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Setting up a small home/business network

By Darrenbilly
Nov 27, 2013
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  1. A colleague at work would like to set up either a SHN or a SBN. What is the best way to go about this? Would it be best to be safe to be cloud based? What equipment is needed etc...?

    This will take some discussing, so please ask any questions you need. The intention would be for two/three people to access the information on the network initially. A printer will be shared on the network, allowing scan to email. Laptops would be used to access the network from external sites, this is why I'm thinking of going the cloud based route, so they can log on and access the server from anywhere in the world...

    Any help/guidance is appreciated.
    Thank You!
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,754   +1,490

    Yes, you can consider the Cloud as a solution for access, BUT . . .
    it also brings with it issues like:
    1. security
    2. privacy
    3. backup
    4. ownership
    You should start reading about these issues before committing to this solution.

    One alternative would be a NAS device connected to your router. Putting your modem, router and NAS on a UPS power system would allow (with proper configuration) external access and you have total control, of all of the issues above.
  3. Darrenbilly

    Darrenbilly TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 161

    Many thanks for the reply. Sorry for the lateness in my getting back to you.

    You have brought to my attention some very important points. Notably the one about ownership. As the documents used by the small business will be highly confidential, it is important to retain ownership and know what/who is using them. I have done some light reading on NAS and it seems to be the way to go.

    A few questions:

    Do you know of a NAS that would be best suited for a SBN, that would allow for printer sharing, multiple users, access via the internet from anywhere in the world, preferably. How is access from multiple devices set up on the NAS? As it is plugged in to the network router, I trust something along the lines of setting up a Home sharing? Or is it something more complex and robust than this?

    Thank You!
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 12,754   +1,490

    I will refer you to this for background info on NAS. and also to this whitepaper. On the latter, notice that web access is mentioned for monitoring and control, not user data access.

    1+2) get resolved by reading the User's Guide. Normally, the user prints to the local printer and whether a local LAN system or a remotely connected user, the paper arrives at the users location. Lan attached users (those using addresses on your router) can always access a shared printed. If however, you need the remote user to print to the home office printer, that's another matter.

    3) gets complicated. If you attach router->NAS, then you'll need a device that performs all the functions of a computer, eg: defined users, passwords, data areas. This is really beyond the intent of Network Attached Storage devices.

    Alternatively, the setup router-->master_system-->NAS allows the NAS to be another shared device and setup is very much like file/print sharing. This requires the master_system to be operating 24/7 and should have a UPS for the system and the NAS.

    Planning is everything, so get your needs well defined before you dive in.
    Three major layouts are possible:
    * one big folder, shared and NTFS permissions set for r/w to all authenticated users. Consider this to be the Group Data
    * one folder per user, r/w only to that specific user and owned by that user.
    * and a combination of the two
    On the latter combination, each folder is a share and the access is created so the passwords for sharing are unique to each. Permissions for all are managed on the master_system and are controlled via NTFS

    Remote access should then be via a VPN connection to the master_system. This portion can be implemented immediately and usability tested on any shared folder w/o the necessity of getting the NAS online at all.

    There is a rule that states "Whatever resources are available, they will be consumed (Parkinson's Law)".
    That means you WILL exhaust the storage capacity (some day) and need to expand it. IMO, that calls for a HOT SWAPPABLE capable NAS (typically they are more expensive and use iSCSI internally). Configuring the NAS as a RAID JBOD allows capacity growth without down time.

    RAID 1x is optional, certainly not required and regardless, still needs its own backup - - a Cloud backup service would be ok.

    Well, this ought to stir the grey matter for a pit. Best wishes.

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