Storage is one of the major concerns of the small businesses; with the growing need they would require more data storage space. The important information in the form of e-mails, presentations,documents, spreadsheets, audio files and graphics are considered to be the lifeline of most of the organizations. This valuable data is protected with the help of various applications which need a lot of disk space. Along with this there are many other trends which are stimulating the need for good storage solutions. Many small business archive emails dating back to five or more years as they play an important role in the organisational growth and this takes up a lot of space. Then the various anti viruses and spyware to protect the data eat up a lot of storage space. Along with this the increase size of the large media files also intensifies the demand for better storage solutions.
The market is flooded with various storage solutions for the small businesses. You can easily choose the one as per your needs. But, before going for the one just keep in mind your storage needs both in terms of capacity and physical location.
Think of the storage needs
The small businesses should analyse their storage needs in accordance with their applications, data and also how and where they access that data. Before going in for a good storage solution think about the aspects like which application creates large amount of files, which application runs on which servers, how old is the data, how fast you want to access the data and how much it is related to your business.
One you get answers to these questions then you can decide in a better manner as to which solution will help your business. Nowadays, the small businesses have many data storage solution options as compared to the earlier times. Ranging from flash memory to network-area- storage to portable flash memory thumb drivers you can go for the one which suits you the best. We bring for you the list of storage solutions which caters to the right storage strategy for your small business.
The Data storage solutions
Before settling down for a particular type of storage solution it is better to completely evaluate all the available options. So, here you go:
- Direct attached storage (DAS)
This is the digital storage system which attaches to a server or workstation without a storage network in between. It consists of various storage devices primarily using a USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 peripheral port. It enables you to store your Outlook data, Internet Explorer bookmarks, files and even some desktop applications. However, one of the drawbacks of the DAS storage solution is that you have to do batch backups or ad-hoc backups in order to copy the data, which means that it could contain out dated versions of files.
- Network attached storage (NAS)
The NAS storage solution delivers simple,fast and consistent access to data in an IP networking environment. It perfectly suits the needs and requirements of small and mid-sized businesses, which want large amounts of economical storage that multiple users can share over a network. It connects directly to the network and consists of attendant capabilities of a file server and also accepts various storage drives. NAS is also capable of supporting multiple file protocols to work directly desktops and laptops. A NAS solution might comprises of various hard drives in a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) level 1 array, which means, a RAID level 1 storage system embraces two or more equivalent hard drives (such as two 250 GB drives) in one network-connected device.A NAS system permits you to combine storage, thereby increasing efficiency and decreasing costs. Moreover,it streamlines storage administration, data backup and recovery.
- Disaster protected storage
As per its name the disaster protected storage solution is designed to protect your data from sudden attacks. It is available in the form of both DAS and NAS options. It works against the type of disasters which can destroy your unprotected data without any problem. As per ioSafe, the storage solution provider company claims that the disaster protected storage appliances can survive through fire for up to 30 minutes and immersion of water for many days. This type of storage solutions is also available if you go for the cloud storage option.
- Online storage
Various business organisations benefit a lot form the online storage solution as it give remote storage and backup over the internet. It enables you to backup you confidential and valuable data to a remote server and protect your data from your office. It also gives you the freedom to share large files with your clients, partners and others by simply providing them with the password protected access. It should be kept in mind that during the phase of initial backup it may work at a slow pace. It does not require any up front capital investment and enables the businesses to store and back up their data on the cloud.
- Private cloud
Private cloud storage is also one of the ideal storage options for the small businesses out there. Some of the enterprises are not comfortable in keeping their valuable data on the third- party cloud, and then they can go for creating the private version of cloud services in order to can more flexibility. Along with this, it provides various benefits of cloud storage such as reliability, rapid deployment,scalability and the option of management by a specialized cloud storage provider.
- Offline storage
This is the simplest and inexpensive of the storage solutions. In order to add more storage you can just connect an external hard disk drive to your computer. However, it may also have many disadvantages. Moreover, any file stored on the drive on the drive and not anywhere else has to backed up so, that the data can be protected. On the other hand, if you travel for any business purpose you will have to carry it with you and also in case of any miss-happening at your office the protection of data is not guaranteed.
These are the various storage solution options which you can consider and take up the one which best suits your needs and requirements. However, one should always keep in mind the volume of the data and the budget available to invest in a storage solution. These two aspects will help you to take up the right solution. If you have extensive storage needs then you can consider going for NAS solution. On the other hand if you have comparatively less data then you can consider the cloud storage option as well. Along with this, you must also consider the future storage requirements of your business so that you don’t have to invest again and again in the storage solution.