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Need storage advice/solution, please!

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May 24, 2004
First of all, thanks in advance for the advice! I can always count on good stuff from you guys..

Here's the deal. Just opened a new real estate office and and we are going paperless. At least nominally so...

We have an ad hoc network, with 5 stationary PC's on it. All 5 are running win7 64bit. Agents come in and bring laptops with them, in and out daily or whenever they need to. They are running everything from xp 32bit to vista, win7, etc. It is all run through a central server room with a rack, phone server, fax server, etc.

We need to be able to store all our contracts on this solution with all agents able to access the storage drives(NAS, Server, network drives, etc.) with limitations. It needs to be easily accessed and do the following:

Raid 1 (2x1TB)

Easily access or mapped from all these operating systems

There will be 3 admins who have blanket access, and the rest of the agents must only be able to access their own folder/contracts.

Needs to be able to be backed up with an external Samsung Story 1TB USB http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152178drive in real time backup for the third layer of redundancy. This will be plugged into one of the Admins PC's for the backup. Her PC is a quad core with 6 gigs ram, so she won't notice any backup, or anything else for that matter.

As an investor in this startup I tried to delegate this stuff off and asked for a solution from the guys who set up our phone and network systems and their solution was a Buffalo Nas shown here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822165106

The problem we are running into is that it is not recognizable from Vista or Win7 PC's, and needs someone who can install patches on the 30-40 agent's lappies, market center pcs, etc, for them to be able to see it. The only PC's able to see it are the XP machines, which are few and far between now, and will be less as time goes on. This is a solution we are not comfortable with for a large number of reasons, one of which is simplicity, and another is that I am the only person capable of even plugging in an electronic device in this place.

The other problem is that reviewers have stated this NAS does not like Domain environments, and Win7 defaults the PC's to a domain(it's own name), so if the PC is named "MCAPC', in network properties the PC shows it in the domain MCAPC.

If this were your office, how would you set this up? I like the idea of a NAS, but I am being told by these guys that most do not currently support WIN7, and we need this to be as cheap as possible. $300+-. I know.. that is very little money, but trying to stay around what the Buffalo NAS cost.

Thanks everyone!


Senior Yellow Forum Rat
Jan 17, 2003
Centennial, Colorado
Don't have the time to fully respond but I just want to give a warning about those buffalo NAS devices. You get what you pay for holds very true. One customer of mine went with those because they didnt want to spend the money for a more robust device and we had 2 of the 3 die in 6months. 1 had a failed backplane which took all of the data with it. You are supposed to be able to take drives from a failed unit and move them to a new one but it didnt work. The second one to die was a dead hard drive and a fried port on the backplane (different drive). They were just total garbage. It would have been better to buy a bunch of USB drives and hang them off a computer for that money.

Also the domain issue is a common issue for the 'home' class NAS devices because they just aren't designed with that in mind to save on costs and time I guess.


May 24, 2004
Thanks for the feedback on those. Anyone have any suggestions on how they would implement a solution?