Highly Reliable Systems: Removable Disk Backup & Recovery

Monthly Archives: December 2015

Team Up with High-Rely to Offer BaaS (Backup as a Service) to your SMB Clients

December 29th, 2015 by


Combine the technology of the High-Rely Backup NAS appliances with the industry leading ShadowProtect SPX backup software to offer a complete managed backup solution with both physical backups that can be carried off-site using our Highly-Removable Drives as well as offsite replication to your data center for your clients, and generate recurring income for your company.

The Technology Plan

  1. Select a High-Rely Backup NAS for your data center to be the target for client offsite backups.  We recommend the 4 bay NC 400, the 8 bay NC 800, or the 4 bay RAIDFrame 4000.  You can start as small as you want and add space later using either a drive/bay per customer or combine multiple customers onto one drive or RAID.  With the RAID features of the NetSwap OS you could, for instance, start out with 4 drives configured in RAID 6 and add more drives later and still have a dedicated bay for seeding or copying data for recovery.
  2. Select a High-Rely Backup NAS for the client to be their onsite backup device.  We recommend the 1 bay NC 200 series or the 2 bay NC 300 series devices.
  3. Install ShadowProtect SPX on client servers and workstations and setup continuous incremental backup jobs directed to the onsite High-Rely Backup NAS.  A continuous incremental backup job creates on full backup and then incrementals forever after that.  StorageCraft’s ImageManager is then used to verify and consolidate or roll-up the incrementals into daily, weekly and monthly backups.
  4. Set up replication of the onsite High-Rely Backup NAS to the target High-Rely Backup NAS in your data center using the built-in site-to-site replication feature of the NetSwap OS — no need for StorageCraft’s ShadowStream or IntelligentFTP licenses.  If the initial full backup is large, you can use the SpeedSeed feature of the NetSwap OS to quickly create a seed to carry to your data center.
  5. Configure StorageCraft’s ImageManager on both sides to manage and consolidate backup images so that only new incremental backups are ever transferred over the wire, consolidated backups are generated and backups are verified independently on each side by ImageManager.  Using the virtualization capabilities of the NetSwap VM OS, you can run ImageManager right on the High-Rely Backup NAS using a utility Windows OS (inexpensive), so the consolidation and verification are done right on the device instead of going over the network.
  6. Manage and monitor everything from your office using the NetSwap Dashboard and ShadowProtect’s ShadowControl software.

The Business Plan

We have two different suggestions for the Business Plan.  After determining which High-Rely Backup NAS device and media are required based on the client’s backup needs, select a plan, or offer both, to your clients:

Plan A

Quote a one-time fee for the hardware and ShadowProtect software with your standard markup and they pay a monthly fee for management and offsite storage.

With this plan the client is charged up front for the hardware and software. Then, the customer owns the hardware and software, but they pay monthly for management and storage.  This will appeal to those who like to own rather than rent and keeps your up-front costs low.

Plan B

Take the combined cost of the hardware, ShadowProtect, and your other costs for management and storage and divide that by 10 to arrive at a monthly fee.  Sign up the client to a one year contract.  After 10 months, the hardware and software costs have been recovered and it’s just profit.  After the one year contract is up, just continue on a monthly basis.

With this plan the client is “renting” the hardware and software, but the up front costs to the client are low.  Or you could do a hybrid where with say 50% down, and higher monthly payment or any combination.

Note:  You can also sign up (if you are not already) with StorageCraft’s Profit-Ability Partner Program and sell the software as a service with a monthly payment rather than selling licenses.

The Vaulting Business Worksheets & Financial Calculators

We have built a pretty encompassing spreadsheet for you to work out both quotations for customers and the business financial and performance requirements on your vaulting side.  There are 4 pages in the spreadsheet.

Customer QuotationsThe first 3 pages of the sheet consist of different hardware models for your client’s sites.  A Small (1TB), Medium (4TB) and Large (12TB) offering.  We have preloaded data consistent with real pricing and industry average profit margins to give you a baseline to start from.  You can adjust the equipment, quantities, deposits, pricing, margins, additional services like antivirus & updates, capacities and other factors and the sheet will arrive at a quotation of monthly dollar amount rates for your customers.  Within each sheet are three columns showing side-by-side quotations and amounts for different propositions for your customers.  First proposition, they pay for the equipment upfront, then pay your monthly service and storage fees.  Second proposition is a rental where you add up the equipment costs and amortize that total over 10 months.  After the first 10 months, their payments become mostly profit.  Third is the same as the second except you amortize a marked up or down price for the equipment.

