Highly Reliable Systems: Removable Disk Backup & Recovery


Author Archives: Darren McBride

Darren McBride

About Darren McBride

CEO, Highly Reliable Systems, Inc.

General Data Protection Regulation GDPR and Backup

Posted on by Darren McBride

Have you heard of the General Data Protection Regulation – GDPR? Do you do business in Europe or with European citizens?  The GDPR regulation is intended to protect the privacy of individuals and has wide ranging implications for technology companies … Continue reading

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Restoring Files using High-Sync

Posted on by Darren McBride

Restoring Files From Backup Storage  Restoring files from a backup is done by copying in the opposite direction. Normally, the restore operation copies from the right-hand side back to the left-hand side. The Restore Wizard will guide you through the … Continue reading

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Using Amazon S3 with High-Sync

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Amazon S3 online storage is an inexpensive place for any amount of data. After creating an account on Amazon you can start storing data right away. There are no fixed monthly fees but you do pay a low monthly fee for … Continue reading

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High-Sync Remote Service

Posted on by Darren McBride

Using the High-Sync Remote Service The Remote Service is a useful tool to enable some special features like “partial file updating” also known as block level incremental uploads.  This feature is not often used, but the service can speed it … Continue reading

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Installing High-Sync

Posted on by Darren McBride

To Install High-Sync on a Windows PC, select either the 32 bit or 64 bit version of the installer.  The 64 bit version should have “64” in the name.   If your CPU and version of Windows supports 64 bit, choose … Continue reading

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Windows Storage Server 2012 Licensing

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All our Windows NAS products now ship with Windows Storage Server 2016.  

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Utilizing Box-to-Box Replication with High-Sync

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In some cases, box-to-box replication is needed, or desired. Customers may want to replicate from a branch office to the main office, or from a small business location to the owner’s home. There are a variety of methods you can … Continue reading

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High-Sync Support for Block Level Incremental File Uploads

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“Partial File Updating” – Incremental File Uploads with High-Sync Incremental File Uploads.  High-Sync can detect which parts of a file have changed, and copy only the changed blocks rather than the complete file.   The idea is to reduce copy time … Continue reading

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What is Windows 10 IoT Enterprise?

Posted on by Darren McBride

WIndows 10 IoT Enterprise is the same full Windows 10 Enterprise desktop operating system with a special license for the OEMs in an embedded market. Plus with the major advantage of long term support, which is always a requirement in … Continue reading

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Windows IoT Enterprise license Agreement

Posted on by Darren McBride

MICROSOFT SOFTWARE LICENSE TERMS WINDOWS 10 IOT ENTERPRISE WINDOWS 10 IOT ENTERPRISE FOR RETAIL OR THIN CLIENTS October 2015 IF YOU LIVE IN (OR IF YOUR PRINCIPAL PLACE OF BUSINESS IS IN) THE UNITED STATES, PLEASE READ THE BINDING ARBITRATION … Continue reading

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Bandwidth Throttling of Internet Speed with High-Sync

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Bandwidth throttling of Cloud upload or download jobs with High-Sync is possible.  The native speed you get without throttling will depend on how fast your connection is, along with other traffic currently using your pipe, other jobs running on your … Continue reading

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High-Rely Classic Versus the New Utility Bays?

Posted on by Darren McBride

Choose C models for daily swap media that replaces tape Choose U Models for lower cost, yet field replaceable/upgradable drives.  They can also be quickly installed into a USB 3 toaster enclosure for fast restores. Since 2004 Highly Reliable Systems … Continue reading

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Backup and Disaster Recovery – Creating Your own BDR

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5 Elements of a Backup and Disaster Recovery Appliance (BDR) Rather than buying a BDR with high monthly fees and storage costs, you can use our hardware to build your own.  Many of our backup NAS appliances can be used … Continue reading

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Multi-Cloud Support with High-Sync File Replication

