15 April 2019
Some small and medium sized businesses are drowning in data and the sheer volume of information they receive and save is fuelling the burden. This includes both internal business data and data for clients such as large media files.
For legal reasons, businesses are storing everything from emails to messenger chats for longer, and new regulations (like GDPR) make the secure and careful storage of data more essential than ever.
The need for better data storage solutions has never been needed more. With this in mind, here’s a list of some of your options.
DAS devices plug directly into your computer usually via a USB port. You will probably know them as external hard drives or solid state drives (SSD).
DAS is quick, cheap and easy to implement, so can be a practical choice for some small businesses. However, because they are attached to individual computers rather than a network, the data cannot be easily shared between users. This limits scalability.
NAS devises connect to the company network rather than individual computers. This means any device connected to the network can have access to the data stored on it. This is great for small businesses where collaboration is vital. Sharing documents and spreadsheets with co-workers is easy with a NAS device.
They are more expensive than DAS devices but they are more scalable. They are also more secure, because NAS systems can save data on one drive and automatically mirror it on another. Another advantage of NAS devices is that many manufacturers have developed operating systems that are easy to use at the same time as having many features. In some cases they offer functionality close to full network servers including, for example, Virtual Private Networks (VPN) allowing users to connect from anywhere they have an internet connection.
Many small businesses use cloud storage (storing data online) for at least some of their data. The Cloud is flexible and scalable. The Cloud’s other great advantage is that you can access data stored in the Cloud from anywhere, and on any connected device.
Another big advantage is that if a third party hosts your cloud service, someone else manages the infrastructure.
On the downside, one potential disadvantage is speed. When large amounts of data are regularly downloading and uploading the network capacity must be able to cope. So, you may need to increase your bandwidth.
Many small businesses choose a hybrid solution, mixing on-premises storage with cloud storage. With a hybrid solution, you can combine the scalability with the peace of mind that comes from saving data in different locations.