Networked Attached Storage for Genealogy

Many of you are like me.  You have multiple hard drives, both internal and external,26 commercial online back accounts and stacks of DVD’s and Blue Ray discs that contain your precious genealogy data and images.

Over the years, I’ve migrated from multiple in-house servers, SAN storage and anything else I could think of to add to the storage mix as the technology came along.

I try to keep some, not all, of my data on my genealogy website to use personally and by friends and cousins.  More data is stored on my site accounts for full detail dataset downloads of specific branches and sections of my family tree. 

I’ve always used FTP transfers to move data up and down to that storage group when traveling.  For a variety of reasons, FTP transfers have been problematic in the past year.

About three years ago, I turned off the big file servers in our home because the hardware aged and I decided to analyze a power bill.  Wow!  Power rates had increased substantially since I first turned the servers on.  Our power bill dropped almost $40 a month with them off and the capacity of all of the old SCSI drives in the servers was made almost irrelevant with a single drive now.  The power savings alone allowed me to purchase three 2-terabyte drives in less than six months and still be ahead.

I’ve lost the protection of RAID-5 arrays, but a simple synchronizing application keeps the data in sync every day. 

However, I still wanted to easily access ALL of my data when I’m away from home without creating a VPN session to my workstation. 

You know how it goes in genealogy research.  You think you have everything you’ll need loaded on your laptop and as soon as you arrive at a distant location, you find that the one or two things you really need are home in a rarely used folder.

Enter the PogoPlug.  The PogoPlug certainly isn’t new on the market but it works very well both as a network attached device and from anywhere with an Internet connection.

Several days ago, I spotted an ad for them for the extremely good price of $35 with free shipping.  How could I resist?

The device arrived a couple of days later and it only took five minutes to set up including secure access to it via the Internet.  I simply plugged a 3TB drive into one of the four USB 2.0 ports, a CAT 5e jumper from a network hub and plugged the power adapter into an outlet.  Simple, fast and guess what?  It just works. 

Now we can post family photos on the drive attached to it and stream them to our family wherever they are in the world at the moment.  If I purchased the Premium PogoPlug software, I could even stream music or a video from our collections to enjoy in a motel room.  I haven’t seen the need for it yet, but am  sure I’ll revisit this decision over time.

The interface with PogoPlug is through your web browser so using it won’t be any more difficult than logging in to your Gmail account.  All you’ll need is your user name and password.   It’s a perfect solution for busy genealogists with more names, facts and numbers rattling around in their minds than an archivist at the national mint.

If you have the need or desire to access all of your data and images away from home or if you want to share it with others, take a look at the PogoPlug.  It works for me.  Maybe it will work for you too.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with PogoPlug, etc..

Copyright (c) Lee Drew 2011-08-04 08:07:00
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About lineagekeeper

Family history research is a favored avenue of relaxation. It is a Sherlock-like activity that can continue almost anywhere at any time. By leveraging a lifetime involvement in technology, my research efforts have resulted in terabytes of ancestral data, earning me the moniker of Lineagekeeper. And yes - We are all related to Royalty.