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Multi-Cloud Support means Automated Upload and Download for mission critical files One unique feature of the RNAS product line is the inclusion of a license for High-Sync with Multi-Cloud capability.  This can be used to create multiple replication jobs to … Continue reading

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Backup to or from BackBlaze B2 with High-Sync

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Backblaze B2 – Backup and Mirror Your Data With High-Sync Low Cost, High Performance Cloud Storage with Backblaze B2 Using High-Sync, you can now store and synchronize your data on BackBlaze B2. High-Sync is a generic file synchronization, mirroring and … Continue reading

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High-Sync Software functionality

Posted on by Darren McBride

High-Sync Software is used to create replications jobs that can be local (disk to disk, disk to network share) or remote (public cloud providers or Internet protocols like FTP).  Not all of the features listed below work to all cloud … Continue reading

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Cloud-to-Local Backup – Reverse Cloud

Posted on by Darren McBride

Cloud-to-Local Backup (Reverse Cloud) Provides Data Consolidation Cloud-to-Local backup deals with the increasing use of the cloud storage, including the possibility that crypto viruses can reach into and encrypt mapped storage.  This scenario, or an end user error of accidentally … Continue reading

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Never use ISP’s DNS for a Windows machine in a Domain environment

Posted on by Darren McBride

Some customers have problems with a Netswap joining a domain, or with drive shares not coming back online after a drive swap.  We believe some of these problems may indicate Windows “Name resolution problems” which classically are either DNS or … Continue reading

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2 Minute Delay to browse after a media swap

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Case study:  User swapped stand alone drive on a High-Rely Netswap 400 (non-raid) and new media with same friendly name showed up after 10 seconds in HTML interface. However, Windows file explorer indicated drive share was inaccessible.  After 2 minutes … Continue reading

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Sparse Files – Problems writing 500GB and larger files with StorageCraft VEEAM and similar backup programs

Posted on by Darren McBride

Nature of problem:  When moving a hard drive from Netswap to Windows, large files appear to be corrupted under Windows. Suggested Fix:  Install Netswap version 2.15e If you remove a hard drive from High-Rely tray formatted and used with imaging … Continue reading

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Using Netswap with Acronis – The Strict Allocate feature

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If you experience difficulty backing up with Acronis, you may need to go to the “Strict Allocate” feature under Windows networking (Advanced, Global options) and type in “No”.    Save the settings to change.  Version 2.15b of the software Changed Windows … Continue reading

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10 Gigabyte Ethernet (10 GigE) interface and cabling

Posted on by Darren McBride

Those of us who have used RJ45 cables for Ethernet have a tendency to want to use something similar when we’re considering an upgrade to 10GigE.  It turns out using a “10GBaseT” card and the standard RJ45 connector based twisted … Continue reading

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BNAS and AMT board Mirroring Tips and tricks

Posted on by Darren McBride

The BNAS series of products as well as certain DAS products use an AMT board (Automatic mirroring technology).  The associated software is the JMicron HW RAID Manager.  This software and the product functionality can be tricky.  Here are a summary … Continue reading

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12TB Hard Drives Available in High-Rely Classic trays and in RAIDPacs

Posted on by Darren McBride

Seagate’s new 12TB Enterprise Capacity 3.5 HDD is now the worlds largest drive precision engineered to accommodate 550TB workloads annually. It has a market leading MTBF (mean time between failure) of 2.5 million hours and is designed to operate 24/7 … Continue reading

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Alternative to RAID1 Mirroring -Using DeltaSync

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High-Rely’s DeltaSync is a feature designed as an alternative to RAID1 mirroring for very large hard drives. It should not be confused with the Microsoft protocol of the same name. Continue reading

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Scheduled Mirroring on the NetSwap Can Protect against Ransomware

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Scheduled Mirroring can protect against ransomware. Continue reading

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8 Reasons to Fear Backup to Cloud

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Be Cautious when Deploying Backup to Cloud Protecting business data with backup to cloud is all the rage these days.  This is where data is sent over the Internet to a data center in another location, usually by automated backup … Continue reading

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Rise of the Robots Webinar

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This is a Webinar High-Rely CEO Darren McBride did for ASCII group on the coming of automation and Robotics. ASCII is a consortium of Managed Service and IT resellers.

