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Common Storage Issues
Network attached storage (NAS) is an inexpensive way for organizations to increase their storage and offer centralized backups as well as other services. When a NAS experiences storage issues, however, not only can performance be affected, but critical data may be in jeopardy. Here are some of the most common storage issues to look out for.
Improper RAID Configuration
RAID (redundant array of independent disks) is a type of storage virtualization that allows multiple disks to act together, while increasing performance and data integrity. There are a number of different RAID schemes, each one offering a different balance of reliability, redundancy and performance.
The wrong RAID configuration can result in storage issues if a NAS is prioritizing one factor at the expense of others. For example, a scheme that emphasizes performance (i.e. RAID0) may do so at the cost of protecting your data's integrity. A single data loss event may completely erase the value of any performance gains experienced prior to the incident.
Application balancing is another method of avoiding storage issues. Some NAS applications and functions, such as automatic backup, are particularly intensive and significantly affect performance. Proper scheduling, or limiting the number of individuals who can access a NAS simultaneously may avoid these bottlenecks.
Duplicate files are often overlooked, and can cause diminished NAS' performance. Duplicate files increase the time the NAS spends searching and indexing the duplicate copies. Removing duplicate files, and replacing them with pointers to the original, can result in a significant performance boost.
In addition, NAS operating systems such as ZFS support de-duplication and compressions that can greatly increase the efficiency of this valuable resource.
These are just three common issues related to NAS storage. Many organizations make the mistake of believing that they can plug in a NAS and never give it another thought. The reality is that proper NAS implementation requires careful thought, planning, and maintainence to achieve the maximum performance. Taking steps to implement these techniques will assure the necessary data protection your organization requires.