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.