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BDFL - Memuneh
66448 posts

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#111939 20-Nov-2012 13:21
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Hello folks... My friends at HP Storage (hello Calvin!) asked me if I wanted to bring our community together to participate in an online discussion and giveaway before the HP Discover EMEA 2012.

HP is set to make some big storage announcement during the Discover EMEA 2012. They have started the conversation with a web cast a couple of weeks ago (watch below) and continue by publishing case studies at their storage microsite.

If you want to be in to win some prizes (keep reading!) all you have to do is participate in this discussion by posting here your ideas, comments, suggestions about storage. For example:
  • What are your current storage problems in enterprise and SMB?
  • Do you use any specific technique to solve these problems?
  • What kind of hardware/software platform are you using to manage storage?
  • How do you leverage HP products now?
  • Are you attending HP Discover, or watching online?
You can post anything related to storage in your business really keeping it relevant to this topic. Off topic posts won't be in the draw, sorry.

So, what's the giveaway you ask? We have a group of bloggers participating in this round and posting to Twitter with the #HPStorage hashtag. In between us we have EIGHT prize packages, each package consisting of a HP Spectre laptop and a HP RDX Removable Disk Backup System. We will be giving away four of these packages at the end of the week 23rd November and the other four at the end of the week 30th November.

You discuss the storage topics here in this thread and I will select four entries the first weekend then another four entries the next weekend. I will send this to HP and they will randomly draw four winners from the pool of entries received from all blogges in our group. If you upload and post a photo of yourself with some of your company's storage solution then I will give an extra consideration to the entry ;)

Winners will be notified at the end of the selection (early December) and receive the prizes after the HP Discover EMEA 2012 - around mid-December.

I will accept entries from users in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA and UK. Keep the discussion going!

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980 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #720085 20-Nov-2012 14:13
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How do Geekzoners do backups and storage at the very small end of the SMB sector?  Are there any small NASes out there with built in backup or S3/Dropbox sync built in?

BDFL - Memuneh
66448 posts

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Lifetime subscriber

  #720092 20-Nov-2012 14:17
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3 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #720094 20-Nov-2012 14:20
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NAND FLASH SSD is like photo sharing by FAX over IP. We have options now. When will we see them commercially?

50 posts



  #720099 20-Nov-2012 14:23
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They're not the most profound or exciting storage problems, but I guess they are the most common problems for very small companies in New Zealand and will get the discussion started:

We work at home and hang our work and family devices off a wireless router. The desktops (two) connect via 1GB Ethernet and we've a 3GB NAS device on a third Ethernet port. It's the kind of set up you'll find in thousands of homes and small businesses. 

The problems are:
  1. Separating business data from family data. Should we store them on separate devices? 
  2. Speed. Even with 1GB Ethernet a full back-up of everything takes days. Why is this? Are there ways to squeeze better performance from a home Ethernet set-up? 
  3. Software. We've tried plenty of back-up tools, but haven't found anything that automates back-ups to our satisfaction. My favourite is Microsoft's Sync Toy - which is remarkably effective but sometimes destroys valuable copies of an older file.

Bill Bennett @billbennettnz

3 posts

Wannabe Geek
Inactive user

  #720100 20-Nov-2012 14:26
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We use Bacula for backups.

I work at a small software shop so our backups cover our application code, system environments and a number of fairly large oracle databases. (Both development, and several customer production environments).

The servers are scattered in various data servers around the world (mostly in the USA) and bacula does an excellent job of pulling the data in correctly each night. For about 1TB of disk space we get point in time recovery to any night over the last 6 weeks. (Hard to make good use of differential backups with a binary database dump - it's a large, new file each time =)

Storage wise we have gone very low tech - we have three 1TB hard drives.
One of these is mount internally in a low end server at our head office - this is the primary storage for the backups.
We alternate the other 1TB drives daily - one gets mirrored to the latest copy of the main drive, and the other is stored off site.

Very low tech, but works well for us.

For non backup data storage, we use Dropbox. It's pretty cheap for a team and you get a huge amount of space and it is all managed for you. (Hard to beat that!). 

Dave Smylie


175 posts

Master Geek

  #720105 20-Nov-2012 14:29
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We used to use a server (raid 5) but when it was time to upgrade, decided to go for a NAS for joint storage and it's worked well (ReadyNasDuo).  It has its idiosyncrasies but every system does.  It can be a bit touchy about the order we log in but it's not a biggie.  It's stable, backs up to an external box and is cost effective.

488 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #720106 20-Nov-2012 14:30
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In peer-to-peer networks, I use a FreeNAS device setup as a CIFS/SMB or NFS share. I use this because it is made from commodoty hardware and has lots of commercial features, such as remote syncing. I use Windows native backup to send local workstation backups to this device and I use some of the devices space for shares.

As soon as the client is able to afford a small Windows server, I setup offline caching and redirected folders or roaming profiles and use the same backup technique, although this time, from the server to the file share only.

This solution works well over broadband if need be so that a remote site or office can backup to another FreeNAS system in another town.

At the Etnerprise side of things, I usually won't help a client who won't buy a supported commercial product such as BackupExec or CommVault (at the high end) and I try to use removable disk rather than tape due to the lifespan and performance differences.

What is everybody else using?


676 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #720107 20-Nov-2012 14:31
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For us the ability to expand capacity is easily catered for in house with a number of server chassis (yes they are even HP's!!) with spare ports/slots to simply bung a new disk in and expand the array size. Virtualisation again makes expansion options easy and quick.

