Storage technologies originally developed for use in the enterprise market are steadily making their way into the small business and home user environments.
"For example, it's not uncommon today for consumers to have small networks and many gigabytes of data stored on numerous devices scattered throughout the home," says Jacques van Zijl, storage products manager at Ingram Micro.
Just like enterprise-class features have made their way into home networks and consumer-based drive capacities have increased in capacity, so enterprise trends like device consolidation are making their way down the food chain.
An example of this, van Zijl says is the new Promise SmartStor NS4300N, a four drive network attached storage device that allows users to consolidate all of their personal data in a single safe location.
"The NS4300N allows users to build a multi-terabyte network storage volume," he explains, "and in doing so, create a single place in the home where the data from all family members' PCs can reside either for backup or sharing purposes."
To ease the use of this device as a backup volume, van Zijl says that users can make use of the 'one-touch backup' facility, which is literally, as simple as it sounds.
"Through the installation of simple client software, users can make their daily, weekly and monthly backup operations as simple as a single button-press and NS4300N can furthermore, also perform a SmartSync, Snapshot or Replication-type backup operation, giving users a choice of ways to protect their data."
"The device supports the RAID 0, 1, 10, 5 and 5+ (RAID 5 with a hot spare) data protection technologies, which means that users can either configure their NS4300N for no redundancy and high performance, or a slightly lower performance level but far higher redundancy level.
"By using one of the more conservative RAID levels supported by the NS4300N, users can ensure that even if one of the four drives inside it fails, no data loss will occur," van Zijl explains.
Overall, he says that Ingram Micro believes there's a big future for devices such as the Promise NS4300N and that the home technology market is due for some serious leaps in functionality over the next few years.
"Five years ago, who would have predicted that we would be getting the level of Internet bandwidth that we have at our homes today?" he asks, "and the same applies to the sophistication of home networks, the quality derived from consumer digital cameras (both still and motion-based) and the resolution delivered by today's monitors.
"Technology in the home is becoming more sophisticated each year and we will almost certainly see fast, accessible and easy to use multi-terabyte, if not larger, storage volumes like the NS4300N becoming commonplace in years to come," he concludes.
The Promise NS4300N is available excluding the drives from a recommended retail price of R5 000 excluding VAT.