Need a small network storage system to access remotely

I need some advice on what Networked Storage system to choose for a small office. They would like automatic backup of key files onto the device, and the ability to access and download some of these files remotely when they are out of the office.


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DMoraffConnect With a Mentor Commented:

First off,  is this an all Windows, office? or are MAC, Linux, or something else a consideration?

Really you are asking three questions.
1) Getting Network Storage,
2) Backing up the data
3) Remote access from your office

1) Assuming Windows Environment only,

Regarding Network storage, IMHO, they are all more or less the same,  Go to Best Buy/Compusa, etc, and look for the device that meets your capacity needs, and fits your budget.

2) Backup,  Once again assuming Windows 2000, or Win, XP,   You will find the NTBACKUP.exe command that comes with windows (It's an optional component on XP, but is on your CD) is a good, simple backup solution for each user, and can be scheduled.

3) Remote Access.  Assuming you have a high speed internet, your options are probably
a) Setup a VPN,
b) Buy PCAnywhere or equivalent
c) Signup for GOTO MY PC or equivalent.  

Note Regarding the network storage,  IF your office is small, you may consider peer networking and designating one of the pc's as a server.  Purchase a 2nd large hard drive for it if you need more space.

Best Regards
ECNSSMTConnect With a Mentor Commented:
just to add my 2 cents

Intel just showed off a SOHO NAS device (Retail $600); its suppose to do RAID 5 with 1TB of storage.
That'll ensure that your network based copies of your info will stay up in the event of a minor disaster (loss of a HD)

If you want to keep dated archivals, you may want to invest in a Tape backup system (Dell SDLT units are RELATIVELY cheap.) Backing up the NAS with Veritas at night may be ideal.  

Otherwise there are cheaper options as stated above.

Remote access - you may just want to publish via IIS or Sharepoint to permit anyone to access via a web browser assuming you don't want to limit access to specific PC/laptops.  Devloper or programmer will be needed to write the web interfaces for you. otherwise the above is a good method to control and or limit access to specifc PCs and users.

dooleydogConnect With a Mentor Commented:
for remote access, try or

For NAS, I do not have a better suggestion than has been given, but i would recommend that if you want to access data remotely, that it not be from a backup source, but a primary source.

do not confuse NAS with BACKUP, although you can store backups on the NAS. Offsite backup storage is much better, even if it is just at you home, assuming that would not be any major security breach.

Good Luck,

IPKON_NetworksConnect With a Mentor Commented:
How about an all in one solution?

Windows Storage Server using DFS to virtualise the storage and provide a VPN access into the network? This would do both things for you. It would also allow near line storage archival for you NAS/SAN file servers.

I would not recommend you normally put all your eggs in one basket but it certainly will do what you have asked!

tellawiConnect With a Mentor Commented:
I will recommend storevault as the best solution for SMB. Storevault recently announced by NETAPP (NETAPP one of the largest NAS/SAN storage companies in the world). This product addressed to small and medium business only.

Storevault comes with most of the great feature of NetApp storage such as:

RAID-DP, (double parity) technology prevents data loss in the event of a second drive failure without excessive redundancy costs.

Snapshot, technology provides point-in-time images of the entire file system that can be recorded instantly with no disruption of applications or performance. These images enable instantaneous recovery of individual files, directories or even the entire file system.

FlexVol, which allows capacity to be allocated on the fly without disrupting users or applications. Volumes can also be easily resized on the fly, both up and down, also without disruption to users or applications. FlexVol also enables a technique called thin provisioning, where the total storage allocated can exceed the physical storage.
Hardware specs of The StoreVault S500:
•      Scales to 6TB but can start at 1TB – grow only as you need it
•      Consolidates file and block-level storage for better storage utilization
•      Simple on-the-fly provisioning from a central pool to applications, groups or users
•      Protects against concurrent disk drive failures without paying for massive redundancy
•      Dual hot-swap redundant power and cooling
•      Eliminates the backup window

Check the following URL for more information about storevault
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