SIMPLE EXTERNAL STORAGE HELP for multiple needs.

Hello
I'm so excited to find a form where real people get real help!!

I tend to be long-winded but I'll try to make this short and sweet.http://img.tomshardware.com/forum/uk/icones/smilies/pt1cable.gif

We run a construction company with a home-based office.

HAVE:
(2) New Mac Book Pro's
(1) iPad 2
(1) Apple Time Capsule
(1) brother 8460 all in one laser (main printer)
(1) 4650 color printer (occasional use for color print but would like to upgrade a colored laser print for future plans)
(1) stand alone Verizon mobile internet port that can connect up to 5 devices (5 GB of data - can upgrade if/as needed)


TO BUY:
Unknown storage solutions system....
(1-2) iPhone 4's
(1)37"-42" TV for monitor (we match existing brick so color/shading accuracy is key) Open to suggestions on this purchase (is internet capable tv a viable option? worth $?)

This may be completely out of whack, but this is what I envision.

MY MAC BOOK PRO -
DAILY USED MAIN OFFICE SYSTEM also (15%) ESTIMATING/MEETING CUSTOMERS TO DISCUSS PROJECTS
-stationary 75% of the time, using wireless keyboard/mouse and wall mounted tv monitor
quickly/easily converted to mobile lap as needed

SPECS
8,3
Intel Core i7-processor 2.2 ghz
processors (1)
cores (4)
L2 Cache (per core) 256 KB
L3 Cache 6MB
memory 4 GB
ROM version mbp81.0047.b04
smc version (system) 1.70f5

MY HUSBANDS MAC (smaller 13" system) USED REGULARLY IN AND OUT OF THE OFFICE
(stand alone mobile internet hub)
His uses would included
-calendar
-email
-sending OR retrieving pictures/documents or information to and from the office
-send estimates/notes/pictures created in the field to the office printer (while still mobile)
(we currently use estimates created in word but would like to convert to quickbooks (so the estimates don't have to be recreated from a field generated word document into quickbooks- having access to quickbooks would also allow access to existing estimates that are in quickbooks (and not word)
-the ability to show customers product info or project photos that are stored in the office
-(this may be pushing it) I remember hearing about some way to give customers access to product info/photos in a controlled manor that can be access at their convenience (outside of our being present at their home) for a period of time or with an access code that allows privileged access to certain information until that code is deleted/changed.
-I also have wondered how to provide a courtesy drawing (at no charge to the) but limiting their ability to give it to another contractor to use (in place of hiring us)
-having unlimited access our selves to product information stored in the office and limited access to same info (or specific) by our customers (again limited access or limited access for a specified time)(I do not like to provide direct product links/website address and him she and him and himas I want to control the product selection and avoid them trying to order something direct)

MY HUSBANDS I-Pad 2 (travels with him very regularly-instead of a smart phone because of work environment (he has a flip phone)
-calendar
-email
-weather
-sending receiving pictures

I WANT TO DESIGN AND BUILD A "server or storage port" (I may have the terminology wrong, as here in lies my limited understanding of the possibilities) that has separate units that run and/or store

1-Quickbooks and any Financial related information or programs

2-Job photos that are taken for estimate purposes initial (but may be copied (and moved to product location?) to create before and after snap shots (for customers viewing as well as website)

3-Product Info and project images

4-I want to create a location to use program/app to create a running data base of available brick images, brick images that we have previously matched (and use for future brick matching reference) (this will ultimately involve 1000's of high resolution images)

5-Internal office (some personal) record info... ie. truck maintenance records, equipment purchase repair, owners manuals, office where to buy info (may be a cross reference to the customer product info that is stored separate from this location) but could easily and correctly be referenced from the selections chosen by our customer from the product info we provide them.This information data base would included website address, phone number, contact names or our price list (verses the retail pricing we would give to our customers) and notes or search we have previous done on this product. This would also expand into reference information of options to consider based on previously researched/gathered/documented information on a concept, product or design idea.

6 how to guides for our guys to use while complete a project in the field, training information to expand their knowledge skills, employee documents or system to request time off/ turn in time sheets/ put in requests or complaints, access team calendar for upcoming jobs and/or job pack information for specific jobs (this rather then the old fashioned way of creating or creating hardcopies of documents that have to be physically picked up (or sometimes forgotten) in the office. A way for the guys to submit daily progress reports on their production progress for the day or send me a real time request for a change order/up-charge or some variation of this to me (or my husband for approval from us or the customer) or for me to send them weather updates or mid-day or last minute change of plan bulletins

7- and LASTLY a back up to our documents/quickbooks should we have a system melt down or virus infestation!

One other thing I should mention that is crucial in my mind is the ability to update calendar, schedules, to do lists simultaneously for one another or the whole organization as well as send timed reminders to each other (ie. at 1 pm send a "don't forget your 2pm appointment with our customers neighbor)

OK I THINK I HAVE IT ALL... (please for give me if it is difficult to follow my thinking, or I have missed something!)

HELP Any and all direction is welcome and appreciated!! (Even if it's only one tid-bit on one specific piece of the big picture!)

Cost is certainly a factor, but production and efficiency is hard to put a price on!

Thanks again!
Ang
1 answer Last reply
More about simple external storage multiple needs
  1. I assume by "server or storage port" you mean a NAS box. It's basically a networked hard drive. Here is a quote from Newegg explaining what a NAS box is.

    Quote:
    Network-attached storage (NAS) is data storage or a data storage device, such as a hard drive or RAID array, connected to a computer network, providing data access to different network clients.

    NAS systems contain one or more hard disks, often arranged into logical, redundant storage containers or RAID arrays (redundant arrays of inexpensive/independent disks). NAS devices remove the responsibility of file serving from other servers on the network.

    NAS provides both storage and file systems. This is often contrasted with SAN (Storage Area Network) devices, which provide only block-based storage and leaves filesystem concerns on the "client" side. SAN protocols include SCSI, Fibre Channel, iSCSI, ATA over Ethernet, or HyperSCSI.


    Educate yourself about them, then decide what your needs are.
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