VaultingCostsThe fourth page is the capacity and financial planner for your vaulting side.  We tried to consider most of the costs associated with the data vaulting business.  If your business is not dedicated to data vaulting, there may be costs which can be shared or apportioned partly for things like bandwidth, rent, etc.  In this sheet you specify the parameters of your base equipment and costs, as well as costs of power, facility, etc.  Two methods of determining your sales needs and profitability are offered.  The first assumes payment for your equipment within the first month.  The other is an amortized look at your equipment costs.  A chart at the bottom gives a 24-month progression based on your sales projections for determining when you become profitable based on your sales goals.




This might be considered part of the business plan.  However, there is some sensitive financial information in this spreadsheet so it has been password protected.  Please contact our Sales Department for the password (email sales@high-rely.com or click “Request More Information”) to unlock the download. [Click here] for the spreadsheet download page.




Posted in Blog

Are you covered? Try our data loss risk calculator and see.

December 11th, 2015 by


Data Loss Scenarios and their Recovery Solutions.


TL;DR? Just call Sales Team 6 at 775-329-5139 🙂


A quick review of the most likely scenarios where you will experience data loss, corruption or theft and some solutions to prevent or recover, will help you check and plan for your vulnerabilities. Ask yourself if these scenarios could happen to you and then ask yourself if you have solutions like the ones listed to solve it.  As you apply your situation to the worksheet table below rate yourself.  Select your Exposure level 1 to 5 (5 worst) and your Risk level 1 to 5 (5 worst) for each row, and the total will be calculated at the bottom. Compare your total with the results table at the end to determine your overall need improvement an consider your weaknesses you rated yourself on.

Scenario Category Solutions Pitfalls Solution Type Exposure X Risk = Priority
Primary storage physical failure. Loss
  • RAID 1,5,6,10, etc.
  • Enough redundancy? High-Rely offers multi-level redundant storage systems.
  • Short enough rebuild window? High-Rely has features designed to mitigate the importance of rebuild time like DeltaSync and SpeedSeed.
  • Available replacement parts? High-Rely uses many commonly available IT parts like standard desktop SATA hard drives and ATX power supplies.
Prevention Exp:



Primary storage server failure. Loss
  • On premise backup server.
  • Off-site backup server or VM.
  • BackUp current? High-Rely systems have monitoring mechanisms like NetSwap Dashboard which can be used to warn of missing or out of date backups.
  • Viable performance?  High-Rely systems use performant components, SATA connected drives and available RAID enhancements allowing for viable performance for most situations.
Recovery Exp:



Server hacked. Corruption
  • Fix hack.
  • Restore from local backup.
  • Restore from cloud backup.
  • Did fixing, fix everything? High-Rely’s Highly-Removable Drive systems are invulnerable to remote attacks when they removed. Chances are your off-site backup is clean if the hack was caught soon enough.
  • Recent enough backup? Most High-Rely systems are performant enough to keep frequent incremental updates.
  • Restoration time too long? Most Highly-Removable Drives are interchangeable with other chassis for Network or Direct attached.  Direct attached can be much faster than Network attached or Cloud. SpeedSeed is also an option.
  • Is it a complete image? High-Rely systems can warn when disk space is low or other issues that may cause an incomplete image.  But best practice is to perform test restores to confirm everything is working.
  • Archive not deep enough to cut back before the hack? The depth of archives stored on Highly-Removable Drives is only limited by the number of Highly-Removable Drives you chose to have.
  • Paper trail insufficient to fill the data gap between the restore point and current state?
Recovery Exp:



CryptoWall, Cryptolocker or other data perverting virus attack. Corruption
  • Restore from archive before the infection.
  • Restoration time too long? *Discussed above.
  • Archive not deep enough to restore before the attack? *Discussed above.
  • Paper trail insufficient to fill the data gap between the restore point and current state?
  • Is the virus still present?
  • Is the way the virus got on the system still capable of reinfecting? High-Rely’s NetSwap Backup NAS systems can be managed from a master Dashboard allowing you to quickly remotely reconfigure security parameters on all your NetSwaps.
Recovery Exp:



