Data Storage System

Your small business will need more space for data storage. Information in the form of e-mails, documents, presentations, databases, graphics, audio files and spreadsheets is the lifeblood of most companies, and the applications that run and protect your business require a lot of disk space. In addition, a number of trends are fueling our growing hunger for storage:

  • Recent government regulations, such as Sarbanes-Oxley, require businesses to maintain and back up a variety of data they might have otherwise deleted.

  • For legal reasons, many small businesses are now archiving e-mail messages dating back five or more years.

  • The pervasiveness of viruses and spyware requires ever-more vigilant backups--which requires ever-more storage capacity.

  • Each new version of a software application or operating system demands more hard-drive real estate than its predecessor.

  • The growing need to store large media files, such as video, and make them available to users on a network is generating demand for more sophisticated storage solutions.

Storing information and managing its storage is critical to a company's behind-the-scenes success. Fortunately, there are many options available to small businesses for both the actual storage and the location of that storage. Often, the best solution is a combination of different storage options.

So how do you decide what's best for you? First, you'll want to consider your storage needs in terms of both capacity and physical location. Then you should look at the storage options that best fit those needs. Lastly, you need to develop a plan for implementing your chosen storage solutions.

What are Your Storage Needs?
Small businesses should first assess the storage needs associated with their applications, their data, and how and where they need to access that data. These questions will help you get started:

  • Which applications generate the largest amount of files?

  • Which applications run on which servers?

  • How old is the data?

  • How much of it is duplicate or stale?

  • How much is not business related?

  • How quickly do you need to be able to access that data?

  • From what locations do you need to access which data?

Once you're able to get a handle on how much data you're dealing with and the how, when and where of accessing that data, then you'll have a better idea about your storage needs.

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