So I scored myself a new job as an artist/printer operator/database management. This role has kind of turned more heavily towards IT. They have cables running everywhere up the walls, switches for Africa and all their back-ups are to external hard drives, half of which I have established are actually dead.
I've told them this is far from acceptable. If failure struck, they would be in serious trouble! Invoices, print jobs, artwork, photos, quotes and personals are all stored on one machine which is an 8 or so year old machine that has never been cleaned before.
They have a 4 port ADSL router connected to a switch which connects all the computers, which connects to another switch next door which connects to another switch down-stairs which connects to another switch and so on for the rest of the building.
About the only things that seem good are the fact that the whole network is gigabit and their printers are all on one gigabit switch.
Long story short, lots of cables, no labels, switches everywhere, no way to really centralize anything and I'm desperate to get something backed up before brown matter hits the fan.
I want to set up a small business server to at least back up what drives are in the 10 year old machine, all their external drives and make the information accessible by every workstation in the factory. I want to have each machine back up to the server at night. I will also have images of each drive in case of disk failure. That way, I can re-image and we can continue working at least.
Each work station is separate. At the moment, the network is really just for accessing the above mentioned and internet access. Is there anything in particular I will have to look at in terms of hardware for a small business server for running routine back-ups, serving files and perhaps an employee management system in the future? Should I be installing something like Small Business Server and merging everyone's profile to a central location in the long run?
Apart from the fact that multiple switches mean more points for potential failure, is there anything I should be doing to make sure there are no other issues on the network in terms of speed?
Sorry if this post seems a bit dislocated and all over the place, but I'm a little bit out of my depth I think. A challenge to say the least.
- Centralize information being served by old hardware to something new with more storage.
- Back up all external drives to this new server and store images of each workstation on this server too.
- Potentially run employee management systems, Lync for chat and other stuff like perhaps IP cameras for monitoring printers...etc...etc.
- Cut down on switches being used to eliminate potential points of failure and other potential problems with daisy-chaining them.
- Set up some automatic back up system to make sure new information will be available in case of failure.
Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'm pretty much at a loss for what hardware I should get and what I should be doing to tidy this up to make it more reliable and create redundancy.