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A Caution about Hidden Files with Cloud or Removable Drive Backup System

Posted on by Darren McBride

Removable Drive Backup System or the Cloud. A Cautionary Tale: A reseller we know uses MaxBackup (A GFI product) for backing up to the cloud for their customers.  Apparently MaxBackup (and some other backup software) made a recent change to … Continue reading

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Using High-Rely Netswap with HP DataProtector

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HP DataProtector , hard drive, removable hard drive Continue reading

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Rise of the Robots – Talk from High-Rely CEO at CompTia’s ChannelCon 2016

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Darren McBride, CEO of Highly Reliable Systems in Fall of 2016 discusses robots and automation across a broad range of fields from agriculture to food and beverage to IT.      

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Cloud Backup Security Concerns and the Alternative: Removable Drives

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With removable drives and box to box replication our clients may choose to avoid cloud backup to public data centers altogether. According to CloudBerry and a recent survey published on storagenewsletter.com enterprises continue to be concerned about security in the cloud. Continue reading

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An Easy Method for Encrypting Emails

Posted on by Darren McBride

How to Password Protect Your .PDFs for Free We’re all nervous about the security of our email.  It’s so convenient to send documents via email but it is sometimes best to encrypt or password protect sensitive data.  This is especially … Continue reading

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Microsoft Sues US Government – Reason to Backup to the Cloud with Care

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In April 2016 Microsoft brought suit against the U.S. government because agencies can demand access to cloud based files without the knowledge of the owners.  The suit argues that that the government is violating the constitution by preventing Microsoft from … Continue reading

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10 Reasons Tape Sucks for Backup

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    Through the course of a long career I have worked with many, many types of tape systems and consider myself a reasonably knowledgeable user of these systems. I have come to believe that tape doesn’t belong in any … Continue reading

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

Posted on by Darren McBride

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 … Continue reading

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Largest Hard Drive in the World 30TB (updated 3/2017)

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For a number of years now the largest hard drive in the world has been a RAIDPac by High-Rely. The size is currently 30TB (updated 3/2017). For those that challenge calling it a single hard drive given it is made up of … Continue reading

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Comparing iSCSI and Windows Network Shares

Posted on by Darren McBride

You can’t tell by looking at the physical connection whether a machine is using iSCSI or a Windows share. Both iSCSI connections and shared Windows hard drives use an Ethernet connection to attach storage. Since they use the same physical connection and network cable, it can be confusing to understand the difference. It used to be that an appliance that “shared” it’s drive was called a NAS (Network Attached Storage), and one that used iSCSI was called a SAN (Storage Area Network). This was because iSCSI was setup by installing a second network card in the server, and a dedicated link or Ethernet network was used for just storage traffic (hence the term storage area network versus local area network). Nowadays it’s not uncommon for even low end NAS devices to support the iSCSI software protocol, so the line can be somewhat blurry. Continue reading

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14 Reasons To Do Reverse Cloud Backup

Posted on by Darren McBride

Software as a Service (SaaS) applications have become “cloud backup applications”, and are increasingly popular. According to a survey of enterprise customers by Aberdeen Group, around 1/2 of firms are using the cloud for Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software and email (with Exchange making up 19%). The high adoption rate reflects software manufacturer’s focus on recurring monthly revenue models versus the older sales models where software was purchased with yearly support or maintenance fees. By hosting their applications, software vendors such as Microsoft CRM and Salesforce.com create higher profit margins and create tighter linkage to the end user. This model will eventually diminish, and disintermediate the importance of trusted consultants and IT resellers which account for approximately 30% of the traditional cost of IT. Continue reading

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4 Things You Have To Know About Encryption for Backup

Posted on by Darren McBride

 Encryption is becoming a more important topic as more companies struggle to meet compliance requirements and keep their data secure.  Encryption is used more than you might expect, including for various website security functions.  Backups are another important area to … Continue reading

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Is Backing up to the Cloud Faster than Fed-Ex?

