Most small businesses have more than one computer, but don’t have a particularly great backup regime – mainly because the server is just a normal desktop machine running Windows Small Business Server (if you’re lucky). But what if the hard drive fails on server? Can I recover my data (and how long will it take)?
I faced this problem and was looking to use a HP MediaSmart Home Server, but unfortunately they are not sold in New Zealand. The good news is that the Acer Aspire easyStore AH340-UA230N is available in NZ and I can only rave about it now we have one!
It has four hot-swappable hard drive bays, a bundled 1TB hard drive (with Windows Home Server pre-installed), 2GB of RAM, one external Serial ATA port, four USB ports, and Gigabit Ethernet. Basically, you’re not going to outgrow it anytime soon!
Note: Most online retailer advertisements seem to all say that it comes with 1Gb of RAM, but I think this is some sort of transcription error as it definitely has 2Gb!
So what’s so good about it? Apart from the price (< $1,000 NZD), you get a very able server. It can be setup to automatically wake-up your computers and do a full system backup every night (and then put them to sleep again of course). If a machine dies or you need to do a full system restore, you get a recovery disk that you can use to get back and running using the backups held on the server. With more disk drives added (USB or in the hot-swap drives) you can setup simple mirroring of the data to protect against a hard-drive failure on the server - if one drive fails, the other drive(s) will still have a copy.
They are some of the features of the Windows Home Server software, but what I like about the Acer is that it is very quiet and quick! It’s only light-weight hardware really (similar technology to a Netbook), but so far at least, it has run everything thrown at it without clocking up more than 40% on the CPU.
If you’re interested (and in NZ) Global PC, Ascent and other online retailers have stock.