Is Your Company Relying on QNAP NAS Servers for Data Storage?

Strategies for making the most out of your QNAP NAS server infrastructure

Data access and storage is truly the backbone of every modern business. Whether you’re dealing with documents, video files, spreadsheets, or a mix of all three, having strategic and well-understood data storage processes and solutions is absolutely critical. For many professionals, QNAP NAS servers are the perfect solution for securely storing and accessing critical business data.

In fact, we recently heard from a local video production company who relies on QNAP NAS server for their data storage. However, they were having some issues optimizing the solution and were looking for some support to get things streamlined and better connected. Of course, we were happy to help. But the request got us thinking. Many professionals probably aren’t aware of the best practices for optimizing QNAP NAS server solutions. We’re on a mission to change that.

Drawing on the best practices promoted by QNAP themselves, we’ve put together a quick guide to help business professionals get the most out of their QNAP NAS server infrastructure. Read on to learn more about optimizing storage capabilities, selecting proper file access types, and determining RAID parameters.

QNAP NAS Server Solutions: Optimizing Data Storage & Access Capabilities

As mentioned, QNAP has a variety of server solutions that can be truly beneficial to business professionals in all industries. However, we’re hoping to make these storage solutions a little easier to understand by creating a best practice guide with general recommendations for QNAP NAS configuration and optimal performance. Any professionals who are considering QNAP NAS server solutions and those who are already relying on this technology can read on to develop better storage, access, and configuration strategies.

  • Optimizing Storage Capabilities

Simply put, the best way for your organization to create an optimal QNAP storage environment is to set yourself up for success from the start. No matter the nature or size of your operation, the following step-by-step guide will help ensure that your QNAP NAS server solutions are configured correctly and strategically from the start.

  1. Choose the best enterprise QNAP NAS storage option for your organization. There are many options, though the higher-end enterprise platform is equipped with faster CPU, memory, and IO specifications.
  2. Get to know the details about your selected storage solution and understand how to use and optimize its beneficial features.
  3. Maximize the system RAM on your selected storage solution.
  4. Deploy mSATA SSD drives for data Read/Write Caching.
  5. Select the correct configuration for RAID and Volume.

By following these initial steps, you’ll be going a long way to get your QNAP NAS server solutions optimized from the offset. This means your data storage infrastructure is set up correctly and strategically and your team will be proactively set up for streamlined data storage and access capabilities.

  • Access Controls

Another key benefit of using QNAP NAS server solutions is that depending on your workload and types of files you’re working with, you can customize your access options to ensure optimal performance. Access controls are divided into two categories: random and sequential. The key for optimization is to match the appropriate access type to the expected nature and extent of work within your environment.

There isn’t a solid answer when it comes to determining which access type is better. Below, you’ll find a brief description of random and sequential access, as well as the workload types that are best suited for each kind. However, it must be noted that due to the nature of mechanical drives, sequential access is said to be the most efficient option. To put it simply, random access involves a higher number of seek operations than sequential access, meaning sequential options will yield quicker access results.

However, check out the ideal workloads for each type below:

  • Random Access: 

Random access means users can access any part of any file in any order. This gives you the ability to access the middle of a large file, instead of reading it in order (beginning, middle, end).

The following workload types are best supported by random access:

  • Multiple clients concurrent access
  • Database application
  • VM access in a hypervisor environment
  • IP-SAN using block-based data
  • Sequential Access:

Sequential means users must access and read files in sequential order. This means every file must be read from start to finish.

The following workload types are best supported by sequential access:

  • Direct video editing, using software from a single workstation
  • Single-client video recording from an IP camera or video recorder
  • NAS video streaming
  • Large file transfers
  • Data backup tasks

RAID Characteristics

Finally, when setting up your QNAP NAS storage solution, it’s critical that you assign the correct RAID characteristics. RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent Disks and its function is to prevent disk failures, optimize disk performance, and increase disk capacity.

QNAP NAS storage solutions support all different RAID levels and each level has different performance and capacity metrics. Again, before deploying your QNAP NAS server, it’s critical to understand the type and extent of your workload so you can select optimal RAID levels to optimize storage performance. After all, when trying to determine the correct RAID level for server storage optimization, you should be focusing on two things: capacity & performance.

Check out the three most common RAID levels and the workloads they best support:

  • RAID 10:
    RAID 10 is the optimal solution for heavy transactional workloads that rely on significant random writes (30% and above).
  • RAID 5:
    RAID 5 is the optimal solution for medium performance, general purpose, and sequential workloads. Usually, RAID 5 is deployed because it is the most cost-efficient choice and only uses one drive for parity. However, it should be noted: if you’re using performance-demanding applications, RAID 5 probably isn’t sufficient.
  • RAID 6:
    RAID 6 works best for read-biased workloads, such as file archiving or data backup purposes. Like with RAID 5, RAID 6 is not the optimal choice for high performance application work, especially in an intensive, random-write data environment.

Head Spinning Yet? Call in A Professional IT Consultant for Support

Listen, all this tech lingo is enough to leave smoke coming out of your ears. We get it. You’re a busy professional and chances are you don’t have all the time in the world to be learning your QNAP NAS server infrastructure inside out. However, the reality is, you need it to work and you need it to work seamlessly.

That’s why when in doubt, we recommend calling in a professional IT consultant. Specifically, your organization should be looking for a professional who has experience in optimizing IT infrastructures for businesses and someone with expertise in optimizing server storage in particular. By partnering with a professional IT consultant, you could save massive amounts of time and stress in the effort to optimize your QNAP NAS solutions.

Best practice is to reach out to local IT providers for some one-on-one consultation. By chatting directly with an experienced IT consultant you’ll be able to better understand your server storage needs and gain strategic insights from professionals who get it. A professional in your corner means you’ll uncover strategies for optimization that you may never have considered otherwise. Before you know it, your QNAP infrastructure will be optimized and working every day in support of your operational goals.

Did you find this article informative? As always, we’re happy to help! If you liked this, check out these other articles we think you’ll love:

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