Different SMB storage systems focus on different sectors of the broad SMB market. However, in general, common traits of SMB storage include the ease of day-to-day use, ease of installation, affordability to specific SMB sectors and the ease of acquisition via channel or direct sales. Lower end SMB storage products may support multiple functions such as NAS file sharing including Windows, CIFS, NFS and in some cases AFP for Apple environments. Some also have block access via SAS, iSCSI or Fibre Channel.
A common misperception is that SMB storage lacks features and functions typically found on enterprise systems such as snapshots, replication, redundant controllers or hot-swappable components. A big difference in SMB and enterprise storage solutions will be what segment of the SMB is being targeted by a particular product. Thus, high-end SMB storage products may be blurred with enterprise storage, while lower end SMB data storage products can be compared with enterprise data storage products from their differences in size, cost, performance, capacity and feature functions.
This was first published in October 2009