Understanding your requirements and finding the perfect solution to fit

Technology: Backup to NAS Storage

Environment: Small or SME to Enterprise

Examples: Using Dell DR Series or Synology Diskstation

Install Cost: Can be set up in a variety of ways.  Looking at something like the synology, the device can be bought for around £1000 - it comes with it's own scheduled backup service and is capable to replicate to a second device, or to Amazon's cloud storage.  A good solution for a small business.

The Dell DR Series fits more comfortably with the SME to Enterprise space.  It requires some backup management software, but when configured can give large compression and de-duplication ratios - quoted by Dell as an average of 15:1.  Meaning that long term backup and retention to disk is a possibility.  unless situated in a separate location, this solution still requires a secondary off-site backup to take place, such as to-tape or to cloud. The product price starts at around £10000 for a 27TB model (giving roughly 405TB Logical Storage).  Adding to that the cost of the management server, professional services and a secondary offsite storage mechanism a project using this technology would be priced at around £30000.

Management:  The synology solution requires very little management other than the occasional tidy up of files being backed up, and a test restore.

The Dell Solution would require a skilled It professional to carry out monitoring and maintenance tasks as well as restores.

Running Costs:  If using a secondary backup to the cloud with the Synology our finger in the air estimate of to cloud backup costs are about 30p/GB/Month.  For a typical storage of around 2TB this would cost about £600 \ month.

The Dell Solution would have the same running costs as our to tape solution (£2000), plus a similar figure for warranty on the hardware (£2000). Replicating to the cloud rather than to tape would reduce the solution cost initially by about (£5000), however the monthly cost would be significant.  Replicating to a co-located datacentre with dedicated hardware would work out as a far more cost effective and flexible option.

Ease of restoration: The synology solution would require a couple of clicks from a user friendly menu to recover files.

The Dell solution would require a skilled technician to carry out a restoration - however it would be fast in comparison to tape.

Recovery Point: These solutions are fast to backup and restore and can be run at intervals such as hourly throughout the day

Recovery Time: Can recover files or servers from a few minutes to an hour.  Multiple jobs can run concurrently being beneficial in the case of a total disaster.

Retention: In isolation a NAS device can retain many months worth of data. Used in conjunction with a secondary storage medium, this can be many years.


Further comments: For a small business this type of solution can be quick and easy to implement, however as the size of the environment scales the costs and complexity jumps up significantly.  A hybrid solution gives the best of both worlds in terms of backing up and restoring data rapidly as well as giving long term retention.

Backup Solutions

  • Built-in Solution +

    Technology: Operating System \ Application Built in backup solution Environment: Small, reliant on mainly file based information, few business systems used.
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  • Tape Backups +

    Technology: Tape Backup with Symantec backup Exec Environment: Any size Examples: Using Symantec Backup Exec installed on a management server
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  • Backup to NAS +

    Technology: Backup to NAS Storage Environment: Small or SME to Enterprise Examples: Using Dell DR Series or Synology Diskstation Install
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  • Backup to Appliance +

    Technology: Backup to Appliance Environment: SME Examples: Barracuda 490, CommVault Install Cost: £6500 for an all-in-one Barracuda appliance, £3000 professional
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  • Backup of Virtual +

    Technology: Backup of Virtual environments Environment: SME Examples: Veeam Install Cost: £4000 Licensing, £3000 Pro Services Running costs: £1000 \ year
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  • Backup to Cloud +

    Technology: Backup to cloud Environment: All Examples: Mozy, Assigra Install Cost: Professional services required to setup and install agents and
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