Why It’s Time to Replace Your NAS Backup Device and Add Managed Backup

December 28th, 2023

Analysts are predicting an increase in the network attached storage market. Research Nester says the global market, valued at $26 billion in 2023, will increase at a 12% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). As a result, the market will reach about $127 billion by 2036, with about 35% of that revenue coming from North America. Businesses and organizations may turn to NAS for file sharing as the number of mobile devices linked to their local area networks (LANs) and generating critical data grows – and many also rely on NAS backup devices for data protection. But is just relying on a device the best backup strategy for your company?

The Pros and Cons of NAS Backup 

NAS backup is a system that allows you to back up NAS data to another device. It’s relatively easy to implement — sometimes just requiring you to connect a hard drive to your NAS — and manage a backup through a web portal.

However, there’s a downside to using NAS backup devices. Some of the pitfalls that NAS backup can create include:

  • Data loss
    NAS backup devices can fail, leading to data loss. For example, components of the device can malfunction or lead to overheating, which can result in unrecoverable data. Additionally, voltage fluctuations and overvoltages during a power outage and restoration can cause data corruption. Also, remember that the backup is on the device. If the device is lost due to fire, flood, or other disaster, your backup is gone as well.
  • Security vulnerabilities
    Malware or ransomware can target NAS backup devices – backups aren’t immune from attacks. So, the backup you were counting on to restore data if you became a cyberattack victim may be unrecoverable itself.  NAS devices can also be vulnerable to insider threats. A disgruntled employee with access could delete or corrupt backups.
  • Risks of human error
    NAS backup requires that an organization maintain the system, properly updating and reformatting the device. Companies, especially those without internal IT resources, may struggle to ensure backups are accessible and error-free. Moreover, if an organization makes changes to its applications or files, a backup restored from an NAS device may cause a crash or performance problems.

Organizations also have the option of using the Network Data Management Protocol (NDMP) for NAS device backups. This allows you to send backups directly to tape or backup servers. While this is a solution for companies that back up file data, database applications like Microsoft Exchange, SQL, and Db2 require application awareness, so they don’t support integration with NDMP. You would have to use custom scripting to enable application awareness and maintain and troubleshoot those scripts, which many companies don’t have the resources to address.

Is Managed Backup In Your Future?

Research for the Veeam Data Protection Trends Report 2023 found that 32% of organizations would change their backup solution to improve the reliability and success of backups, and 30% are interested in moving from an on-premises solution to a cloud-based service. Furthermore, 38% of organizations want to make data protection part of a comprehensive data security strategy.

Managed backup, aka Backup as a Service, takes the burden off your internal IT team. An experienced third-party provider equips your business with all the tools you need to create backups reliably. The provider also devises a plan to keep copies of your backups in different places, including creating an immutable (unchangeable) copy offsite so you can recover quickly after a ransomware attack or natural disaster. The provider can also test your backups to make sure they’re error-free and can allow you to restore your data when needed.

Additionally, your managed backup provider will work with you to build a strategy to ensure you meet data retention and compliance requirements, providing you with all the necessary logs and documentation.

Continuing to rely only on an NAS backup device could be putting your data – and your business – at risk. Contact Virtual Systems to learn about our new Backup Briefcase solution that includes the hardware you need to back up your data backed by our team’s expertise and data storage and recovery services.

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