If your small company isn't all that enthusiastic about using a public cloud backup solution, but is worried about the physical rugged-ness or safety of on-site options, it might want to look at the N2 NAS fire and waterproof options sold by ioSafe.
Touted as appropriate for small and midsize businesses (SMBs), the technology is a network-connected storage device that can store terabytes of information (depending on how it is configured). ioSafe teamed up with Synology for the motherboard, operating system and storage applications that your business will need to set up and manage the product.
Although the pricing depends on configuration, the diskless edition currently lists for approximately $600 on the ioSafe Web site.
Ganesh Kripapuri, owner of Carmel Hearing Aids (from the city of the same name in central California), said he opted for the ioSafe technology for several reasons, mainly his concern over the amount of time it would take to back up more than 2,000 patient records.
His business uses six computers, and backs up four workstations to the ioSafe unit every day. He estimates that each image currently is about 20 gigabytes in size. "Can you imagine transferring that sort of data over a typical small business Internet connection," Kripapuri asked me rhetorically when I spoke with him about the solution.
Price wasn't a big consideration, although he paid about $650 for his company's unit when he bought it in fall 2012. But Kripapuri was particularly interested in the fire and water safety features, which he believes will lend an extra level of protection if his office is threatened physically.
Another big consideration is the physical design of the unit, which he said took less than 30 minutes to set up initially. For one thing, all the screws are the same size, so if you need to install a disk, it's relatively easy to figure out how to put things back together. "This is the only NAS on the market that you can install yourself," Kripapuri said.
Some of N2's specific features include:
- Maximum internal expansion up to 8 terabytes (the unit accommodates 3.5 or 2.5 SATA(II) modules)
- Submersion protection in fresh or salt water up to 10 feet for 72 hours
- Protection from fire (1550 degrees Fahrenheit) for up to 30 minutes
- Support for gigabit LAN connections
- Support for hot swappable hard drives