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Really Small Business Buying Advice

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I work in a very small business with 6 PCs. Right now we have no backup service in place, and what I'm essentially looking for is a dedicated hard drive that we can keep here on our LAN that will automatically backup flagged folders on users PC's in our office, but also act as a central location for shared files both in the office and potentially from a web browser out of the office at a client's site, ftp or otherwise.

I'm not really sure if I'm even exploring the right technology, since what i'm looking for really appears to be a cross between a NAS and a scheduled backup on a networked hard drive. What we may need is something like a NAS with dedicated backup software that backs up to the NAS acting as a hard drive.

Could I get some recommendations on this?


We are in the same boat but smaller.

I just set us up with a HP windows home server box. I am not sure if it is enough as it can't do our filemaker or quickbooks databases.
You may want to consider an online , encrypted service. We use Redvault, which is Attix5 backup infrastructure but online. COmpressed, secure backups of specified folders etc, on a scheduled basis. We have 25 users, and it works a treat. All java service based on the client side. With a central monitor for an administrator to see if an individual machine is failing to backup etc...

Pay for a license, then for storage quota.

If the data you wish to back up is not for disaster recover purposes, and you dont mind losing it, then thats a different KOF. Otherwise, offsite, secure, data center is actually a very simple and more realistic alternative.

I really like the storagecraft products (shadowprotect) which can run a scheduled encrypted backup daily, and allow very fast "bare metal" restores using a boot DVD with provides network drivers and more importantly allows you to load RAID, SATA etc and network drivers on the fly. It also takes care of archiving (you select how many copies either full or incremental are kept) and further allows mounting a backup image as a drive letter if accessing from a workstation over the LAN. A 100GB restore from the boot DVD coming off Qnap's TS509 takes only 30 minutes or so while backups will run to the NAS at about 50MB/s. It allows running post/pre scripts as part of your backup jobs so we stagger run times on each workstation and then use a shutdown script that shuts each workstation down once the backup is complete to conserve power.

I've used a ton of different backup software including about 10 years in the corporate IT environment and I've never seen anything work as well with pretty much zero flaky software issues. I've yet to find a hardware configuration it didn't work with using Vista 32/64 and XP Pro. It's not very often I can recommend a piece of software like this..but this one is good.
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