The Digital Economy – CeBIT 2016

Buffalo recently joined the biggest names in the technology industry for CeBIT 2016. The annual event, as always, showcased the very latest and exciting innovations that are shaping the technology landscape.

The ‘digital economy’ was the theme of the event, and it didn’t disappoint, featuring more than 500 examples of digitalisation and bringing to life the Internet of Things. Some of the most exciting things we saw at the event was the first wheeled service robot and a street lamp which can double as a charging station for electric vehicles.

During the event, Buffalo presented some of its newest devices, including the TeraStation WSH5610 with Windows Storage Server and Hardware RAID, MiniStation Extreme NFC Enterprise as well as the LS510 and LS510DE, marking the completion of the LS500 range.

With big data growing at an unprecedented rate, IDC forecast predicts the big data market will grow at a 26.4% compound annual growth rate through 2018. The need for flexible and expanding devices to store this data has never been more important.

Buffalo’s LS500 range is perfect for anyone looking to back up, enjoy and share those special memories. The new RAID expansion provides flexible storage to consumers without compromising important data such as photos and movies.

In the business area Buffalo showcased two new devices, which highlight Buffalo’s commitment to security and the protection of data without compromising performance. The new TeraStation WS5610 features a Buffalo proprietary Hardware RAID controller enabling faster, more-reliable storage with well-known security, stability, and management advantages. Hardware RAID separates the operating system (OS) from storage, and allows each to run consecutively without affecting the device’s overall performance.

If you want to know more about NAS and selecting the right device for you, find out how Buffalo can help you here.

Looking back over our favourites moments

New product launches, events, exhibitions, seminars, services and a new partnership – it was quite a year for the Buffalo Europe team in 2015. With so many fantastic things going on, we struggled to pick just one favourite moment so we have selected some of our main highlights from the year.

The launch of the LinkStation 520

In September we launched our latest consumer NAS (Network Attached Storage) device in the LinkStation range. Its large capacity, new intuitive user interface and super fast transfer rates make the LinkStation 520 ideal for home use and also home offices. Users can store, organise and stream media files from any computer, smartphone or tablet and access them from any location at the click of a button.

MISCO Expo 2015

MISCO is an annual event that gives IT professionals an opportunity to view the very latest innovations that the industry has to offer. We returned to exhibit the latest Buffalo technology.

As always, the event was a fantastic success and it was great to showcase alongside the products and solutions that are shaping today’s technology landscape.

We’re already looking forward to MISCO Expo 2016.

New UPS Drop-Off Service

As part of our ongoing commitment to customer service, we now offer a new UPS drop-off service. This means that if for any reason there is a defect with an item during the warranty period, you can return and exchange products as quick and easily as possible. You can find out more about the service here.

Extended warranty for TeraStations

In September we introduced extended warranty on all new purchases of fully-populated TeraStation devices. Customers now have the opportunity to purchase a warranty extension of one or two years. In addition to our standard warranty period, this means that all TeraStation devices will be secure and protected for up to five years – which is above industry standard. Furthermore, our extended warranty customers are guaranteed a hard drive replacement within 24 hours of if for any reason there is system failure or damage.

Kroll Ontrack partnership

We were excited to announce our new partnership with data recovery experts Kroll Ontrack in November. We are proud that our devices are in-built with robust and varied back-up functionalities; however, there are certain circumstances in which data loss can occur, even with the most capable back-up strategy. Failing technology, human error and natural disasters, such as fire or flooding, can all cause data loss. Access to Kroll Ontrack provides our customers with peace of mind.

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Are you on Santa’s naughty or NAS list?

With Christmas just around the corner, families around the world are starting to prepare for the festive period ahead.

More visits are made to relatives and friends during the month of December than any other time of year. Therefore it’s essential to ensure that your precious moments, captured via picture and video, are kept safe.

Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices allow you to store, organise and stream those irreplaceable memories from any computer, smartphone or tablet. The web access facility means that they are accessible with one click from anywhere at anytime.

Unlike a personal cloud, you have full control over your files with NAS devices. You can keep your photos, documents, essays, films and music safe and in one place.

