Storage containers for 2.5 drives?

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New job and as I'm going through equipment, I've discovered there are 30-50 2.5 SSD drives which they keep from previous customers.  The intention is the drives are kept after a customer stops using the our service (Point Of Sale system for restaurants) in case the customer comes asking for any historical data.

Right now those drives are all kept in a cardboard box; just thrown together and put on a shelf.  I want to protect them while also keeping a storage container's foot print to a minimum.  There isn't any requirement for securing them beyond them just being kept in my office.  

I have seen and considering a Turtle case, but it may be a bit expensive for the need.  Just looking to see if anyone has any other thoughts/suggestions on a safer way to protect and store them in some kind of orderly manner.

Thanks 


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13 Replies

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mrsleep
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If it were me, I would copy the contents of each drive to its own directory on my NAS so that it gets backup nightly and has redundancy. I don't have to worry about a random box of drives that could get lost or damaged. Or maybe someone who doesn't know any better might grab one and repurpose it.

But if you don't have a NAS, that really won't work for you.

A Pelican case might work for you too, they seem to be a bit cheaper than Turtle cases.

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Lumpyone
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mrsleep wrote:

If it were me, I would copy the contents of each drive to its own directory on my NAS so that it gets backup nightly and has redundancy. I don't have to worry about a random box of drives that could get lost or damaged. Or maybe someone who doesn't know any better might grab one and repurpose it.

But if you don't have a NAS, that really won't work for you.

A Pelican case might work for you too, they seem to be a bit cheaper than Turtle cases.

 The NAS is good idea.  There isn't one at the moment, but as I've just started and being asked to look over everything and make recommendations, it could be a possibility.  Size required to store that many drives is my only concern, yet I'll give it some though. Thanks.

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GDaddy
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Since the drives are just sitting in a box, not to be used, and in a sense a sunk cost. Why not just give the drive to the customer at end of contract. Take the rest of the hardware back and say "here all your data for archive purposes." You can always clone the drive before giving back so you to can have a copy. I do believe you have to keep financial records for 7 years in the US. 

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Denis Kelley
Mace
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I used these in the past

and something like this for the 3.5" ones

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kevinmhsieh
Mace
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I am questioning the wisdom of keeping old data from people that aren't your customers anymore. It seems to me that the data should be destroyed. Maybe keep them for 30, 60, 90, 180, or 366 days, but that is it.

How often do you need to get data off one of those drives?

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Phoneguy.Jim
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And what kind of privacy issues might there be with someone else's data at your office? Maybe not HIPAA  data, but none the less, someone else's data. And as already mentioned, not even your customer anymore.

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Lumpyone
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kevinmhsieh wrote:

I am questioning the wisdom of keeping old data from people that aren't your customers anymore. It seems to me that the data should be destroyed. Maybe keep them for 30, 60, 90, 180, or 366 days, but that is it.

How often do you need to get data off one of those drives?

Good question and good observation. I've just take the role, so I'm in a position where I'll be able to make recommendations and changes in how items such as these are handled.   We are talking about restaurants and most of them don't think about it until they realize a year later they needed something.   For the moment, just trying to get through re organizing the hardware mess I face :)

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Lumpyone
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Thanks for the suggestions.  I'll take a look

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greggmh123
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If you have that data on a NAS and you get hit with ransomware, I would hate to be you. Right now, that data is all isolated.

You could get an index card box with dividers to hold the drives, then label the dividers by client who used the POS.

Gregg

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kevinmhsieh
Mace
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A NAS takes equipment and power. Drives on a shelf take a little bit of physical space and cost virtually nothing, especially with a cheap container like a cardboard box.

Of course, I don't think the data even needs to be preserved.

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phildrew
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What is the company policy for providing historical data to previous customers?  How long do you have to provide the data once asked?  How long after they cease being a customer is the data retained?  What is the penalty for not providing the data?

Your policy will inform what level of protection these drives need.

There is no real danger of SSDs becoming damaged while sitting in a box.  Even some light jostling around won't affect an SSD.  Now, if that box is tossed down a stairwell, that's a different matter.

If the data is extremely important and must be provided to previous customers, then you'd be looking at something with shock absorption, anti-static, anti-capacitive, on top of creating multiple backup copies.

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Supaplex
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Data Storage expert
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485 Helpful Votes
I second the idea about getting some sort of secondary storage http://www.hyper-v.io/san-nas-public-cloud-lets-pick-secondary-storage/ or archive the data into the cloud(s) and reuse/repurpose those disks. I like the idea of archiving into the cloud since if the customer needs the data, you can just send him a link to download it.
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aryehgoretsky
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Hello,

Without knowing what sort of confidential or private information the drives might contain, I would be very leery of doing anything involving copying their contents, imaging them, or otherwise connecting them up to any computer.

There are numerous types of storage/shipping containers for 2.5" drives like those from TSS and ProStorage.  I would suggest something like those, along with placing the drives in anti-static bags along with a card listing whatever information is needed to identify it.  You might also consider sealing the bags, perhaps with a desiccant pack inside as well.  The drives are then stored in a reasonably safe fashion.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

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