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Lessons Learned From Online Data Storage and Backup – Case Study

Lessons Learned From Online Data Storage and Backup – Case Study

As a SMB owner and coming from an IT background myself I have learned the importance of storage and backup. When disaster strikes and you need to roll back or restore your system what do you do, do you back up often, are there viable system restore points, what redundancy methods do you use, do you have off-site storage to recover data if need be?

The importance of hard disk partitions should not be overlooked. If indeed you do have to restore your OS at least your programs won’t be at risk if you had partitioned your drives separately (one for OS and one for the data and applications). At least this should save some time if a system restore was required.

Getting caught up and the hype in cloud and online storage, naively I took the risk of going with a cloud storage solution for one of our main servers. This turned out to be a big gamble on our part. We backed up the data required and key content that we created and that was offloaded to our online storage provider. At this point this was our only backup policy, of which we have since rectified.

Now the time for a restore is upon us. Our online storage provider requires that you set your restore points for backups as per normal practice. When a date was selected for the restore the files had to be generated as per a request made through your account. Again no problem as this seems reasonable and standard business practice for online recovery. In our case we had only stored approximately 50 Gig of information from this one server. The files generated to restore the 50 GB were 12 files at approximately 4.2Gig each. Now the download process began to begin to restoring the lost data due to the reinstall of the OS.

Upon downloading these 12 large files that were created caused serious headaches. It seemed not only are there bandwidth limitations on your personal internet provider account but also factor in the speed in which your connection has, possible sharing of bandwidth with other customers and time of day when you download are factors to consider if a restore is required. This is a common problem for home based businesses as proprietors use their home internet connection to run their business from. The approximate time the computer gauges with the internet connection was approximately 2-3days for each file, meaning this would take approximately 24-36 days considering the downloads were completed and uninterrupted. Due to constant Window updates causing automatic reboots of your system interrupted the process several dozen times. These interruptions caused the necessity to start the download from the file at the beginning. The files were so large that the internet connection would time out during the download, rendering the file useless for restore because it was incomplete. Incidentally, if it was partially completed, once reinitiated it would not pick up where it left off it would restart the entire file causing further delays.

Considering all files have downloaded correctly the restore must now take place. Not to mention all the applications had to be redownloaded and reinstalled again and not to forget all the nice extensions you installed to customize your web experience. After the restore you should have computer savvy to restore your PST file from Outlook to restore your contacts before the pre-crash state. This process is a little more involved than it sounds. Being without the key content and information you require especially your contact information from Outlook was detrimental to productivity. In the meantime other priorities and continuing your business is still a priority of which cannot be ignored. How can you conduct business without your content and contacts?

The lessons learned her for using an online cloud backup for SMB are:

Know your internet bandwidth limitations

Know your consistent download speed

Know the extensions you installed to customize your web experience

Keep a list of installed applications

Know where and what data you require to operate your daily business

Understand how to replace your email especially if you use Outlook – namely the PST file

Have a redundancy plan for data backup – Recommend a hard disk back up as well

Partition your drives if possible to separate the OS and Applications and data (create a disk image which would allow you to restore without having to reinstall everything from scratch)

Have all your installed software with the license key in a convenient place

Make sure files once they are extracted are in a usable form, usually it is zipped hopefully with rar or pk unzip or 7zip

Understand how to overwrite an existing folder structure not individual files within folders

Know your …

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Small Shed Plans – One Way to Solve Your Storage Problems, Build a Small Shed!

Small Shed Plans – One Way to Solve Your Storage Problems, Build a Small Shed!

If you live in a house, or own your home, you will have experienced a shortage of storage space at some point. You usually have cupboards, closets and attic space to store things in the house, but what about the stuff that winds up being in the garage, so the car has to be parked out in all weathers. There really is not room in the garage for all of it and there is no way that your wife will let you put any of it in the house.

These days many people do not even have a garage.

So how do you get your outside tools and mowers, etc, stored so that you can get the car in the garage or worse yet, do not have a garage and nowhere to put these things?

One solution that works rather well is to add a shed in the bottom of the garden, or a place that is handy to put all these things away. It does not have to be a big affair either, just big enough to house the tools and garden equipment, keeping it dry and secure.

Actually, small sheds work very well for people who do not have a lot of stuff or a small property. They are economical and easy to put together. They work very well when you are keen to get your outdoor living areas organized. You can be confident that you can put everything away and keep the garden implements out of harm’s way of curious children.

This is a good opportunity to organize all your tools in a small shed and the trick is to use a shadow board to hang up smaller tools. This makes it easy to identify which tool is missing as well.

A small shed can be big enough to house any engine parts you may have as well as your tools and garden equipment, which should please your wife too.

Your storage unit can be built in a couple of weekends and having a good set of small shed plans will make the job that much easier. Your power tools are valuable and the shed will keep them in good working order, and there is the added bonus that the value of your property will increase with the addition of a useful and attractive storage structure.

You will be happy to have a place for your tools and your wife will be happy that you will not be attempting to store any of your tools in the house!…

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Outdoor Storage Box: What Should You Consider Before Buying One?

Outdoor Storage Box: What Should You Consider Before Buying One?

An outdoor storage box is the perfect way to minimize clutter in your yard, garden, deck, patio, or shed. Even better, you can get deck storage that doubles as a seat, and optimizes your living and entertaining areas. They are perfect for garden tools, patio or deck furniture cushions, pool and grill accessories, even toys. If you are using one of these great boxes indoors, for example, in a shed, patio, or basement, you can store almost anything.

