For those businesses running a small office, remote branch, or home office, storage options tend to be limited. Cloud storage and conventional enterprise storage can get to be pretty expensive, and while small external network-attached storage devices are helpful, they lack the flexibility of removable media storage.
But if you have a typical smaller office, there's a good chance you have a bunch of old systems (laptop and PC) along with unused hard drives sitting around. A new and inexpensive gadget makes it possible to easily use these drives as a form of removable backup media.
The $49.99 Cirago CDD2000 is a small USB docking station that accepts both 2.5-inch laptop hard drives and standard 3.5-inch system drives that use a SATA connection. Once connected to a system, any hard drive can be plugged into the dock and the drive becomes available in much the same way that plugging a USB thumb drive into your system works.
The CDD2000 supports USB 3.0 for fast data transfers, but it also worked on systems using older USB connections.
This gadget is about as simple as can be, and I loved using it. I could instantly see lots of different uses for it.
The most obvious is for rescuing data from laptops and other systems that have died, and this is very useful and much easier than cracking open a system in order to plug a drive into a spare SATA connection. But I also see this device as a great removable storage option for a small office, almost like a much better version of the old Zip drives, especially given that the media you are using (hard drives) is accessible even without the Cirago device.
Of course, you might ask why wouldn't you just use USB thumb drives? Hey, I love USB drives but in the grand scheme of things they aren't that big. Most affordable ones are under 64 GB and those few that are larger than 100 GB can be fairly expensive.
However, when I was testing the Cirago, I had six spare drives sitting around that I could use in the device and even the oldest (about five years old) had more than 200 GB of space. For a small office, that provides some pretty nice options for backing up, storing, and sharing large amounts of data.
At under $50, it's not a large investment for any small office. And, finally, you can easily rescue data from dead systems and find a use for all of those old drives you have sitting around. You can find more details here.
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