In the computer tech and IT forums that I frequent, it seems there is always discussion about backups. What works best, or someone asking the questino to the community on how they personally handle backups; do you use onsite backups or offsite, tapes or disk. The list goes on and on.
While the backup market is huge with a number of players in the game including extremely large companies like Symantec down to really small open source guys like duplicati. It’s an ocean out there in regards to this topic and each backup solution is a fish. Each varying in characteristics and abilities but one thing remains the same; you need to catch a fish.
One of my IT clients is a non-profit Christian ministry that has been around for some time. We took over their IT duties from a single guy, who actually seemed to know what he was doing (which is rare) due to some health issues. By the way, I’ve always said that the best ways for us to get new clients is if their current provider moves, royally screws up or dies.
In any case , when we took over one of the first priorities was to replace their aging, woefully specced Dell PowerEdge server running SBS 2003. When I say woefully specced, I mean it had 1GB of RAM. So, we started evaluating the functionality that this server provided and quickly determined that the only thing this behemoth did was to serve files and provide DNS and DHCP services. They no longer used Exchange, there was no Intranet site or any of the other features of an SBS server. Their line of business application was purely file based and resided on one file share.
We proposed the solution of replacing this foot stool with a small Synology NAS device which could serve all their needs and take much less power. Also, because this is an established organization with little to low expectation for staff expansion, we ended up going with a Synology DS212 with two 2TB hard drives. The NAS device also handles their DHCP and DNS services as well as gives them PLENTY of room for growth. After implementing this about six months ago, we’ve had no problems other than a few power outages but other than a UPS what can you do? Does a generator make sense for a single NAS? Probably not.
So the next time you’re looking at replacing a small SBS server, think about using a NAS device instead. So far, it has worked out well for us.