World Backup Day

World Backup Day 2014 logo.

Did you know today, March 31st, is World Backup Day? As a reminder, we would like to share information on a new system we recently installed that does more than just back up data.

Small businesses and most homes have a similar set of needs when it comes to data:

  1. Easy and effective backup
  2. Sharing large quantities of documents, spreadsheets, pictures, videos and other files
  3. Sending very large files
  4. Capturing security camera images for later viewing
  5. Serving up music and video files to be shared by users - iTunes style

The LeBlancs are an all-Apple household (can you believe it!?). We have been using an Apple Time Capsule/Airport backup system for a few years, but when we exceeded the amount of space available for the computers using it, it was time to try something new.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

In our office, we recently installed a Synology NAS (Network Attached Storage) server, which is dedicated to file sharing and backup. This 5-disk storage system allows us to store up to 20 terabytes (TB) of data. The server uses up to 5 disks, each capable of up to 4 TB and if the need arises, we can add two extension units, allowing up to 60 TB of storage. This system serves both families and small to medium sized businesses with capabilities that are more affordable and easier to use than ever.

CNET Review of Synology

Investing in a Windows server for a small business can typically cost between $3,000 - $10,000. If that exceeds your budget, you can invest less than $1,000 for comparable storage! A NAS server allows file sharing with the click of a mouse. In our business, we often email large files to our clients which, because of size, cannot be sent as attachments. With our new NAS server, we simply right click on a file, type in a customer email address and then they receive a safe link to download the document. We can specify a password to protect the file and give it an expiration date limiting availability.

For home use, this server acts as central media storage for iTunes so sharing music and movies is simple. (An HD movie can be large - 3 or 4 GB per movie!)

Another great protection feature is RAID (redundant array of independent disks) technology. I can tell this little device to use RAID on certain drives so that the data is stored on multiple disks in case of failure. If a drive goes bad, we simply "hot swap" it (pull it out while power is on) and replace it. The system then rebuilds the data onto the new drive just like the old one.

CNET reviewed the Synology NAS server we just installed. Take a look at the video above (it's entertaining!) or click here to read a simple explanation of the capabilities. They have many different sizes (from 2 drives up to 5 drives, 8, etc.). Synology NAS servers start at under $200 for a 2-disk unit, plus a couple of cheap disks. NOT a big investment!

If you want to talk with me about how easy this upgrade was, feel free to give me a shout. My direct line is 203-493-0267. Or, email me at Michael@LeBlanc.com.