If you’ve ever started your own business, you know that taking that initial leap means committing to balancing a dizzying array of factors simultaneously. One of those factors is data storage; what kind of hardware and software do you want to invest in when it comes to keeping your data organized and safe? While this may seem like a small detail among the larger and more important challenges that come with running a business, data storage choices are actually much more important than most people assume.
Consider this: according to a study released by information technology and research company Gartner, 43% of companies are immediately put out of business when a “major loss” of computer records occurs. Another 51% of businesses are forced to permanently close their doors within two years of said incident. It’s easy to forget that your entire business relies on your ability to protect, store and access important company information, but the truth is that without a properly functioning data storage system, your enterprise doesn’t stand a chance.
So, what are your options? There’s three major types of data storage systems that companies have to choose from: cloud-based, server-based (also called hyper-convergence), and traditional. This article will walk you through the pro’s and con’s of each so that you can figure out which type of storage works best for your company.
“People like the cloud because it seems like magic,” best-selling author and technology expert Anthony R. Howard once said of the storage system. “I use the term automagic when referring to the cloud because the end user doesn’t have to do anything such as make any type of updates; all your storage headaches are someone else’s when you use a cloud.”
Cloud storage enables businesses to utilize a flexible software with automatic updates that allows data to be easily recovered even given the event of a disaster. Cloud software also makes it easier for groups to collaborate on projects and tends to come with a “pay-as-you-go” pricing structure that most companies find well worth the money.
The downsides of cloud computing are also worth noting; industries tend to not know where their information is being physically stored, which can open up problems depending on the nature of the business. Having the information stored and accessible online also increases cyber security threats.
Server based or hyper convergence storage involves data that is stored within individual servers at a data center that is typically located at the business site. Given that your business has the budget for this kind of storage option, you can enjoy speedy, in-house control over your data. That said, the price is pretty steep: often server based storage can cost up to 75k, and that’s before factoring in how much physical space would also be necessary.
Finally, there’s traditional storage systems. Companies often use traditional storage as a backup method to the cloud, usually with security settings that make data only accessible while signed onto the internet connection of which it’s stored.
“It’s easy to manage and people are very used to it,” commented Howard. “You dump your storage on it and that’s it. If people need more storage, you add more discs. The discs can be deleted, overwritten, and duplicated as needed.”
That means that traditional storage offers affordability, scalability, flexibility and faster data access time. It’s a tried-and-true method of storing data, though it also leaves businesses vulnerable to hardware failure if they haven’t backed up their back ups.