We’ve just had Easter here in the UK, and that means that for the working population there are usually 2 days off – these days are taken either side of the weekend so a 2 day weekend break of Saturday and Sunday becomes a 4 day Easter break of Good Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Easter Monday. It’s a chance for the UK population to put their feet up and enjoy not going into work.
And what do most people spend their time doing in the Easter break?
If the weather is poor, then most of us will visit friends or relations to catch up with the people we haven’t seen for a while, but if the weather is good as it was this weekend, most of us will spend time in the garden. The Easter break is really the first block of time that allows people to get back into their gardens since the onset of Winter.
Gardening aside, another popular Easter project is sorting out the home IT infrastructure – things like fixing the hard drive, or installing a new printer. High on the list also are things like buying a new NAS and networking the entire household computers to work with the NAS.
NAS storage is great to work with, it’s simple and cheap and very good at what it’s main purpose is – to cheaply store data act as a file server. Once the NAS is installed, so begins the job of moving the data contained in many hard drives that has been built up over many years off of these old devices and onto the NAS, but in a structured and ordered way.
When it comes to NAS storage, one of the no-no’s is to just put everything onto it from all your other devices in a unplanned fashion. This leads to trouble in the long term as (a) you can never remember where you put your files and (b) you loose track of what you’ve copied across and what you haven’t. No, data transfer from hard drives to central NAS file server needs to be completed in a structured way.
As most NAS devices run a system known as raid, you also gain a good degree of protection against loss for your files as one of the hard drives in the NAS can literally break and you still won’t loose any data. This is of course good news, but a hard disk going down in a NAS is ultimately not good. Because your NAS will continue to work, many people will forget or not bother to replace the broken hard disk – what’s the point? it still works fine!
And they are right, the NAS still does work, even with one of the hard drives down, but the big headache happens when another hard drive breaks. Once two hard drives in a NAS break you are in a real mess. If you’d have replaced the first faulty hard drive with a new drive you would have avoided data loss altogether, but now unfortunately it’s too late. In order to access your data again you are going to need to use some form of data recovery service.
Data recovery comes in many shapes and sizes, there are do-it-yourself web sites that give you instructions on how to recover your data yourself like Data Recovery Tips, other that specialise in a specific type of data recovery (here’s one for Mac’s only), while other’s offer the full data recovery service such as http://www.emergency-raid-datarecovery.com/. Data recovery can quickly become very expensive, and often it comes down to weighing up how precious the data you want to recover is. Ultimately, you may find that your data is not worth the cost of recovery, but sometimes your files are irreplaceable.
Using NAS storage is great, and as any data recovery company will tell you, NAS is a tried and tested way of making your data available on a fileserver. Things can get complex and sometimes you may wish you’d stuck to sorting out the garden instead!