yes, and does not take up cloud storage space Yes, and does not take up cloud storage space
File sharing e-mail of the individual for file sharing is required All users in the preset field can access the file, making file sharing even faster
Shared cloud drive
*requires G Suite Business or G Suite Enterprise
N/A Owner of the share cloud folder is the entire term, and will be affected for a member leaving or transferring.
Backing up and syncing Yes Yes
Cloud drive file stream N/A Yes. A computer can be used to access the files, but the file will not take up the computer’s hard drive space.

How can you combine Google Drive and NAS?

If Google Drive is so convenient, is it possible to combine it with existing NAS, so that a company can have access to both storage space? Below are three possibility amalgamation of Google Drive with NAS, so that you don’t have to choose between NAS or Google Drive.