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NAS or something else?

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4 replies to this topic

#1 mislisa


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Posted 08 August 2017 - 04:25 PM

First off, I am not much of a computer person. I can get by and figure out issues by googling and using YouTube, but i am no expert.


I am working in the office of my family business where we have 5 computers connected to the network. We are currently using one computer as our main data storage but it is getting old and will need replacing soon. My question is if a NAS would be a good way to increase our storage while reducing the risk of having a computer crash wipe the valuable data.


Please let me know what other information you need from me and I will do my best to get it to you!

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#2 rqt


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Posted 08 August 2017 - 05:18 PM

A NAS is itself a (very limited) computer so I don't see any great reduction of "computer crash" risk if deciding to use one. A "micro server" would be another (possibly more reliable??) solution - but I'm sure they can crash as well. 

#3 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 08 August 2017 - 05:56 PM

First of all - welcome to BC !


If I understand you correctly this aging computer is 'your main data store' and you are properly concerned with its reliability. I am sorry, it is an old song and I am going to sing it once again.


You are a business and presumably your data is important to you. You should have three copies of it. One accessible to the sytems in use; one backup of some sort in the office or whatever type of premise you use; and the third should be off-site to protect against the risk of fire, flood and Act of God.


The first is obviously on the hard drives in the computers in the network..


The second could be a NAS or similar system on the premises but NOT connected to the network except when doing backups.The reason for it not being connected except when actively backing up or restoring data is to protect you against threats such as ransomware. If your local backup system is permanently connected to the network and you suffer such an attack it too will go down.


The third copy should be off-site. It could be a remote NAS type solution or a cloud solution but definitely not physically on your premises, and also only connected when actively being used. The example I have referred to several times is that of a fairly large haulage company I used to work for - 80 odd tractors and about 200 trailers. They suffered a disastrous fire one night which totally destroyed their main office and their central warehouse. They were back up and running inside 12 hours, the time it took them to organise temporary office accomodation and to equip it with the necessary office equipments. They were able to do this because they had an effective system of off-site backups.


This is an area where you need expert advice and it is almost certainly worth paying somebody for this advice. After all, the future existence of your business and your jobs are otherwise at risk. And good current backups are the most effective defence against threats like ransomware.


Chris Cosgrove

#4 mightywiz


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Posted 09 August 2017 - 09:30 AM

we use 2 NAS drives for backup but only 1 is connected at a time.  meaning we alternate the nas drives every day.   so we always have a 1day old offline backup.

then we also use EVAULT for cloud solution and it does a nightly backup.


With evault the initial backup takes the longest because its backing up all data, then after that it does a backup that looks for changes that have been made and then makes the same changes to the existing backup they have on file.

#5 Kilroy


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Posted 14 August 2017 - 02:46 PM

A NAS with some sort of built in RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives) would probably be best.  The next  step up would be an actual server, which may be over kill for five machines.  At home I have three Drobo 5N units.  The Drobo 5N has been superseded by the Drobo 5N2, so now the prices are very good.  You would still need to add the drives, but you can start with two and add more as you need more space.  I also have a Buffalo 4TB NAS that has everything you need, but isn't expandable.


You don't say how much data you need to back up, how much you're willing to spend, or how much security you need.


I'll second Chris Cosgrove that you should be thinking about a good backup solution also.  The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy is highly recommended, 3 copies of your data, two different media, and one off site.  RAID does not replace a back up.  RAID protects you against hardware failure, not accidental deletions, virus infection, or encrypting malware.

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