Location lost – fire, flood, other. Loss
  • Bring up synced VM.
  • Restore off-site backup to new hardware.
  • Offsite backup data available?
  • Probably the paper trail is gone too, is the backup data current enough?
  • Will the new host workstation/server operate with your restored data (is it compatible)?
  • Is the retarget process going to be fast enough?
  • Will your users/customers have access?High-Rely’s NetSwap Backup NAS systems can be managed from a master Dashboard allowing you to quickly remotely reconfigure security and connection parameters on all your NetSwaps.
Recovery Exp:



A high-level, full-access, disgruntled IT employee deletes or destroys everything including backups. Loss
  • Restore from off-site copies.
  • Search recycle bins.
  • Check for file system roll-back features or programs
  • Check your IT provider for backups.
  • Restore from your BLACK backup copy.*
  • Threaten or offer ransom to vindictive employee – he possibly has a copy.
  • Buy a close competitor.
  • File your business loss insurance claim, bankruptcy, start all over.
  • How smart is he? High-level, full access employee may have every angle covered including off-sites. Highly-Removable Drives in conjunction with our AMT and DeltaSync functions enable you to remove a complete copy of live data in under 10 seconds.  This allows for the easy creation of Black copies.*
  • Does your file system have recycle bin or roll-backs enabled?
  • Was your disk space too low and thus hasn’t preserved enough rollback or recycle bin data?
  • *Did anyone else know about your *Black copy? A Black copy is a copy in which the knowledge of must compartmentalized so that only the top key person or owner has access to it.
  • Is your Black copy too far out of date? There should be a plan for regular updates.
  • Black copy incomplete or unreadable? The black copy should be verified regularly.
  • Insurance doesn’t cover your situation. Make sure your insurance policy is up to date with value of your data and system.
  • Insurance coverage amount insufficient to rebuild business.
  • Do you have a backup IT provider?
Recovery Exp:



Total Priority

Analysis Results:

Priority Exposure Notes
125 to 150
You’re completely exposed.
You basically have no backup system.
100 to 124
You’re greatly at risk.
Possibly you’re only prepared for hardware failure and not other possibilities.
75 to 99
You’re unprotected in too many ways and places.
Consider tightening up a little more.
50 to 74
You’re moderately protected.
Better than most businesses but still have too many points exposed.
25 to 49
You’re very well protected.
Staying here requires vigilance and you still have some things you could improve.
6 to 24
You’re in a great place, keep working hard to stay here.
You’re probability of total loss is very low.

Most of the vulnerabilities listed above can be mitigated or eliminated by using cloud + Highly-Removable Drive(s) hybrid NAS like the ones made by us.

Click here to find out more about Highly-Removable Drives with Cloud and High-Rely’s NAS Advantages or click the “request more information” button for a human response.

TL;DR? Just call Sales Team 6 at 775-329-5139 🙂


Posted in Blog

10 Reasons to Use Backup NAS vs Generic NAS

December 7th, 2015 by

Pros and Cons of using a Purpose Built Backup NAS vs a Generic NAS for Backup

Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are very common for adding shared storage to a small business network infrastructure. While providing an inexpensive and convenient way to store extra data, there are some common pitfalls to avoid if you choose to use a conventional NAS device or appliance for your backup. High-Rely makes specialized backup NAS systems. Each has a place. In this overview we outline Pros and Cons of a conventional NAS system and a Backup NAS.WBA lft drive rflct_800

