Backup and Storage Solutions
There are a few technologies that have made a name for themselves with regard to backup solutions for small and medium size businesses. Before considering these options, it is important to note that tape backup for the purposes of disaster recover is still a very valid and traditional solution with regard to server protection.
Many small and medium businesses look for ways to easily check on the backups, minimize the work involved in this process to a minimum, and keep the cost of protecting ever growing data repositories as low as possible. Tape drive technologies have advanced, but not at the same pace as disk technologies. Most tape drives or libraries are expensive compared to today's disk systems, therefore, many traditional thoughts with regard to backups have now moved to "disk to disk" systems. Disk to disk just means that you are pulling data off of one type of file system on a server, workstation, or other device and putting it on another type of system that is using a hard drive for storage.
NAS is a term for a box that is dedicated to storage. It can be for archive, augmenting file systems, or a place to store backups. It seems like a complex thing, but really its not all that complicated. Say you dedicate and old server with a lot of disk space for storage of your backup files. In essence, it is a NAS. NAS simple means "Network Attached Storage". Since the old server most likely has a network card and is dedicated for disk storage, it is a NAS. There are many different features of NAS devices which make them more suitable for a task than another NAS device, but it is still just a network attached storage system of some sort. When you have large amounts of data to backup and need quick recovery, NAS backup systems are a clear winner in cost effectiveness and speed. However, most NAS devices still require backup software to do the actual backup.