I’m working with a small company to determine what file server and backup solutions might fit their needs. Here is what I’ve come up with so far…

NSLU2 They are a small group all located in one office, so for a file server, nothing too big/costly should be needed. My first thought was a Linksys NSLU2. The pros of the NSLU2 are that it is cheap and simple to set up and administer. It seems ideal for this situation. They would need to add their own external USB drives, which is not a big deal, as they’ve already got a bunch of those in the office. Are there any cons to the NSLU2? Other than the fact that it formats the filesystem of the external drives as something you can’t plug directly into your Mac, I don’t know of any…

PowerMac G4 Instead of the NSLU2, they could use an old PowerMac G4 that is on hand and not doing much. They could still plug in the external USB (and Firewire) drives, and keep them formatted as-is so they could be moved to another Mac if needed. Internal drives could also be used if desired. The pros of the G4 are that they already have it, it could use internal and external drives, and could be a more full-fledged server (print, http, etc.) The cons to the G4 is that management would not be as simple, and it’s more/bigger hardware with more/bigger failure points.

Amazon Web Services For an off-site backup solution, I’m seriously looking at Amazon’s S3. I’ve been using it for myself since it launched, and I think with a simple client like Jungle Disk or Interarchy, they could easily create off-site backups at a very affordable price. They do a lot of large files for print, as well as audio & video production, so Amazon’s pricing is excellent.

So what do you think? Did I miss anything?

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