If you work from a home office – i.e. single employee, family business, independent consultant, small Internet business, farmer, new entrepreneur, etc. - you don’t have a big corporate IT department to support you. You *are* the IT department !
With today’s business, “data” has a value that belies it’s invisibility and the tiny physical space it occupies. All of those records could easily hid in a space no bigger than kitchen toaster.
That data takes storage and needs protecting. Even if the data does not have monetary implication, just think of the pain losing 10 years of family photos, vacation pics, and special events. Add in the e-files of your tax records, bank statements, downloaded credit card statements. So, if you are like me, it may be well past the time to improve your storage and backup capabilities.
Its’ a volume problem. Full backups today require about 4GB-6GB each. You should do one at least monthly. You also want weekly incremental backups (and preferable daily). If you are in the computer industry, you may also have VMWare images for software testing and development environments, etc.
Of course we can’t forget the music library on disk, movies, TV shows, etc.
This adds up fast and losing it would be a nightmare. (I’ve already had one system failure this year and I have a sneaky suspicion there is a 250GB HDD on it’s last legs.
So, the solution is to revamp, upgrade, and add to the home-office network. Here is my solution …
First, the new but lousy Linksys router goes away. Trust me, it won’t be missed. Next, we need bandwidth, bandwidth, and more bandwidth so a gigabit switch is added. Finally, redundant storage comes in the form of RAID1 network storage.
There is a 4-bay network addressable storage (NAS), initially configured with 2 750GB drives using RAID1 (so mirrored to yield 750GB total useable storage). This is connected (red cable) using gigabit to an 8-port switch. The switch hangs off a standard 802.11g wireless router, connected to a cable modem. There is a “loose” gigabit cable available for ultra-highspeed transfers, when needed – otherwise, systems access the NAS over wireless.
There are a number of choices for the NAS. This one is a ReadyNAS NV+. It has additional expansion capacity and can serve as media server if/when needed.