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As your business grows so too will your data and business artifacts. Data storage needs will increase over time due to a number of factors including maintaining archival and backup data, data for legal reasons, the need to store and access needed artifacts such as videos, presentations, and other media files, as well as maintaining certain data per government regulations and transparency. How your company chooses to handle its data storage solutions ultimately relies on how much data needs to be stored as well as how you plan to access and maintain it.

Develop Your Data Solution Plan

Before you can implement a data storage solution, your company needs to investigate its current and future data needs and develop a plan. Many times, companies decide on a hybrid solution that uses different types of data storage. Depending on your needs, you may go with physical hardware on site, use cloud storage, contract your storage needs out to a managed storage service provider or any combination of solutions. Understanding the different options will help you make a decision that works best for your company before you run out of space.

Understanding Your Data Storage Options

It is crucial to consider the different options for data storage before you run out of space. The following are the categories for data storage used by companies today.

Offline Static Media

Creating an offline library requires writing files and other media to optical disks or tapes. This may seem like an old-school way of storing data but might just prove useful as a backup if disaster strikes. The downside is aging media disks, and the space required to house them might cause issues.

Direct Attached Storage

Written as DAS, direct attached storage is as its name implies. External devices are connected directly to your company’s PCs or servers via a USB port. This allows for quick storage; however, the files and backups are static and subject to out-of-date version issues. If you are going with a DAS solution, be sure to have a strong storage policy in place to avoid these types of issues.

Network Attached Storage

A network attached storage solution, or NAS, uses an appliance that connects directly to the network and behaves similarly to a file server. NAS solutions offer data redundancy across multiple devices and file protocols. NAS solutions may also come with the ability to synchronize data across devices in real time and virtually eliminate issues with out-of-date file versions.

Online Storage

If your company is not interested in the additional expense and maintenance associated with a DAS or NAS solution, online storage solutions may be a good option. Cloud storage is a popular choice and allows for data backups as well as storage with instant access.

Private Cloud

Data is sensitive, and some companies do not want to take any risk with public cloud storage service providers, so they take the private cloud route. Enterprises will feel much more secure, but the cost of building out a private cloud can be expensive.

A full review of company data and data storage needs will help your company determine its best course. Choosing a managed storage solution partner with cloud services may be the way you want to go because you can get access to storage on demand. However, inquire about data security and third party access to your company’s data, sensitive or not. Ultimately, you may decide on a combination of data storage solutions, and your plan will depend on your budget and current and future storage needs.