Do you know what a storage solution is?
We all have many technology products at home. If you look around your home you will find technology products such as Laptops, Desktop’s, Xbox, PlayStation, Smart Phones, iPads/Tablets, Digital Cameras, Video Camcorders, iPods, CCTV System etc. Most of the devices mentioned have some sort of storage media such as SD Cards or a small built in hard drive. This probably means that you also have a lot of data lying around on all those devices with storage media.
In a typical scenario you have data stored on the hard drive of your computer (Laptop, Desktop Machines) and more data on your Smart Phones such as business files, personal files, photos, videos, songs, movies and more. The same applies to all the digital cameras and video camcorders. I would refer to this as “DATA OVERLOAD” just to keep things simple. Also take in to consideration that we are online 24×7 which may mean extra files as attachments in your email messages. All of this can get out of hand very quickly and easily, it will also start building up even further as time passes.
Technology advancement is inevitable and there is no running away from it since our online presence is going to get much larger in coming years. The revolution of IoT will also connect all our electronics to the internet regardless of your personal opinion. The ever increasing online exposure will mean we definitely need to have some storage management in place.
Now let’s stop there and think —- “What will happen if you lost all the data you ever had in an instant”, I know it is a very scary thought about losing all your business information, family photos, family videos, collection of songs and even collection of old movies.
YES this can happen to anyone and in fact I personally have known families that have gone through this excruciating pain. In some cases people formatted their hard drives, SD Cards or hard drive crashed or corrupted even without having any secondary back up, in other instances some people lost their homes in a sudden fire and everything burnt away. In some cases it was water damage due to flooding. We hear about these natural disaster news all the time and it has been on an increase over the past few years.
The point I am trying to make is we need to manage our data better and there should be a central storage within the home that will ensure that no data gets missed as it is all stored in one place. If you have been doing this you are already ahead of millions of people who do not.
Although you have this stored on a single hard drive there is a possibility these hard drives can crash anytime or get corrupted which will mean you have lost data regardless. It is now time to take the next step by having two hard drives with same data so if one crashes at least you have another one as a backup. Although you now you have two hard drives what happens if the house is on fire and you end up losing it all?
We are now entering the next phase where we need to take the matter of storage seriously. We need to think outside the box on how to retain data in worst case scenario. This process of copying to multiple hard drives is very cumbersome and can confuse many of you. You require a solution that will backup files automatically and without you going through the rigorous task of copying.
Let me introduce you to Centralised Storage known as NAS (Network Attached Storage). NAS will make your life easier by performing certain functions automatically and to ensure that the Data is available 24×7 in your home and also available from outside your home. NAS is a small box with multiple hard drives. They are available in 2 Bay, 4 Bay, 8 Bay or higher.
The most basic one for home use is typically a 2 bay NAS which will have two internal hard drives (removable) that can be set to mirror data to the secondary hard drive automatically. The next version ahead of the 2 Bay is probably the best solution for homes and that would be the 4 bay NAS. In this scenario there are four hard drives installed inside the NAS (removable) and they work in a RAID 5 configuration (tech term). In simple terms what that means is if one hard drive fails you simply replace it with a similar new hard drive and the NAS system will start to automatically rebuild the hard drive with all the data. I won’t go in to the technicality on how it does it but in short you will never lose any of your information.
The NAS systems also have the ability to upload and synchronise your files to the cloud environment automatically so all the data will get backed up. This is especially good if there are any natural disasters scenario. Your data is always available in the cloud which can be downloaded from anywhere in the world.
Centralised home media storage solutions have many benefits. The benefits include:
- Easily and inexpensively increase the storage capacity of all your home PC’s and Macs
- Easier automated backups from central location
- Easier collaboration, Less mess
- Easy file sharing where you can access files from any PC or Mac or even through your Smart TV.
- Automated Cloud backup
- Share a USB Printer across your network
- Automatically and continuously backup your data to give you peace of mind that all of the files are safe and secure
There are many NAS Systems available currently. The most popular ones are from QNAP, D-Link, Seagate and Synology. They are all available in 2, 4, 8 Bay configuration. I highly recommend 4 Bay NAS as it will give you that extra protection. A lot of them also have Virus Scanners built in depending on the version of NAS that you purchase.
This article is targeted towards Home users as well as Small Business Owners (SOHO) as our data is our world and without it we would be lost.