Backing up a small business help!

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by will waters, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. will waters macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    Great Britain
    #1
    Hi
    I am planning on setting up my own small business, the business will do website design and networking for small business's.

    Part of the business would be email and web hosting, also backing up the small business servers (in their offices) to my servers over the internet (In my garage)?

    My question is: Is it possible to backup over the internet like this, what route should i take MAC OSX or UBUNTU Linux? IS it even possible to backup with mac osx like how i want it?

    Hope you can help, any feedback is useful!

    Will
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Why don't you just do all of your work on an established cloud provider like Amazon (S3)? I don't know why anyone would go to joeschmo incorporated for their proprietary data storage needs instead of a large, reputable provider for such a service.
     
  3. belvdr macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2005
    #3
    Even if you get just a few businesses to sign on, you're going to need a large Internet connection, not a residential one either. Further, having data from another company sitting on a computer in someone's garage or even their house isn't exactly what I'd call secure.

    You should really rethink what you're doing.
     
  4. DustinT macrumors 68000

    DustinT

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2011
    #4
    I am actually doing exactly what you are suggesting. I find there's a lot of businesses that aren't techinically savvy enough to go find something like Amazon's cloud storage and then deploy it successfully for their small business. They are too worried about running their business to have the time for that sort of thing.

    Having said that, some of the points the posts above this one make are valid. It would be very tough to handle that sort of thing over a residential internet connection. The only exception to that I'm aware of is from CrashPlan. It allows you to take a USB disk to your clients location for the initial backup. You then take the USB dick with your clients' initial back to the remote backup server and plug it in. CrashPlan will then extract the data and allow all future backups to occur over the internet. I'm currently using that to provide backup services for about half a dozen systems it it works just fine from my home.

    It runs on Windows or Macs, I'm using it on a Mac Mini but I'm storing the files on a NAS unit. It's a Netgear ReadyNAS Ultra 6, 6 drives in RAID with about 7 terabytes of storage locally. It's more than enough and way more reliable then the single spindles a lot of the systems I'm backing up have.

    On the webhosting side of things, I'd recommend you just get a small VPS. I like Rack Space's cloud servers. For a very small amount, you can get a decent performing cloud server and install the OS of your choice. It's by far a better way to host websites than from home.

    Regarding email hosting, there's no reason to do this yourself unless your clients don't trust the cloud provides. If they don't care, run it all through Gmail Apps. For $50 a year you can sign up quite a few users and it's got good spam protection built in. Unless you plan on becoming an email server expert, you'd be very hard pressed to duplicate that level of service for $50 a year. Heck, even if you were an email server expert, I think it would cost more than $50 a year. But, I'm not an email server expert since I rely on Gmail. :)
     
  5. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

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    Aug 12, 2008
    Location:
    Cambridge, UK
    #5
    If you're serious about this, then please look into either co-locating your own equipment in a datacenter or renting dedicated servers. Doing all this from a garage would just harm the reputation of your business when the inevitable happens.

    Doesn't really matter what OS you use for the backups part of your plan. One option would be to setup an Rsync client/server application for each client.
     
  6. will waters thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2011
    Location:
    Great Britain
    #6
    Internet

    Hi
    Looking at some of the prices on the internet for cloud servers seem very expensive! That is why i wanted to do it this way!

    The servers would not be stored in a garage, i should say, it is an extension that we had built on to the side of our house, and this extension is properly built and does not have a garage door, only one small door to the outside, and no windows in the garage so it is reasonably high security.

    My internet connection though is very quick! We reach download speeds of around 38MB a second and 3-4MB upload speed!

    Alternatively my godfather has got some space at his business, where i could locate my servers, however they do not have a fast internet connection! I could do it at my dads business as well, however they have a lot of power cuts there!

    What do you think would be best?

    Will
     
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #7
    Definitely use this in your advertising material.

    I'm beginning to think this is a troll thread. What you are proposing is bordering on the comically naive.
     
  8. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

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    Cambridge, UK
    #8
    Even though that connection speed is fast for home use in the UK, it's not going to be adequate for backing up multiple clients at the same time (I assume you'll be wanting to use the same connection too, for personal usage).

    Do you have space for a backup generator near the extension and have you considered the cooling requirements of a bunch of servers?

