Is it Hammer Time?
Stop! It almost was hammer time, sledge hammer time, for my new Hammer Storage MyShare™. With all of the data that I have on my machines, the conventional back-up strategy I had didn't really cut it. I decided that I needed to find a solution that had reliability, accessibility, convenience and ease of use. I needed something that would allow me to do frequent back-ups (of just critical data) effectively and efficiently without having to do too much. After reviewing a number of strategies, I determined that a NAS (Network Attached Storage) device was my best route. Without getting into boring details, I opted for the Hammer Storage MyShare™. I hadn't read too many unfavorable reviews for the product (besides the frequent drop in connect, which the latest firmware was supposed to fix). The MyShare™ also had what I was looking for; Network Storage, USB connectivity, RJ-45 connectivity, RAID (mirror or stripe), a Print Server (perfect opportunity to replace the one I have), HTTP access, FTP access and of course user security (local and domain).
After getting clearance from the finance committee I popped over to NewEgg.com and ordered myself up a MyShare™. Excitement wasn't the word for my emotion after I received the confirmation order, and for the rest of my week. After all, who doesn't want a NAS? My package was shipped UPS 3 day. I often don't find the tracking information accurate (meaning I usually get a package before it arrives) so on day 3, I constantly checked to see if Big Brown delivered my package (even though the tracking page showed it on the other side of the state; not at the local facility). Well, day 3 came to an end and my package didn't show up (frustration level rises). Day 4, well it almost came to a close before my shipment arrived. I wasn't really excited about the delay, but my NAS did arrive and as I opened the box shipping delay frustration went away.
As I opened the box, I was thinking of how I was going to set this up with file shares, security and what scripts I need to change to transfer base and incremental files. The biggest thing on my mind was that I needed to upgrade the firmware. I connected the storage device and set it up. I must admit I was extremely satisfied with the ease of setup, use, and configuration of the MyShare™. The user interface is nice as well; however the one piece they should have included more information on is the security keys that it can generate and how to configure them for the device. I downloaded and applied the latest firmware update (which was a breeze to do). I received the success message and then setup the device to use the drives as a mirrored RAID, another easy thing to do. The device needed some time to sync the drives (understandable) so I decided to go do something else for a bit.
Upon my return, I decided to first setup the Print Server. I connected the printer and it was immediately recognized. I then went over to one of the computers and connected to the now shared printer. Next step, print a test page – result NOTHING. I tried setting it up again and the same result. I thought it could have something to do with the computer so I jumped on another one and had the same issue. The print server wasn’t my main priority so I figured I’d fuss with it later. My next attempt was to back up some data. After all, this was the primary excuse, I mean reason that I presented for the purchase (who doesn’t want to make sure all their photos are backed up). I modified my scripts to point to the MyShare™ for the destination device and began to backup my data. I do have a lot of data, and the frustration level went through the roof when my connection kept getting dropped while copying data over to the device. I tried to copy files directly, only getting so far before WHAMO – Dropped! I tried deleting files that were copied over to the device, same result, dropped! I tried for a while and kept having the same result. I did confirm that the firmware update was applied (version was correct on the device). The MC Hammer song started playing in my head overlaid by the Peter Gabriel song. Needless to say, it was almost Sledge Hammer Time. Before, I got too crazy and had a Hammer (storage) versus (sledge) Hammer grudge match; I powered down the device and walked away. It might have been tired from its trip and needed a rest.
I returned several hours later and to try this all again. I powered everything up and logged into the computer. Hrm, what should I try first, I thought. I opened up the printer and attempted to print a test page. My jaw hit the floor when I heard the printer started spitting out paper. I then proceeded to do the same file transfer actions that frustrated me to no end a few hours earlier. Too my pleasant surprise – everything worked like a charm. I transferred, deleted and moved gigabyte after gigabyte (simultaneously) and the MyShare™ kept up with me and handled it all with no problems (or dropped connections). The level of my excitement was greater than that of when I ordered the device. All that was needed was a nice cold (hard) boot. I only wish I had known that when I applied the firmware.
At this point (several days and gigabytes later) I can’t say I could be any happier with the Hammer Storage MyShare™. It turned out to be a lot better than I had expected. If you are looking for a back up device or strategy, you might want to consider one of these little things.