Smoothwall Firewall project

Wednesday 29 July 2009

Cloud based features in the Netgear 1100 NAS server

It is becoming obvious to everyone in IT that you can't ignore the cloud any more as it is appearing everywhere, especially in new appliances that are starting to offer additional features that allow you to backup to the cloud.

This rack mounted NAS box , uses Linux, and offers all the normal features you would expect, like NFS,CIFS,AFP etc. It also however adds in an additional feature, and that is an option to sign up with Netgear to backup you data to the cloud. Now I know about all the security issues that surround this debate with secure transfer and storage and who has control of the data once it is stored, but for many small/medium sized companies, this really does take away a lot of the pain of making sure your data is backed up and stored safely.

As a user of Dropbox already for backing up certain data, I can definitely see a use for this service, even if you don't want to put all of the companies most vital data into the cloud just yet.Is it any more risky than asking someone to do backups onto tape, and then safely store those offsite? How many people in a small/medium company regularly check the tapes or test the backups? I would suspect a small percentage, so not only does that take up a lot of time, it does not guarantee success. While sending your data to a professional company that specialises in data backup and restore would offer a decent alternative. The costs are also compelling when put up against the cost of tapes and off-site storage. The cost of fast,reliable tape units are expensive and the tapes to go in them are also not give-away.

Well I embraced the cloud years ago, and I have not had any ill affects as yet, but I watch server hard disks fail on a daily basis, and they really hurt customers. The watch word here is just be careful on the services you select, check exactly what you are getting and look at the small print. Always make a point about checking the security in transfer and storage and who has access to the data once it's in the cloud. As with all things in this area, it will eventually come down to your level of risk acceptance.


Steve Morton said...

Do you have any opinions on the Data Robotics - Drobo 4 bay units.

I've used net based back up services myself, but our slow upload speed makes them painful to use for any serious number of files.


Codfather said...

Steve, I haven't seen these units before, but I've had a look around the site and they look interesting. I like the iSCSI offering in the pro unit.Net backup does really require a solid fast connection, and without that it will be painful.

Steve Morton said...

Yes they are very good, I'm tempted to buy one of the four bay units. They accept any size of SATA drive and you can update the drives to increase your capacity as you need it. Failure of a single drive isn't a disaster either.

BTW, I've forwarded an email about 'Full Circle' magazine via Helen, don't have your email address.