  1. Off-site Backup. The fact is, NAS boxes are usually designed as local storage, not transportable media. Experts widely acknowledge that data not transported offsite on a regular basis does not qualify as a “backup” at all. Many NAS boxes are simply not designed as true backup solutions.  Any NAS intended for backup should either have drives designed for daily removal, or include offsite data replication. Try not to rely on only one local copy as a backup. That won’t protect against fire, flood, accidental or deliberate erasure, theft, or a virus that may infect or encrypt files throughout the local network. High-Rely’s NAS products include removable drive systems as well as Cloud facilities which provide the best of both worlds in an affordable and effective solution.
  2. Backup Focus. Almost every USB drive or NAS appliance mentions backup as one of the uses for the storage. But many of these treat backup as an afterthought. High-Rely designs  are built for backup first and feature our removable drives. Features include built in replication, Automatic Mirroring Technology (AMT), and the ability to quickly seed offsite backup. They also work with remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) tools to monitor the backup hardware and jobs including our own free NetSwap Dashboard for Monitoring and Managing both local and remote devices so that removable drive swaps, Sync and replication jobs and status can be controlled from one web site.
  3. Automatic Mirroring Technology, Offsite Replication, SpeedSeedTM. These are three features available in our backup NAS products that are not typically available in a generic NAS. AMT is where every backup job is automatically copied in the background (mirrored) to a removable drive. When the drive is swapped it creates yet another copy. This not only provides redundancy, but increases software compatibility because backup jobs are unaware of drive swaps. Replication refers to sending the jobs over the Internet to one or more remote locations. SpeedSeed works in conjunction with the other two features, allowing the removable drive to become the “master” drive at the remote site the minute it’s installed so replication can more efficiently use bandwidth to broadcast only changed files. These features can work independently or together.  This video details how these technologies work together:
  4. Design Reliability.  NAS appliances require motherboards with processors, RAM, bridge chips, glue logic, and a boot device (Flash RAM or boot hard drive). Each of these components generates heat, uses power, and most importantly, is subject to failure. High-Rely backup NAS servers pay special attention to cooling needs and also offer optional redundant power supplies in many models.
  5. WatchDog. Have you ever had a computer lock-up on you? Whether it’s from a power glitch, heat, software bugs, or the odd energetic neutron from a solar flare, we’ve all seen systems become unresponsive. The first rule of computer troubleshooting is “reboot it”. It’s frustrating to know that rare onetime events could prevent you from getting a good backup. Such is the fate of many conventional NAS products, which are computers that are purpose built for storage. One way High-Rely has provided for reliable backups in our products is to include a small circuit called a watchdog, which monitors our NAS appliances to insure the hardware and software are alive and doing what they are supposed to do or it reboots them so they are ready for the next backup software job. If it is unable to reboot the system, an audible alarm notifies the user for attention.


    Typical conventional NAS drive carrier.

  6. Protected Hard Drives. Almost all generic NAS drive trays are open at the top and back of the drive (See photo). These are designed to change out if the drive fails, but not intended for regular swap. Such “Bare” drive designs mean hard drives are exposed to shock, static, moisture, and other environmental problems when removed from the unit. Our removable drives fully enclosed and protect the hard drives during handling and transport.
  7. Removable Drive Trays. Many NAS solutions are intended to be fixed storage solutions.  It is important to be able to get multiple sets of physical backup copies so that a rotation scheme can be set up that insures current data is always available off-site.  Therefore, additional removable drives are readily available and inexpensive to purchase allowing you to have an unlimited amount of archive/offsite storage.  Our removable drives also interchange with our DAS products or can allow for emergency/in-field access and faster restores by plugging them in via USB3 or eSATA directly into the server being restored.
  8. Reliable Connectors. As mentioned above, most NAS designs expose the back of the drive so that the male SATA connector on the drive can mate with its equivalent female socket (or in some cases with a standard SATA cable). According to the SATA-IO Committee specifications, this connector is rated for only 50 plug/unplug cycles. Contrast this with the 1,000s of plug/unplug ratings of our removable drives and you realize that our removable drives are designed for the daily rigors of backup and frequent swapping.
  9. Warranty and Reliability. Many NAS warranties are only 90 days. The standard High-Rely warranty is 1 year with extended warranties to 5 years available. The care that has gone into the cooling systems, the audible alerts, other facets of reliability and the fact we warrant everything including the hard drives make High-Rely a more enterprise solution than most NAS boxes.
  10. Monitoring or Auditing. Being able to have a log of whether drives were swapped for a backup job, or when a replication completed is important. Generic NAS devices don’t provide this important security and manageability feature. With Direct Attached Storage (DAS) such as High-Rely drives, this information is available to you natively as part of the Windows Event viewer and auditing system. With our NAS products, we support log files, which can be monitored with RMM tools like Labtech, Level Platforms, N-Able and the like.  We also provide for free, a powerful NetSwap Dashboard utility that allows for the monitoring and management of a large number of NetSwaps anywhere on the internet all from one website. 
4 bay 1 out mock

RAIDFrame 4000 Backup NAS

Summary: Both Backup and Generic NASs can be effective for local backup, however High-Rely backup NAS appliances offer more choices, better reliability, and higher flexibility for backup than conventional NAS devices that lack removable drives or specialize in disaster recovery. In addition, there is a line of larger products called a RAIDFrame that use RAIDPac removable drives (up to 30TB each!). These integrate RAID 0/5 controllers to provide for both larger volumes and more redundant storage.



Posted in Blog