Posted on by Darren McBride

That’s the interesting question posed recently by a blogger. If you want to transfer a few hundred gigabytes of data, it’s generally faster to FedEx a hard drive than to send the files over the internet. This isn’t a new … Continue reading

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Cloud Backup Speed Calculator

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This cloud backup calculator and data upload time calculator will estimate how long it will take to upload your backup to the cloud, assuming your own internet connection will be the primary bottleneck. Continue reading

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6 Easy Steps to Calculate Data Changed Per Day for Backup. Incremental Backup Calculator

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If you are going to backup to the cloud (over an internet connection) you will typically first do a full backup, then do incrementals from then on. Most cloud vendors charge for how much data you store and/or send daily.  … Continue reading

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Incremental Replication over the Internet

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Replication Information for NetSwap Plus Executive Summary Highly Reliable Systems (HRS), has added bi-directional incremental replication over the Internet to their NetSwap Plus removable drive Network Attached Storage (NAS) backup appliances.  The feature will also be available in certain network … Continue reading

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Removable Drive and Replication in one Backup Appliance

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Highly Reliable Systems, based in Reno, Nevada, has added replication to their NetSwap and RAIDFrame removable drive Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances. Intended for backup, these products provide removable drive and replication in one backup appliance. Replication is block level, … Continue reading

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Using Compression in Backup

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A Non Profit representative writes:  “We haven’t backed up since 2009. Backups are done using DVDs and hence, if the volumes are huge, we will need several dvds to back up the materials.  Also if the drives run out of … Continue reading

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Will Windows 2012 Kill the BDR?

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Will Windows 2012 kill the BDR? In the last few years Managed Service Providers (MSPs) have embraced Backup and Disaster Recovery (BDR) appliances as the solution of choice for managed backup. A BDR is usually defined as an appliance that … Continue reading

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Backup Corner. What’s Your data worth?

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From My Blog post at SMB Nation Windows Server 2003 had around 50 million lines of code. Microsoft hasn’t said how much more code is in Server 2012, but some estimates put it the range of 80 Million lines. The … Continue reading

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Top Tradeshows for VARS and MSPs

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During 2013 we will be exhibiting at some of the top tradeshows for VARS and MSPs. Come see our newest backup products including the RAIDFrame Plus, Netswap Plus, and and Windows based “roll your own” BDR platforms used to supplement your cloud … Continue reading

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New Largest Hard Drive Will Contain Helium

Posted on by Darren McBride

HGST, a division of Western Digital, announced what experts expect will be a 5.6TB 3.5″ form factor hard drive sometime in 2013.  The new largest hard drive will contain helium rather than air and will have 7 platters.  Helium is … Continue reading

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How to Find Backup in Windows 8

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Windows 8 includes a new File History program that automatically backs up user content.  Microsoft says this program was included as a way to protect and backup users files since users never seem to setup their backup program.  Unfortunately this … Continue reading

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Largest Removable Hard Drive Replaces Tape for Backup

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With the release in Oct 2012 of a 4 bay Network Attached RAIDFrame Plus, another nail will be put in the coffin of tape.  RAIDFrames use the largest removable hard drive on the market called a RAIDPac.   When we started … Continue reading

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Multiple pass wiping of hard drives is unnecessary

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With security concerns of our data ever more important, the question of securely erasing data from hard drives that are no longer being used occasionally comes up. This topic is also known as multiple pass wiping of hard drives.  This … Continue reading

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3.5 Inch Hard Drives Use Less Power than 2.5 for Backup

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We spend a lot of time studying backup to removable disk.  Would it surprise you to learn that 3.5 inch hard drives use less power than 2.5 for backup on a per Gigabyte stored basis? 3.5″ disks have around twice the … Continue reading

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What Does Enterprise Class Backup and Data Storage Really Look Like?

