Why not just a backup product?
I'm all for resilience, but surely a backup product (that does files & whole machine images) is a pretty well tried and tested method.
This sounds like an ordinary Windows 2012 server in armour, but not much more.
ioSafe, which you may remember from a delightful prior experiment in which I set one of its storage units on fire has launched a new product. This delightful new device, the BDR 515, is based on a dual core Intel i5 platform with 16GB of RAM and runs a full version of Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard. BDR in this case can be …
From the article:
In its designed-for role, I find the BDR 515 quite interesting. To my knowledge, this makes the ioSafe BDR515 the only unit available that solves a very real backup vulnerability gap experienced by small and medium businesses that backup their data offsite over the internet.
Many SMBs back up to a local "cloud gateway" that will then slowly send that data to its offsite destination over the course of days or weeks. Until that data is copied off of the cloud gateway device it is still vulnerable to whatever local disasters might affect the local data centre. The ioSafe BDR 515 would be immune to that, ensuring that as soon as the backups are completed the data is protected. This is something I've been waiting for a long time.
"Moore: Unlike our other products, the BDR 515 doesn’t have a set retail price. The dealer pricing for both upfront and monthly fees are available to dealers only. The actual end user pricing is set by the dealers and not controlled by us. For pricing, end users are required to call a local dealer and get a quote. A big part of our sales strategy is to give 100% loyalty to our dealer network. As this is a product that requires an extra measure of support and configuration, the BDR 515 is not something that ultimately would be successful without the proper support."
Hello, end user, when the dealer goes out of business or its configuration expert goes elsewhere, you're stuffed because we don't have the capability to support end users and we've outsourced it.
Yeah, plus those dealers are probably not the most technically competent. You can see the same problem with PBXes where you have to deal with installers who are installers because they have a contract with the PBX manufacturer... not because they have any idea about how telephony works.
So in the end those servers will be incompetently set up and they will send their data to an offsite backup facility... so you, or other people, can easily get to them.
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I can see you would want a fireproof backup device if that's all you had. I can see the point of having offsite backups. But a fireproof backup unit that stops sending data to the offsite location when the router burns or the power stops, might as well just have the offsite data replicted/uploaded from an ordinary backup system.
If it's so you can take the blackened data holding box to your DR site and start working as soon as the fire brigade let you at it, just replicate the data to the DR location in the first place.
Clearly you work in the "large enterprise enterprise where money is no object" world. In the real world, where the majority of the world's businesses are, we don't have access to unlimited bandwidth. In short, we can't or at least can't afford to replicate that data in real time. The data needs to get buffered somewhere before being spooled out to the DR site.
I've unlimited "cloud" storage here. Unfortunately I've got good pipes for around $200/month but not good enough to "protect" more than 10% of the data here. Now one of these units with a dedicated twin may help with sychronicity overhead killing me. That said device can swallow all of my data and survive local disasters is huge. Here in California's Central Valley, well, there's thousands of agricultural businesses that could use this.
Now I need a local dealer.
It really depends on what you want it for. If you just want it as a CIFS/SMB target, then deduplication will probably work fine. I say probably because I have not actually tried it on these units and so I have no idea if pinning the CPU for hours on end actually fits within their thermal envelope. I'd kinda hope it does, but who knows?
I have a WD Sentinel running Storage Server 2012 R2 that I hacked to enable deduplication. I actually use it for backup my media server (ironically stored on an ioSafe ARM unit) in case Cryptolocker pays me a visit. I'm pleasantly surprised at how well it manages to reduce total storage size.
But if you want to - as I do - jettison the "BDR" role of the ioSafe x86 units and start using them for bigger and better things? Sadly, there Microsoft's rather awful post-process deduplication will not do well for you at all. I say this from bitter - bitter - experience.
Tiny base price + consulting fee + service fee + support contract + account manager fee + commission + statement fee + fake local tax + hosting fees + usage penalty fees, and all with a side of endless up-sell phone calls and "Tell us how we are doing" surveys. This is why people throw together half-assed DIY solutions then hire an IT person to fix it.