Small Business Data Backup and Storage Solution

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Small Business Data Backup and Storage Solution Performing routine computer backups is not real high on the list of priorities for most small business owners, but if you use computers enough, you're eventually going to have a crash that results in lost data. Here's a backup solution that makes it easy and painless to backup and safely store your important data.

Imagine this scenario: You walk into your office in the morning and try to boot your computer. It won't start. You try again and again, and finally call an IT person in to look at it. He or she taps a couple of keys, turns to you and asks, “Do you have a recent backup?”

You panic. Backup? Recent backup?

Unfortunately, small and home businesses are notoriously lax about backing up crucial computer data. Some business owners just don’t realize their data could all disappear in a blink of an eye due to hardware failure or a virus.

Others don’t know how to back up all their data and the data on all their employees' computers. Or, they think they don’t have time to do it regularly. So, if they do backups at all, they do them sporadically, backing up only selected files – maybe their customer list or a presentation or proposal or two. Then, when a computer crashes, they lose accounting data, email files, contacts, spreadsheets, word documents, photos, videos or other files that are critically important to their business.



That's why I was excited to hear about the HP StorageWorks X510 Data Vault, which HP introduced earlier this year. Designed to meet the needs of smaller businesses that usually don't have an IT person on staff, the HP X510 Data Vault is a simple and cost-effective way for small businesses to store, secure and share data. Based on Microsoft Windows Home Server, the HP Data Vault will automatically backup up to 10 computers (PCs and Macs) on your network.

In addition, the X510Data Vault makes it easy to share files both locally and remotely, making it a great tool for businesses whose employees travel or work away from the office.

That's why I was excited to hear about the HP StorageWorks X510 Data Vault, which HP introduced earlier this year. Designed to meet the needs of smaller businesses that usually don't have an IT person on staff, the HP X510 Data Vault is a simple and cost-effective way for small businesses to store, secure and share data. Based on Microsoft Windows Home Server, the HP Data Vault will automatically backup up to 10 computers (PCs and Macs) on your network.

In addition, the X510Data Vault makes it easy to share files both locally and remotely, making it a great tool for businesses whose employees travel or work away from the office.

HP lent me a unit to test and it is surprisingly easy to set up. You plug the data vault into an electric outlet, use a LAN cable to connect the device to a router that's connected to the Internet and install the Data Vault software on a PC on your network. The first installation must be on a Windows computer, but additional installations can be on either PCs or Macs. Once set up, the software automatically backs up any computer connected to the network on a regular schedule, so no one in the office has to remember to run a backup.

If you or your employees travel for business or occasionally work from home, you can set up remote access to files stored on the X510 Data Vault. That way you or your sales staff can always have the latest inventory info or catalog available, or you can get a copy of your presentation when you discover in your hotel room that you forgot to transfer it to your laptop. User accounts and shared folders let you control who has access to what information and resources on the server.

Built in media streaming capabilities let you stream photos, music and video from your server to the web or to your iPhone.

If you have two or more hard drives installed, a file duplication feature lets you duplicate critical files to a second hard disk at a click of the mouse. The X500 has space for up to 4 internal drives, and adding or replacing drives doesn't require tools or cables, so it's simple enough for just about anyone to do. There are also 4 USB ports and an eSATA port .

Because fires, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and other disasters can destroy everything in an office, no backup strategy is really complete without some form of off-site backups. The file duplication feature and the ease of adding and removing internal hard drives provide one way for Data Vault owners to handle off-site backups. (i.e., duplicate folders onto a second drive, remove the drive and store it offsite.).

But HP offers another, more efficient solution: the KeepVault online backup service.

The service, lets user backup selected folders on their Data Vault to an online storage facility. Online storage options range from 20 GB to 5 TB. KeepVault is designed for Windows Home Server Operating System and is a Windows Home Server Add-In. Pricing for the KeepVault online backup service starts at $3.60 per month.

The X510 Data Vault comes with a three-year limited warranty on hardware and a 3-year technical support warranty. Given its ease of use and relatively low price (street prices for a 1-Terabyte X510 Data Vault start at about $600), the HP Data Vault is a very efficient and cost-effective solution to small business' backup and storage needs.

Copyright © 2010 Attard Communications, Inc.
May not be copied, reprinted, or reproduced without express permission from Attard Communications, Inc.

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About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning  Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets.  Follow Janet on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JanetAttard.

 
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