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Recently Joseph Walker, a blogger at SMBNation asked what Enterprise class backup and storage really looks like.  My response was to discuss how small business servers had hard drives inside the server chassis whereas Enterprise usually used one or more … Continue reading

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A 700TB Backup drive?

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OK it is a little out there.  By storing data in DNA Harvard Scientists George Church and Sri Kosuri have stored 700TB in 1 gram of material (70 Billion copies of a book).  Which makes us wonder how long it … Continue reading

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Why RAID-5 Stops Working in 2009 – Not Necessarily

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Suppose you were to run a burn in test on a brand new Seagate 3TB SATA drive, writing 3TB and then reading it back to confirm the data. Our standards are such that if a drive fails during 5 cycles we won’t ship it. Luckily, all 20 of 20 drives we tested last night passed. In fact, most of the 3TB drives we test every week passed this test. Why is that a big deal? Because there is a calculation floating around out there that shows when reading a full 3TB drive there is a 21.3% chance of getting an unrecoverable read error. Clearly the commonly used probability equation isn’t modeling reality. To me this raises red flags on previous work discussing the viability of both stand alone SATA drives and large RAID arrays. Continue reading

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Backup to Cloud – 17 Tips for Doing it Right

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Backing up to the cloud makes a lot of sense.  There are a broad spectrum of vendors and prices and we always like to encourage people to do both local and cloud backup (hybrid cloud).  I think the cloud vendors … Continue reading

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Apple co-founder Wozniak: Add Local Disk to your Backup Strategy

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Industry visionaries are concerned about storing everything in the cloud.  Besides the numerous outages we’ve seen over the last few years concern is growing about the liability and ownership issues.  In this article Apple Co-founder Wozniak says “I really worry about … Continue reading

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Grab your Data and Go – Removable Disk Backup Systems

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Joseph Walker, a writer for SMBNation and an IT consultant recently wrote an article about supplementing a backup strategy with local backup that can be pulled and taken with you in an emergency.  Removable disk backup systems provide a way … Continue reading

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High-Rely.com Hits Number 2 on Google for Removable Drive Backup Systems

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Highly Reliable Systems announced that their website has moved into Google’s coveted #2 slot behind HP for the term “Removable Disk Backup Systems”. “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and natural search is important to any business. We wanted our customers to … Continue reading

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BNAS platform featured on StorageNewsletter.com

Posted on by Darren McBride

This press release is from storagenewsletter.com Highly Reliable Systems Shipping Backup and DR NAS Appliance With removable drives, starting at $1,889 Highly Reliable Systems, Inc. is shipping mirroring backup NAS appliances based on Windows Storage Server called the BNAS 401 Series.The units … Continue reading

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SMART hard drive failure status – “OK (Prefail)” may simply mean “old”

Posted on by Darren McBride

Modern SATA hard drives have internal counters for soft errors, number of hours run, power cycles etc.  These counters were originally intended to help predict hard drive failure.  The SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology) data  can be accessed through … Continue reading

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See us at CompTIA Breakaway 2012

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Come see us at CompTIA Breakaway 2012 in Las Vegas July 30-Aug 2nd .   See our new NetSwap Plus Mirroring NAS platforms used to supplement your cloud strategy with an on-site mirrored removable drive. Also on display will be the … Continue reading

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Removable Drive Backup Appliances Released

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Highly Reliable Systems announced today Friday July 13, 2012 on PRNewswire that they are shipping 1, 2, & 4 bay mirroring backup NAS appliances called NetSwap Plus. “Most Network Attached Storage (NAS) appliances try to be all things to all … Continue reading

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Backing up Hyper-V Virtual Machines with Windows Server Backup

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Saving money on backup software is always a welcome idea.  The backup that comes with Windows Server 2008 can work for some people and can create a “snapshot” of your server hard drive to standard .VHD files.  The software works … Continue reading

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One Product for both Storage and Backup

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One question we get with mirroring products such as the 2 bay High-Rely, the FirstRAID, or the Netswap Plus is whether they can be used for both storage and backup.  The answer is a qualified “Yes”.  The idea is one … Continue reading

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Can Using Encryption Destroy Your Backup?

