Over the last few weeks I have had a number of encounters with a few consumer NAS (Network Attached Storage) boxes suddenly stopping which has made think I should drop a quick post here about how I have set a number of small businesses up over the years with a simple cheap backup solution.
My most common one is just to protect the customer from any data loss on their local machine whether a desktop, laptop or tablet computer it is just a case of getting a duplicate of the files or the entire disc off that hardware and on to other hardware.
For this I get hold of a low spec desktop and put a hard drive or drives depending on the requirement into this machine.
Now if the customer wants to use it as a print server I have loaded them with windows XP as I have found this to be the most compatible with the drivers that I have had to use in the past.
If this is to be used just solely as a NAS (Network attached storage) I have used open source software such as FreeNas (http://www.freenas.org/) , this is basically a Linux OS running file shares that will enable Apple or Microsoft computers a place to put backup files.
The software used can vary depending on what kind of backup is required, I have used Symantec and Acronis to make full Disc images and place them on the NAS box and Windows backup in cases where it has been present. One of the better free backup solutions that I have found is Cobian Backup (http://www.cobiansoft.com/) which allows backup to shares and FTP and will also run as a service so that it can run on its own on a schedule.
In other cases where data is not too large in size or they have a very good connection to the internet I have backed up to our own servers as a paid service or for very sensitive data used a secure remote online solution.
This is just a bit of a post to highlight some ways of getting rid of those consumer NAS boxes or portable hard drive units that I have had fail over the last few weeks.