The NAS processing speed means it is great for streaming media files over the Christmas period. No longer will you need to spend time arguing with nan about why the ‘Polar Express’ is significantly better than the ‘Antiques Roadshow’ as with NAS you can stream both. In fact, with the LinkStation 520 you can stream up to four HD films at once – the perfect peace keeper this Christmas.

Here are a few things to consider when looking at NAS devices:

  • Bigger isn’t always better – with so many options available for both home and business, make sure you choose the right device for your needs.
  • Integration is crucial – whether you want to stream your favourite movies, listen to your favourite songs or simply play on your xbox, its multimedia servers provide seamless streaming.
  • One gadget too many – how many and what type of devices do you need to backup. Are you an Apple or an Android Family, or are you both? Ensure your device works across a plethora of devices to offer easy file sharing.
  • Back it up – As data loss can occur at any point, make sure you schedule regular backups and protect all of your data

So if you only give one gift this Christmas make it a NAS.

Guest blog: Kroll Ontrack on how to react to data loss

We’ve all experienced a data loss incident in our lives, but what do we do when it happens? Kroll Ontrack has developed a solution that can help in our time of need.

Understanding the root causes of data loss

Everyone has experienced that sinking feeling when data is corrupted, disappears from view or simply becomes unreadable. As part of the international engineering team at Kroll Ontrack we are called in to help with a huge range of these data loss scenarios, from broken servers to fire-damaged computer rooms, and from Ransomware attacks to smashed screens that have rendered smartphone or tablets unusable.

When we launched a new data recovery self-assessment tool to help people perform an initial self-assessment on their failed systems, it gave us the idea to put together a quarterly Kroll Ontrack Data Loss Index (DLI) to track the origin of data losses across the board and track trends over time.

The inaugural Kroll Ontrack DLI covered 1,164 individual disk assessments from across 47 countries. It is developed from the analysis of anonymous data collected through the self-assessment tool.

Kroll Ontrack’s unique tool helps individuals carry out an initial check on their device and receive first line advice on what to do next. Scenarios cover damage caused by fire, liquid, physical knocks and malware/virus infection.

Our initial report revealed that 41 per cent of data loss scenarios are logical, rather than physical. More than one in five (21 per cent) are due to storage devices appearing to be unrecognisable or undetected. More than one in ten (12 per cent) experienced data loss from corrupted files and around eight per cent lost data through accidental deletion.

Different risks for different devices

Once we started looking in detail at the types of devices experiencing data loss, we discovered that more than two in five (41 per cent) cases of data loss for mobile devices were due to liquid damage. This makes it the leading cause of data loss for mobiles and tablets and is different from the other devices in the index (laptops, external drives, servers and tapes) for which the majority of data loss scenarios are due to unrecognisable or undetected devices.

More than half (57 per cent) of data loss scenarios occurred with hard disk drives (HDDs) and less than one in ten (8 per cent) occurred with solid state drives (SSDs). While this has much to do with HDDs being more prevalent, it’s also worth noting that SSDs are more robust when they are dropped onto a hard surface – one of the top five common causes of data loss.

Kroll Ontrack’s DLI also highlights that around half (48 per cent) devices that have suffered data loss are laptops and almost a quarter (23 per cent) of data loss situations occur with users of flash and external drives. In the case of laptops this is not surprising as with the advantage of their mobility comes the risk of dropped or knocked hardware.

What to do when data loss occurs

Anyone who faces a data loss situation, whether it is through dropping their tablet on the floor or accidental deletion, should take a step back and consider the options and information available to them before acting as a wrong initial decision can mean the difference between a simple data recovery and a complex and expensive recovery or even permanent data loss.

Even with the rise of solid state drives in phones and tablets it’s important to note that HDDs make up the bulk of storage mediums in our world. As such, storage hardware on the whole is still delicate, especially when dropped on a hard surface or tinkered with by an amateur. Any attempt to retrieve data from a faulty device could lead to further data loss, an undetected device and warranty voidance.

Lessons learned

The key takeaway is that users should do their research and seek advice from the professionals before even thinking about repairing a device. If they don’t feel confident, they should get help from an expert.

