At SpartanProject, we are dedicated to bringing small businesses the same quality of IT support that a large enterprise businesses depend on. We focus on data storage, but also work with Internet hosting. For on-site consulting, we work out of Central Florida. For everything else, we service the US.
There are several advanced technologies that large businesses can utilize to protect their critical business data. Why is this not accessible to small businesses? We want to bring enterprise business data protection to small businesses without the enterprise costs.
How can we accomplish this? We try to keep the costs as low as possible by leveraging affordable consumer hardware with enterprise level software and mentality. Depending on how you’d like your setup, buying the wrong hardware can be very costly. Doing a simple Internet search for “small business storage server” you get some results in the multi-thousand, and that’s just the hardware – not the configuration and support. Another obstacle can be technical issues, just because you have the equipment doesn’t mean you have the technical staff to configure or maintain a setup like that. We try to keep our systems as standalone as possible, so only regular maintenance should be needed. We can also provide on-site or remote maintenance.
Most consumers think of a “backup” as an external hard drive. When you enter enterprise level backup you are talking about a multi-disk server with a large amount of storage, scheduled backups to a secondary system, snapshots (a point in time) to be able to revert, and disaster recovery in case the entire server goes down or is damaged. The key to data storage itself is actually storing the data and not losing it. You save it because you assume you’ll need it again for whatever reason. You depend on that the data still being there in the future when you need to use it again. A simple external hard drive, or multiple drives, does not accomplish this safely. The answer is ZFS.
What is ZFS?
ZFS, which we also detail on the IT Consultation page, is a filesystem. This filesystem has the ability to utilize multiple hard drives in a redundant way so you can have a server that can allow one drive fail and still be okay. ZFS also ensures data integrity, which no other current filesystem offers. There are many factors that play into data corruption, and a lot of them are unavoidable. However, when properly deployed, ZFS can protect against this. The larger our hard drives and other storage media become, the more data is affected when there is a corruption problem. Silent data corruption is a growing problem, and most filesystems cannot detect this until its too late. ZFS has the ability to scan the entire filesystem to check for any errors, then correct them (depending on the configuration). This can all be done online with minimum impact to users accessing other data. Most filesystems have to be taken offline to do such a scan, and they usually cannot discovery silent data corruption. If corruption is discovered on other filesystems, its rarely recoverable.