Typically, deck boxes are manufactured from one of three materials: wood, metal, and plastic. Each type of material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Keep reading, and I’ll give you everything you need to know before purchasing an outdoor storage box.

How Much Space You Have

The first thing you need to think about is the amount of space you have for the box. These boxes come is many different shapes and sizes, and it is important to get one that you have room for. Deck storage boxes are great at reducing clutter and can store any number of things, but you don’t want the box to be so big that it creates its own mess. You should also consider purchasing a deck storage box with a seat to help optimize your space. Basically, you are looking for a box that fits into the space you have available, and will nestle into a corner without bringing too much attention to itself.

Where Will You Use It

If you’re putting it on your patio, or any place sheltered from the sun, rain, strong winds and snow, then a box that has leather cushions will be the most comfortable. However, if used outside, the leather will crack.

Wood is a good choice for a storage box that will be used inside. Be sure it is made from a hard wood such as cedar, that way it will age well. If you choose to get a wood box, it is highly important to waterproof it with a sealant. Otherwise, it will rapidly rot. The other thing you want to consider is that if you are using this box as a seat, you may have problems with splinters. If you are searching for a metal storage box, it may get very hot under the sun and rust may become an issue.

I think, buying a plastic deck storage box is the best option. Plastic boxes are the easiest to maintain, and as long as they are made with high density polyethylene, they won’t weaken under the elements. Unlike metal and wood, plastic does not rot, rust, give you splinters, or super-heat under the sun.

What’s Going Inside

You should also consider what exactly you are going to be storing in your box. Divider and compartments are great for organizing littler items. Additionally, if the box’s purpose is to put away larger items, make sure they will fit inside. If you are storing sharp or dangerous items like pool chemicals or grill accessories, then make sure you buy a box that is capable of locking.

Your Wallet

The final thing to think about before buying an outdoor storage box is your budget. Obviously, you want to buy a quality product, but you don’t want to break the bank for it. Deck storage boxes can vary substantially in price, and from my experiences you get what you pay for. Nevertheless, don’t go purchase the most expensive box money can buy, there are great deals to be got. My exploration has led me to believe that the best outdoor storage box for the money is the Rubbermaid 5E39 Extra Large Outdoor Storage Box with Seat.…

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Choose the Right Storage Conditions to Maximize Your Wine Investment’s Value

Choose the Right Storage Conditions to Maximize Your Wine Investment’s Value

Smart investors looking for a reliable way to diversify their portfolios are increasingly turning to fine wine. With annual returns averaging 10-15% over an impressive sixty-year period, this luxurious item offers strong reassurance of a great return on your capital.

Fine wine is considered a stable, low-risk choice for investors, and a major reason for this is its physical nature. Because wine is a tangible asset, its price, in common with other commodities that can be seen, measured and touched, tends to rise with inflation. However, because wine is physical, it cannot simply be placed in any old room after purchase and forgotten about. Fine wine is one of the few commodities that can improve with age, but in the wrong environment it can also deteriorate. If you want to reap the rewards of your wine’s full investment potential, it is absolutely critical to ensure that it’s scrupulously stored and maintained.

Just how much value the wine-trading community places on high-quality storage was brought into the spotlight by Chateau Latour’s recent withdrawal from the en-primeur (wine futures) market. Latour’s decision to step away from en-primeur selling was largely motivated by a wish to secure the very best possible provenance for their brand. Latour’s Premier Cru will now only be released for sale once bottled, and at the ideal time for drinking. By retaining control of the entire production and maturation process, the chateau will be able to guarantee that their already celebrated wine has been nurtured in optimum conditions throughout its development, allowing it to reach a state of perfection.

Latour’s bold move reveals their complete confidence in the ability of perfect provenance to sell. The message for investors is clear: to gain maximum resale value for your wine, store it in a facility renowned for its expertise, a name that will inspire buyers with confidence.

So what are the best storage options for wine investors? Well firstly, choosing to store your wines in the UK gives you the credibility of the government-regulated ‘in-bond’ system. In a nutshell, it is possible to buy wine in the UK before it has officially ‘landed’ in the country and had VAT tax paid on it. To remain ‘in bond’ a wine must be stored in one of a very few specialist facilities. The audit trail that accompanies in-bond wine (ensuring that VAT will eventually be paid) provides solid proof that a wine has been stored in quality-preserving conditions since the beginning of its life.

In contrast, in the US you may only buy wine once all the import taxes have been paid. There is no equivalent system of documentation to UK in-bond, meaning you have to rely solely on the reputation of a storage establishment as evidence that a wine has been properly maintained. Another drawback of storing wines in the US is the vast distance a wine will have travelled from its chateau of origin, risking damage in the process. The much shorter distance between European wine producers and the UK minimizes this risk.

So where precisely should you store wine in England? There are two superior options, which will also give you access to the renowned international trading platform Liv-ex, as well as the highly liquid UK market-the largest secondary market for fine wine in the world. London City Bond is the oldest bonded warehouse, dating back to before 1870. But the facility with an unparalleled reputation, considered to be the greatest wine storehouse in existence, is Corsham Cellars in Wiltshire. Unlike LCB, Corsham’s storage is located 100 feet below the ground, safe from the potentially damaging vibration of delivery trucks and general traffic. Corsham’s reputation for excellence is so strong that investors have entrusted $1.5 billion worth of stock to their care.

As well as eliminating the adverse effects of vibration and light, storage at Corsham Cellars controls temperature and humidity levels to create the ideal conditions for wine preservation. Housing your investment in these highly-sought after conditions is surely the best way to assure the world that your wine remains in pristine condition.…