It’s also important to ensure users always have a back-up that can be used to restore data when inevitable accidents occur. This can be as localised as backing-up data from a smartphone to the cloud or as wide-ranging as providing a major failover resource for corporate systems, but the principle is always the same. Data loss can, and will, always happen so it pays to be prepared.

Paul Le Messurier, Programme and Operations Manager, Kroll Ontrack

Quo vadis, storage?

Buffalo ministation

For years now, people have been passionately discussing where the storage industry is heading. The hard disc drive (HDD) has been declared dead many times by critics, while some experts have claimed that solid-state drive (SSD) is the way of the future. Scientists have even found a way to store data on artificial strands of DNA!

It is not only a question of which storage medium, but also where we will store our data: in the cloud? On local direct/network attached storage? Or both? What will be the right solution for whom?
There are also questions around how small businesses will react to ever-growing data needs and security requirements, while being challenged by limited budgets. How will enterprises deal with storage in times of NSA and industrial espionage?

In our series “Quo vadis, storage?”, we put these questions to different Buffalo employees. We also hope to involve our readers in this discussion.

Today, we begin the first part of our series by interviewing our Sales Engineer, Harald Falzmann, on the topic of The HDD is dead vs. long live the HDD?

What do you think about the future of the hard disk drive?

In my opinion, it is too early to proclaim the death of the HDD. There are many reasons for this. For now, SSDs are still not able to compete with hard drives when it comes to capacity-cost relation. A 6TB consumer hard drive starts at prices of around 180 GBP, while a 1TB consumer SSD (TLC) retails at around 220 GBP. That’s more than seven times more expensive! Comparing enterprise class drives, the SSD might be up to eight or ten times more expensive than the HDD.

Advocates of the SSD point to the fact that these drives consume less power and might therefore be cheaper long-term. And yes – prices of SSDs are coming down very quickly, but prices are always a matter of supply and demand. In my opinion, I think the demand will soon outgrow supply.

So, you are saying SSDs alone will not be able to meet the exponentially growing demand for storage?

Yes, exactly. HDD experts have shown the mismatch of worldwide storage demand and SSD factory capacities. At the moment, it is unclear how long it would take to build sufficient factories and secure the supply chain, but it is likely to take several years.

It’s also interesting that a handful of experts have been quick to dismiss HDD when a greater demand for HDD technology is coming from the use of new mobile devices. These devices are producing more and more data – nowadays a single digital picture taken with a smartphone can take up to 4MB. This is before we consider the great data demands of video files. Once users exhaust the limits of their smartphone SSD storage, they start looking for a long-term storage solution, which is often where HDD technology comes in.

There is no doubt that SSDs are incredibly fast, small and robust. This is useful for mobile devices and other purposes requiring very high transfer rates, but SSD alone is not yet able to cater for all storage needs. SSDs cannot yet meet the global demand for storage space and are not a cost-effective solution for large data amounts. HDD continues to fill this void.

Also, in the HDD corner, there have been some amazing new developments such as Shingle Magnet Recording (SMR) and filling drives with helium. HGST just recently announced a hard drive combining the two technologies: SMR and HelioSeal, reaching an unprecedented 10TB capacity. This SMR technology does come at the cost of speed, but it also brings unrivalled capacity to the storage market and is well-suited to archiving purposes.

Does this mean that Buffalo only uses HDD?

At present, it still doesn’t make sense for Buffalo to completely populate its solutions with SSD. Our customers need affordable and reliable storage solutions with high capacities, above speed and footprint.

That’s not to say that Buffalo doesn’t offer SSD. When dealing with direct attached storage (DAS) with USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt interfaces, the story changes. Our SSD-WAT series DriveStation™ Mini Thunderbolt™ is a DAS product populated with two SSDs. The Thunderbolt interface, combined with the SSD, provides the speeds that are needed in creative environments and demanding applications such as editing 4K video. But again – this product is not designed for backups or storing data long-term. The users only really benefit from the SSD inside, when fast reading and writing of data is frequently required.

This being said, Buffalo is constantly monitoring what our customers need and ask for. We are flexible and can react fast, when demand for storage solutions populated with SSD significantly grows.

For more information on HDD storage solutions from Buffalo, please click here.