My back ground is for the most engineering, however I did have a bit of a break and ended up as Technical manager for an IT security company for a while. Now I know this sounds a bit random however I have always been capable of turning my hand to IT stuff and it was a nice break from noisy manufacturing plants and press lines. At the start of the IT thing I was contracted into a customer site by IBM and I always remember a 1TB ‘Jukebox’ storage system going in. This thing was approaching the size of a ‘phone box, was a vivid purple colour, had a theoretical storage capacity of 1TB, oh and it never actually worked whilst I was there, due to some issues with the SCSi interface. Luckily it was not a project I was working on so I only had to watch from a distance as people ran around panicking.

Fast forward many years. We run four primary machines here and they need to be backed up a lot as to loose the accounts and VAT data, or the CAD drawings or RFD register would be a nightmare. We use a variety of systems to backup our data and it was about time we invested in a new file server and here it is:

OK, so it is not exactly flashing lights and humming fans however it is very effective and notably it has a 4TB storage capacity. What you are looking at is the whole thing. In fact it no longer has the cables attached other than power as it sits in a corner and is connected to remotely. The thing you are looking at is the hard drive, a piggy back board and a tiny little single board computer running a variant of Debian Linux. Total cost was around £30.00 for the computer which is a Raspberry Pi3 B+, the expansion board was about the same and the hard drive itself was left over from a project of ours and probably cost around £75.00 so there it is, a standalone secondary file and backup server for less than £150.00. The back up process is automated in that every time a machine is shut down a script runs that throws new or changed files across before the workstation is turned off. In simple terms just choose shut down and the rest is done automatically.

I must admit to having enjoyed this project as it has  been a while since I played with a Linux system and I was impressed how quickly the commands came back to me. Next job is to harden it off which I am in the middle of right now.

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