Data storage technologies are crucial for safeguarding business info and protecting it against data loss, cyber threats and crashes. Various methods and options offer scalability and diverse features.
The data generated through business devices can be sensitive, complex and essential for organizational success. To avoid potential data loss, all organizational files, documents and other digital assets must be kept in a secure location, where they can be quickly recovered. Data storage meets these needs, as a user’s media is recorded and preserved digitally within a data storage solution.
Data storage software is an essential component for modern businesses. These solutions can ensure reliable data recovery and secure sensitive digital assets. Fortunately, companies today can choose from a wide range of advanced options to address their complex data storage needs.
Types of data storage
Many popular data storage options today differ in their storage locations, methods and other features and capabilities. Take a look at the pros and cons of each of the following types of popular data storage solutions.
The cloud offers an online data storage method that stores data in off-site server locations. Data can be conveniently accessed by authorized users from any location, as long as they have an internet connection or dedicated private network connection. Cloud storage solutions are typically reliable and are maintained and managed by the provider.
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Cloud storage providers offer solutions that are generally scalable and cost-effective. However, these storage solutions must have strict security standards to keep data safe from online attackers.
Hybrid cloud storage
Companies with hybrid cloud data storage can get the best of both public and private cloud storage. Hybrid cloud storage options are flexible, allowing businesses to store their data digitally or in an on-premises storage location.
Many businesses choose hybrid cloud storage for the security provided by these tools, which allows for on-premises data storage. Meanwhile, this storage option also offers the scalability of cloud storage solutions.
Backup software and appliances
Businesses can secure their data against data loss through backup software applications. When unforeseen circumstances arise, users are able to access copies of their files and data that backup solutions store on separate devices.
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In addition to aiding in disaster recovery, backup storage is usually scalable when provided as a backup-as-a-service solution. These backup software solutions require software tuning; but once they are implemented, businesses can enjoy continuous and convenient data backups.
SSD flash drive and hybrid arrays
Businesses may also choose to employ systems that utilize solid-state drive and flash drive storage. This is made possible using flash memory, which enables fast data transfers between these two locations.
Hybrid flash arrays involve the use of both hard disk drives and flash memory drives, enhancing the speed, storage capacity and overall performance of the storage systems, resulting in a balanced storage infrastructure for organizational data.
Benefits of data storage
Today’s companies rely heavily on their digital output, and data loss or theft could be highly detrimental to their success. With data storage solutions, businesses can protect their data in a secure location, allowing for quick recovery and easy access by authorized individuals. As a result, data storage technologies often come with the following benefits:
- Cybersecurity: Data storage systems with robust security features safeguard organizational data and proprietary information from cyberattacks.
- Data preservation: Data storage solutions can protect organizations from the effects of data loss during unforeseen events, like computing crashes, by allowing companies to easily retrieve their preserved data.
- Data continuity: These systems can retain a continuous influx of data and allow for easy retrieval by authorized users, allowing businesses to utilize their data and gain dependable insights.
- Enhanced performance: Data storage solutions that are software-defined are less limited in terms of space and scalability and can be automated, making it easier and more reliable.
Challenges in data storage
As a practice, enterprise data storage is not without its challenges. However, by considering these obstacles ahead of time and implementing strategies to overcome them, businesses will be more prepared to manage them:
- Data security: Business-critical data must be protected from unauthorized access to avoid the risk of data loss, destruction or theft. Fortunately, many modern data storage solutions use methods like encryption and multilayered authentication to safeguard stored data.
- Unpredicted data needs: Businesses should consider how their data storage needs may transform in the future, so it’s important to find a scalable solution that can grow with the organization’s needs.
- Infrastructure requirements: Large quantities of data require more server space, which can be difficult to find room for on-site. Cloud storage may be a better option, as this would store the data in off-site server locations, but it has its limitations.
- Storage compatibility: Businesses typically gather data from multiple sources and formats. To ensure compatibility when integrating data, organizations should utilize data storage solutions with open APIs or other appropriate data integration methods.
Data storage methods
Various types of data storage solutions are available to businesses and can range in their storage capacity and cost. But business data storage methods can generally be classified as either network attached storage, direct attached storage or a storage area network.
Network attached storage
Network attached storage solutions store data across numerous devices within a network. By centralizing the data between these connected machines, businesses can easily share resources between multiple network-connected users simultaneously, simplifying their collaborative efforts. NAS makes this possible by keeping data storage locations within a RAID configuration, which can also improve the data storage performance.
Direct attached storage
Direct attached storage describes data storage solutions that access and share data through a direct connection to one computer. DAS does not go through the network and is instead physically connected to a singular device.
This is a more traditional data storage method and can make it more challenging to transfer data between machines. However, direct attached storage can be a good option for businesses performing local backups.
Storage area network
Data stored within a storage area network is located across numerous drives and can be accessed by multiple devices or servers. Businesses can use storage area networks to consolidate their storage resources to share the storage space. This data storage method is typically used for cloud computing.
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What to look for when choosing a type of data storage for your business
No one type of data storage method is considered superior for business data, as the ideal data storage system for a business would ultimately depend on its unique needs.
Several important considerations to keep in mind when comparing options can include the ease of data transfer, the security features, the storage capacity, the scalability and the cost of the solution. As you assess the different features of data storage options and how their performance would align with your business’s desired speed and data capacity, don’t forget to consider their drawbacks. For instance, hybrid cloud storage can be difficult to implement, and data maintenance across these multiple locations may be complex.
Finally, data storage solution providers will offer different security features, and maintaining the safety of your organizational data is essential. While some data storage methods with on-premises locations can offer more safety against cyberattacks, this may come at the cost of easy data transfer. Ultimately, the best solution for your organization will be what allows you to scale with your business needs, protect your data and allow for easy data transfer as needed.
Popular data storage solutions
Of the data storage products available, the following solutions are the top options to safeguard organizational data. Some of the best-rated data storage products include:
Check out TechRepublic’s list of Top Data Storage Solutions to learn more about these data storage products as well as their pricing, noteworthy features, pros and cons.