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With all the talk about backup to the cloud, we wanted to take a moment to discuss the encryption that is always part of that backup strategy.  Most encryption methods assume the underlying hardware is good.  But given that as … Continue reading

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4TB Hard Drives Now Shipping

Posted on by Darren McBride

Although 4TB hard drives have been around for several months in external enclosures, Hitachi and Seagate recently made internal drives available to us.  We have tested these drives and certified certain models for use in High-Rely products.  We’re rolling them … Continue reading

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Advantages of Removable Drive vs Tape

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Removable Drives or Cloud?

Posted on by Darren McBride

Removable drives or cloud for backup? We’d really recommend both!  One of the promises of cloud based applications is 99.xxxx uptime.  With the possible exception of salesforce.com and outsourced e-mail, no cloud application is more popular than backup.  But the … Continue reading

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Backup to SSD. Pros and Cons

Posted on by Darren McBride

Lately we’ve been hearing a lot about Solid State Disk (SSD) AKA Flash or NAND chips.  Flash technology that make solid state disks possible is increasing both the speed and density of conventional storage.  Every day a new article or … Continue reading

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Why is my Removable Disk Backup Slow?

Posted on by Darren McBride

Removable Disk Backup Slow?  Here are common reasons for slow removable disk backup in a bullet list.  Scroll down or click to page jump to detailed explanations and suggestions. You Forgot to turn off Your Anti-virus software during backup. Your drive(s) … Continue reading

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What Type of Hard Drive Provides the Most Reliable and Fastest Backup?

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Due to higher density and reliability, SATA drives are taking on more types of workloads, including those required for reliable and fastest backup.  Some people remember the large hard drive study Google did in 2007 essentially showing no difference in … Continue reading

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Removable Drive Support for Imaging: Symantec, Acronis, ShadowProtect, Appasure etc.

Posted on by Darren McBride

How does Automatic Mirroring Technology (AMT) help you to provide removable drive support for imaging software?  What if you need to create extra local data copies, and still support continuous incremental images (including consolidating or collapsing those incremental chains by … Continue reading

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The RAIDFrame gets a USB 3.0 port!

Posted on by Darren McBride

We recently added USB 3.0 connections to the 1 and 5 bay RAIDFrame.  These units now have BOTH eSATA and USB 3.0/2.0 connections.

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Understanding Deduplication and Single Instance Storage

Posted on by Darren McBride

The new Workstation Backup Appliance is a Windows based NAS with a removable drive that includes software to backup windows and Mac workstations.  One of the key features in this product is file level deduplication.  This feature was written for … Continue reading

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Slow Backup? Try ShadowProtect

Posted on by Darren McBride

One of the most common problems we hear is that a full backup takes longer than one night to complete (The slow backup problem).  Here at Highly Reliable Systems, we’ve tested a variety of backup software and have found that … Continue reading

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Why Tape Backup Doesn’t Work for Data Storage

Posted on by Darren McBride

Through the course of a long career I have worked with many types of tape backup appliances, and consider myself a reasonably knowledgeable user of these systems. I have come to believe that tape does not belong in any serious backup strategy if any other data storage alternative can be found. Admittedly, in some cases the cost of tape per Gigabyte of storage can’t be beat, but the cost savings are often artificial when you consider the massive amount of human effort wasted struggling with a tape backup or restore that doesn’t work. Continue reading

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