How to Plan Your Data Storage Needs
If your business is looking to use technology beneficially, the ability to store data is going to be a major consideration you are going to have to confront. After all, not having enough storage space, or having too much, can be major problems for most businesses.
Storage is a major consideration, no matter your business. If you don’t have storage enough to house your cleaning supplies and instead have to leave them out in the hallway for everyone to avoid, it is a problem, right? What if unsightly clutter isn’t your biggest cause for concern? What if you run a furniture retailer, for example? Being in a position where you don’t have enough warehouse space available to keep your furniture in; or, you have too much warehouse space left over, will both likely end up being expensive.
Every piece of your business data tells a story. Data is emails. It’s invoices. It’s every move your business makes. With that much data being kept, data storage has to be structured in a way where it will help the business. Since technology continues to evolve, this means data storage will as well.
The traditional model for data storage has been one made up of three tiers. You have storage facilities, servers that allow users to search those storage facilities and the networking angle that allows more users access to the data. Under this model, a business would have to understand exactly what data storage they need, and will need, for up to five years.
In many cases, five years is too long.
Today there are seemingly superior options that provide all the resources you need. Hyperconvergence is an IT framework that was created to deliberately reduce data center complexity and improve the scalability of physical hardware, while there are many cloud options available that deliver all the computing resources you need for an often-reasonably-priced monthly payment.
In any case, there are options out there. But you need to know what to look for. Here are four questions you should ask.
- What capacity do I need? – Understanding the amount of data storage your company needs is a major determination. Today’s cloud solutions are more scalable, but by considering what type of storage your company is ultimately going to purchase.
- What about my performance needs? – Not all options are created equal. Some are faster and some offer huge storage capabilities. Knowing how you plan on using your applications and databases will go a long way toward helping you know which solutions will be right for you.
- What does my current IT look like? – One consideration that has to be at the forefront of this process is what infrastructure do you already have in place. Knowing your current needs will help you ascertain how you are going to handle the future.
- How will you handle your backups? – Every business has to have a backup plan. If you depend on data, you likely can’t afford to lose any of it without some blowback. Having a comprehensive backup and recovery plan will ultimately dictate what any new data storage will look like.
Finding good solutions for your company is important in any regard, but when you are talking about the storage of what is quickly becoming your most prized asset, you should take your time and find the solutions that will work and not hinder your ability to create revenue.