Data Storage Options for Your Small Business

What is the best storage solution for your organization? IT managers and business leadership teams are faced with a range of choices that vary depending on the type of data being generated and retained.

Many companies are offering end-to-end solutions designed with all the necessary considerations in mind: Power consumption, scalability, security, reliability,and accessibility, in addition to legal compliance and data governance.

Storage functions as a security component, data redundancy tool, and file sharing enabler. The person in your organization who is responsible for choosing your data storage choice should always consider performance, reliability, availability and scalability when making their decision.

On a basic level there are two options for storage: On-premises or hosted. In those two broad categories are the varying options relating to hardware, software and control.

On-Premise Data Storage

The main draw of an on-premise, or “on-prem”, solution is that you retain full control of all the hardware, data and backups involved. If your systems are sound and robust, this allows you to account for some of your security requirements. If your organization has to store information locally as part of compliance with legal and regulatory requirements, this is a solid option.

Note that the initial setup to get local storage put in place involves multiple steps: Deployment of hardware, migration of data, and suitable system configurations.

On-Prem Storage Setup

Different media available will offer unique pros and cons, so choose wisely! Here are the primary options:

  • Tape drives are not expensive, but they’re slow and better suited (if at all) for archiving.
  • Hard disk drives (HDDs) can give you decent performance at a reasonable cost if you need to access primary data regularly.
  • Solid-state drives (SSDs) offer the highest performance (speedy, low volatility) at the highest cost, expectedly.

When it comes to configurations, you also have options for your system, including:

  • Direct-attached storage (DAS)
  • Network-attached storage (NAS)
  • Storage area networks (SANs)

Choosing is really a matter of evaluating your requirements and taking into consideration collaboration and access needs. Evluating DAS versus NAS versus SAN is a progression that brings greater access to more users across more user endpoints along the way.

Hosted Data Storage

Hosted data storage means that your data is kept off-site, meaning at a separate data center or with a cloud provider.

Frankly, the cloud is often cheaper than local hosted options since cloud services can take advantage of economies of scale. They also relieve clients from the requirement of buying, maintaining, staffing, and hosting any storage hardware infrastructure. It’s scalable and can evolve to meet business requirements even when they change.

What continues to be held in question is the concern of data control. When sensitive data ( like intellectual property or personal health information) is being handled, it has to get stored in a specific way in a specific place in most instances. This can especially be scary if you aren’t sure of what country or organization is storing the data at any point. Be wary!

Hybrid Data Storage Solutions

It is totally possible to actually leverage external providers for non-sensitive data and, at the same time, keep hold of sensitive data locally as needed. This allows for mission-critical processes and proprietary or personal data to be kept in-house. If set up correctly, it can absolutely still qualify as maintaining compliance requirements, all the while experiencing the “best of both worlds” of data storage.

Businesses are always working to remain agile and evolving to find new and better ways to develop operations and assist customers. Virtualization, software-defined mechanisms like storage, and data centers are all present, but another storage option may find its way into the lineup soon: Blockchain.

Blockchain may hold the key to upping security and accountability: Decentralizing storage. This would improve data sovereignty and eliminate the likelihood and possibility of breaches. We shall see whether this comes to be, but ultimately we are sure of the fact that our economies are becoming more data-centric than ever and storage will be an increasing concern for businesses, consumers, and governments alike!

Connect with us to find out how we can help you protect your organization’s data and infrastructure.

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