As you outgrow an existing network-attached storage device that isn’t upgradeable, you may think of buying a newer higher-capacity NAS.
The older NAS is a secondary network data storage
This is something I have done lately as I outgrew the Western Digital MyBook World Edition’s 1Tb capacity and received a 3Tb Seagate GoFlex Home NAS as a birthday gift. Here, I was able to move my “work” data and system backups to the GoFlex while running the My Book World Edition as a DLNA Media Server for my photos and music. I could run either of these units as part of shifting data between two computers or run the My Book also as a data store for drivers, anti-virus, service packs and similar computer-service needs.
Spreading data storage across multiple units
Here, you don’t need to get rid of the older NAS, but run it as a secondary unit. For example, you could simply move most of the data like backup data or work-in-progress data off the older unit to the newer unit and run the older unit as a media server or simple data drop-off point. This can come in handy if you have to shift user-created data from that old half-dead laptop to that shiny new fast laptop before you retire it, or keep a collection of drivers and service packs for when you have to install new computers.
Separating business and personal data
In some cases, you could move business data to the newer NAS and have personal data on the older unit so you can segment the units easily for tax or corporate reimbursement purposes.
Your children and their data
The same situation can also be a boon for your teenage or young-adult child where they can keep their data and file-based media on the older NAS. Here, it then makes it easier for them to shift their data out with them when they grow their wings and leave the family nest. Here, they can use this device with a DLNA-compliant media player to play out their music at their new location as well as operating it as extra / backup storage space for their computer.
Media storage in another location
Similarly, you may be responsible for another small home network such as one at your vacation or seasonal home; or the “family house”. Here, the older network-attached storage unit could serve as the hub of a DLNA-based network media setup for this location with similar media content, especially music and video, at that location.
Auxiliary data storage at your small business
The small NAS that has been supplanted by your larger or more flexible unit can work as an auxiliary storage service for your small business. An example of this is to keep a small-business NAS working the mission-critical data with high security while you have the small NAS doing tasks such as being a DLNA media server in the context of a smart TV or Blu-Ray player providing cost-effective digital signage for your business.
Therefore it doesn’t mean that you have to retire that small one-disk network-attached-storage device when you outgrow it and buy a newer better unit.