    I think you need to take a look at your proposals as if you were a client being pitched the service. If you ran a business, would you trust backups being stored on servers in a persons home, connected to the internet on a home broadband connection or would you rather pay a little extra for the company offering backups to servers in a secure datacenter with multiple fast network connections?
     
  9. will waters thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    Sorry i did not mean it like this!

    I have come to an agreement with my godfather, who is the IT director at a company close by, they have multiple servers already, and a backup generator, and there internet connection is being upgraded. The premises is very secure (they have a security guard at night), and i would think it will be cheaper doing it like this (basing the servers here) than on the cloud! Does this sound better?

    Still trying to decide over Windows, Linux or MAC OSX though?

    Will
     
  10. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

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    Cambridge, UK
    #10
    Sounds better as a starting point, but I still think you may find yourself needing better facilities quite quickly (depending on how fast your business will be growing and the size of clients you'll be serving).

    As for OS I think Linux is pretty much a no brainer, Microsoft licensing can be a real ball-breaker and expensive depending on your requirements. OS X can only be run on Apple hardware and since the discontinuation of Xserves, doesn't leave many options for future-proofing.

    I assume you're looking into rack-mount servers, if so you'll probably want to research available server options from HP, Dell, Oracle, IBM etc...
     
  11. Kasalic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    #11
    We run a Microsoft/Apple certified company doing pretty much what you are suggesting.

    Whilst I understand what you are trying to do, what I would suggest you look at is two separate issues.

    1) Profit - the software to run online backups costs a lot of money, far more than the hardware to be honest. Then you have the overheads of maintaining and managing it. In her previous company, my other half went down this route and this time we decided to outsource it. We use a third party company, but it is branded with our companies details so as far as the customer is concerned they are dealing with only us. Although the overall profit on this is lower, the data is far more secure, and it requires far less maintenance than hosting it ourselves. We do the same with web hosting, we buy space off a supplier and charge this out per annum to our clients. If you are serious about running this business then you need to cost everything out and make sure you are making a profit, and if you are honest about it, I think you will discover you need to get a lot of clients to start making a profit factoring in your initial outlay.

    2) As mentioned earlier, the security of YOUR customers data is the most important thing. If you mess this up and the data is not there when they need it then YOU are in big trouble. We visited the data centers of the companies we were looking at using to make sure they were up to scratch, and doing so really reinforced that we were not up to the job of handling this ourselves in house.

    I'm not trying to rain on your parade, and you are free to ignore my advice, but I wish you good luck whichever way you go.
     
  12. will waters thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    Outsourcing

    Hi

    I am starting to think that out-sourcing would be the best option! Who would you suggest is the best company to out source with in the uk?

    Will
     
  13. troop231 macrumors 603

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    Jan 20, 2010
    #13
    Amazon would be my first choice, due to them having the lowest latency servers around the world. Second choice would be Rackspace most likely.
     
  14. will waters thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Forgot to mention, I will be in England so Amazon would not be a good option (i don't think they have any servers in the UK)

    Will
     
  15. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Amazon have a cloud datacenter located in Ireland for users wanting a presence near to the UK.
     
  16. will waters thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2011
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    Great Britain
    #16
    Thanks

    Hi

    Yeah, i have been looking into amazon, asking a few people though they would not be happy with the amount they would get charged for the service i was trying to supply? That is the backup service, however i will look into putting the web/mail servers with Amazon.

    Do you think crash plan would be any good for the backup side of things? Or should i run my own linux servers (at my godfather's business) and do it on my own using some software like crash plan?

    Will
     
  17. Ap0ks macrumors 6502

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    Cambridge, UK
    #17
    I would imagine the margins for online backup services wouldn't be too great, but there must be a slim margin achievable when using Amazon. Unfortunately I've never used Crashplan so can't really comment on that aspect.
     
  18. ericrwalker macrumors 68030

    ericrwalker

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Albany, NY
    #18
    I would be wary of running a server to back up other people's data in your home/garage. If there is a fire and you lose data it wouldn't be good.

    I currently have a home server (my personal stuff, a couple of web pages, hundreds of DVD, and a lot of photos another other things) in a RAID5 environment and I am looking to back that up outside of my house too. Maybe the tool shed (drobo) or a cloud server, because of a possible fire or theft or something like that.
     

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