Recommendation for Network Storage Device

Posted on 2014-11-15
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-11-21
 I have a customer with 12 Windows 7 PCs without a file server. Each person stores their files into C drive and they all use OUTLOOK and NO ONE DOES ANY BACKUP.
 They are NOT going to get the file server now. But my customer agreed to set up some type of "backup" system.
I am thinking about getting some type of network based storage like "Buffalo Linkstation". I bought it about 10 years ago and it came with 2 HDs on RAID1 and I accessed it via IP address. Here are my requirements:

(1) I like to access the HD via \\ (for example)  from each workstation PCs.
(2) Create a folder like C:\Bob  C:\Susan C:\Tom  ... etc.
(3) Create sub-folders like C:\Bob\Outlook (PST, autocomplete)  C:\Bob\My Documents (files, favorites, pictures, videos)
(4) From each workstation, I run a batch file (scheduled to run it at night like 11PM) using ROBOCOPY like the following:
Robocopy C:\Uses\%UserName%\My Documents\Outlook Files \\\%UserName%\Outlook /MIR

Having heard my backup idea, my customer liked the  fact that he could access his employees files (that are currently emailed to him as attachment when he needs them), but when I explained to him that anyone can access anyone's folder (ie, his files would be accessible by any of his employees), he was concerned.

So I am asking experts to see if they have some suggestions as to what kind/brand of Network Storage Device that I need to get for my customer.
Obviously I want my customer to have access to his employee files, but certain users files should be protected and I like to run a batch file from each PC to copy files to the network storage device.
I though about running Windows native backup. It will work except my customer can't simply click the files to open.
Question by:sglee
LVL 26

Accepted Solution

Fadi SODAH (aka madunix) earned 500 total points
ID: 40444537

Assisted Solution

RantCan earned 1000 total points
ID: 40444568
Synology, QNAP, Buffalo; they should all do the job; ensure you have enough space for growth as well as choosing one that supports RAID.  If your customer wants to see everyone's shared files, but no one to see his, that's NTFS and you are going to need a domain: a good idea if they have plans for growth.

Author Comment

ID: 40444707
Thanks for the suggestions, but I need a product where I can set sharing & permissions on folder level. Again there is no DC on the network.

Does any of suggested NAS meet the requirements?
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Assisted Solution

RantCan earned 1000 total points
ID: 40444731
You can usually format to a file system (exFAT, ZFS) you like on the NAS device, but you will need something to manage the credentials, unless you want a free-for-all.

You'll need to add local users to the NAS and provision security that way. I believe that each provider has something like this.

Again, if this firm has any designs on growth, it may be time for a fileserver and small domain, like 2012 essentials.  Easier to manage, low cost of entry.

Some details:

Author Comment

ID: 40444840
I just purchased WD My Cloud NAS device from a local store. I was told that I can create multiple partitions and set permissions based on PC mac address. Let me try this and share my findings.
LVL 26

Assisted Solution

akahan earned 500 total points
ID: 40445265
Yes, you can set folder permissions on the Synology so that the administrator, and any other user designated by the administrator, can see all the folders, but individual users can only see their own (or whichever folders the administrator gives them rights to.)

Author Comment

ID: 40445290
Having tried WD My Cloud 2TB NAS, I have decided to set up a small PC with WIndows 7. I think that is the easiest and simplest to set up user accounts and do the backup.
What I have discovered that WD NAS does NOT recognize user credentials coming from Windows workstations.

Say I have a PC with username: Bob and password: 123.
Also I created username: Bob with password 123 and created a share name "Bob" on WD NAS. I thought (at least hoping) that WD NAS would let me access the share folder "Bob" based on Windows user credentials. But it did not.

In the PC environment (say I set up a PC with 2TB HD), I can set up user accounts with passwords that match those of workstations. Once I created "SHARE" folders for each user (ie. C:\Users\Bob), Bob can access "Bob" folder from the 2TB HD PC without having to enter username and password.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40457251
As I mentioned above, I set up a Windows 7 PC and created same user accounts as in each workstation.
I created shares under C:\Users\%UserName% so that each workstation can access their share, but no one else.

Thanks for your help.

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