Managing an online retail business, even a very small one, can be more labor intensive than some might imagine.
Even in the smallest of sole proprietorships, there is accounting to be done; state sales tax to be collected, reported, and paid; vendor price lists to keep track of; a website to maintain; and countless other tasks to complete regularly.
Many, if not most, of these tasks will need to be completed on a computer and then stored on that computer’s hard-disk drive. But what would happen to a micro-entrepreneur’s ecommerce business if that disk drive failed? How difficult would it be to recover all of those lost bits and bytes of data?
To avoid this sort of business tragedy, every ecommerce business should be backing up its important files daily. There are lots of excellent storage strategies out there. But I want to introduce micro-entrepreneurs to Netgear’s Stora MS 2110 network storage system.
The Stora MS 2110 is a network storage device that allows you to either store important data at a central location on the network, or it can be used to back up a single computer. For providing an inexpensive means to do onsite data backup, I am awarding the Netgear Stora MS 2110 four out of a possible five stars in this “The PEC Review.”
“The PEC Review” is my weekly column created specifically to introduce you to the products or services that I believe may help you improve your ecommerce business. This week, let me explain why I think the Stora is a good choice for small ecommerce merchants.
A Quick Disclaimer About this Review
Strictly speaking, the Netgear Stora MS 2110 is a network storage device designed for home use. In this review, I will be suggesting that it is also a very viable solution for home-based or small-office ecommerce businesses.
What the Stora Does
For the unfamiliar, the Stora plugs directly into your Internet router and is available to any computer in your network via a password. This means that if you operate an ecommerce business from home, you can add the Stora, and then access it from your computer.
The Stora I tested was being used for a small online merchant that had three computers that needed to both backup and access files. With the Stora added to the network, any one of the computers could read or write files to the device.
Backing Up Important Files
The Stora’s primary function is to back up those aforementioned important files, and the device can be used in two ways to achieve this end.
First, the Stora can act as a backup for a computer. In this scenario, there would be two copies of the data, the copy stored on the computer and the copy stored in the Netgear Stora.
By adding an optional second hard-disk drive to the Stora, the device can be used as a RAID-1, which stands for “Redundant Array of Independent Disks type one.” In this configuration, the Stora keeps two copies of every file, and can be the primary storage location for your business documents.
When the Stora is used as a RAID-1, it has one terabyte of storage capacity, which, as an example, is enough storage to hold 125 movies or 77,500 average-sized photos. If you limit the backup to just important business documents, the Stora should have more than enough space.
Officially, the Stora MS 2110 retails for $249. But, the Stora I tested was purchased for $179.00 at a local BestBuy.
To set it up as a RAID-1, you will also need to purchase an additional one-terabyte drive (you need two drives because a RAID-1 makes two complete copies of the data). Any 3.5 inch SATA—which stands for “Serial Advanced Technology Attachment”—drive should work, adding about $75 to your storage investment.
Following the simple instructions included with the Stora, setting up you new network storage should take about 10 minutes and require about the same level of technical expertise as hooking up a DVR to your television.
The Netgear Stora MS 2110 is an inexpensive, easy to install, network storage device that can help small ecommerce businesses backup and centralize important business-related documents. That is why I have awarded it four out of a possible five stars in this “The PEC Review.”