When it comes to taking care of a client’s business I.T. needs, cutting corners to keep costs down usually comes back to bite the one “saving” those costs.
One area where there is no real cost savings relative to the risks involved is data storage.
Hard drives, even SSD ones, have moving parts. They fail.
So, using a single drive solution to store critical shared data along with all of the workstation’s backups may not be the wisest of moves.
We have been called into an office where users could no longer connect to their shared data or backup their workstations to the NAS device a previous I.T. support company had installed for them.
The NAS unit was a single drive LaCie Peripherals device:
When we had a look at the setup, the device was plugged into a switch along with a workstation and a networked printer. There was a cable not plugged into the switch that turned out to be the run to the main switch in the basement of the building.
However, when that network cable was plugged in none of the other workstations could connect to the LaCie device.
We power cycled the LaCie to see if perhaps it was hung up as we could hear the drive spinning inside of it.
Once the unit power cycled itself, there was a distinct clicking sound that started to emanate from the unit.
Now the real struggle begins as the organization is in transition and it may not become quite clear exactly what has been lost in the shared folders and in the backup directories.
We will try a few recovery tactics on the device when we get permission to open it up on Monday, but we are not holding too much hope that the data will be recoverable by us. They may be in for a recovery charge from a third party.
When it comes to client data, it is absolutely imperative that the shared company data be stored on a device that has at least a pair of mirrored RAID 1 drives:
Since the device was also being used to backup all of the client workstations, a better solution would have been to use at least a pair of the single drive NAS solutions in a backup rotation.
Then, if one of the single drive units failed, the other would provide the necessary redundancy.
Disaster Recovery Planning needs to be a part of ANY data storage solution we are looking at providing our clients.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book