The bigger issue for us is managing the downstream comlpications of catering for the ever increasing capacity in a backup/DR sense. In addition to this a grey cloud over my head is trying to establish or implement some processes that retire old files/etc once they are deemed outdated and no longer needed. People hold onto stuff for ever for no other reason than....argh - half the time there isn't even a reason!!!

36 posts


  #720112 20-Nov-2012 14:37
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We are using one 4 T NAS unit initially to hold backups from our server and some user backups
Tried setting up two more NAS in different locations but had major issues working over a WAN , we were trying to synchronize between server and NAS units - router issues, VPN etc , dropped the idea. 

NAS usage has now mushroomed to archives , video media , and a whole bunch of data .

I have notice that as our data capacity grew our intelligence shrunk. We have so much storage that its easier to throw ever bit of data we ever get into storage. The challenge comes when we need intelligence - knowledge from that data. Searching, combing through massive amounts of data becomes a challenge in its own right. By ditching the old discipline of asking the question" do we need this data?" we find a new challenge , extracting intelligence from a mountain of data, much of it duplicated.
eg I write a major report , with 7 drafts , 2 revisions and a bunch of supporting data. Before big storage I would have saved the final report, now I save everything and 5 years later someone else has to figure out which was the actual final report.

As data storage capacity increases we need a multiple increase in data analysis .

Cloud Guru
4060 posts

Uber Geek


  #720113 20-Nov-2012 14:38
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i'm talking SMB space here....

we run several virtual machines in a cluster with the shared storage being on a NetApp SAN/NAS device.

the biggest problem is storage growth, especially when dealing with virtual machines.

consumer HDDs are cheap, but don't provide performance or reliability. SATA drives in a SAN/NAS are cheap'ish but don't really provide the performance either. SCSI/SAS disks are expensive but provide very good performance. SSD disks are super expensive, but provide the best performance.

some technologies like SSD cache in front of a SAN/NAS can help to improve performance, and data de-duplication can help save on storage costs, but there really isn't any sort of 'silver bullet' in the SMB space. SAN/NAS devices are only now becoming affordable in this space really.

virtualisation, and specifically Hyper-V, is easiest to implement when you make use of shared storage and you don't split the data into different 'raid groups' depending whether you want fast, bulk or double-reliable data. it would be nice if the storage system just handled this transparently for SMBs :-)

many storage systems also have additional products that make working with VMware and Hyper-V easier. Unfortunately these also tend to command a premium price over the top of the price of the system. it would be nice to see some of these features available at an affordable price in the SMB sector too.

Backup/Replication: I think that the SMB space could really benefit from a cloud backup storage service that talks natively to the SAN/NAS unit. especially with the UFB internet and newer interent transit pricing models on the way. continuous replication is expensive for SMB as you need more costly licenses and additional hardware. A compatible cloud service might be a good way to deliver this without requiring such a huge investment from the SMB.


815 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #720114 20-Nov-2012 14:39
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For my own personal backup I simply use Sync toy to take a copy of any new or updated files from my NAS to a 3TB WD Green caviar HD in my server. It works for me.

I do know of a small business who is using dropbox as a backup solution. It works but comes at a cost.

What I cant wait to see is companies using the new storage functionality of Server 2012. I wonder if Server 2012s capabilities regarding storage are unnerving to the big players in the storage industry.

There is some powerful features around storage in Server 2012.

The little things make the biggest difference.

95 posts

Master Geek

  #720118 20-Nov-2012 14:41
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I work for a very small engineering company (2 - 5 in the office at any one time), I have setup a small NAS using FreeNAS.

Pretty basic 3TB RAID Z that nets 1.8TB of usable storage space. I have setup SyncToy to run on a schedule to keep all the machines updated.

I find this a low cost solution that mostly meets our needs and needs little attention to keep it running as expected.

The only expansion to this that would be desirable would be remote access to the server to grab files when off at customers sites.

394 posts

Ultimate Geek

  #720119 20-Nov-2012 14:42
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-What are your current storage problems in enterprise and SMB?
Reliable, accessible, and easy data backup.

-Do you use any specific technique to solve these problems?
Redundancy helps with reliability issue, but creates issue with complexity.

-What kind of hardware/software platform are you using to manage storage?
Multiple copies on external hard disks stored in two places including a fire proof safe, and replacing them long before MTBF

-How do you leverage HP products now?
Tried tape drives but too much pain and too fragile. Optic media are far less reliable.

-Are you attending HP Discover, or watching online?

16 posts


  #720123 20-Nov-2012 14:47
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I currently use a QNAP NAS, but what I really want is a system that lets me use all the drive bays and still warns me in advance when a drive is about to fail.

For example:
I have 4 drives in a 4 bay system.
Drive 3 is failing.
I need to be able to pull out drive 3 and insert a new drive (which will most likely be larger) without worrying about the RAID setup, etc.

Synology has something like this, but its proprietary. If they go out of business, my backup system becomes a time bomb.

3467 posts

Uber Geek


  #720124 20-Nov-2012 14:48
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free stuff, awesome :)

- What are your current storage problems in enterprise and SMB?
Backups, can be large and slow to upload, also worried about security of these backups

Do you use any specific technique to solve these problems?
- Currently backing up to a local ReadyNAS and storing source code/IP in the cloud on github and sometimes google drive

What kind of hardware/software platform are you using to manage storage?
- readynas for local or similar NAS type product, but not a drobo.

How do you leverage HP products now?
- honestly not using any HP products for backup, desktops and laptops are all HP however

Are you attending HP Discover, or watching online?
- no


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