Storage Specialists

Sooner or later, your company 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 companies today, and the applications that run and protect your business require an ever-increasing amount of data storage capability. In addition, a number of trends are fueling our growing hunger for SAN NAS and iSCSI-led enterprise storage solutions:

  • Recent changes in regulations now require businesses to maintain and back up a range of data they previously routinely deleted.
  • For legal reasons, many small businesses are now required to archive electronic-mail messages dating back five or more years.
  • The prevalence of increasingly sophisticated virus and spyware attacks require ever-more vigilant backup systems - which require ever growing mass storage capabilities to compete with them.
  • Each new version of a software application or operating system demands vastly more hard-drive real estate storage space than its predecessor.
  • The growing necessity to store large media files and complex graphics for training and promotional purposes and to make them available to users across networks, is generating demand for ever-larger and more sophisticated storage solutions.

Securely storing this information and effectively managing its storage is critical to a company's behind-the-scenes success. Fortunately, there are many options available to businesses addressing both actual storage requirements and the optimal location of that storage, and often, the best solution is a combination of different storage options.

In deciding what’s best for you, we help identify what your company’s SAN, NAS and/or iSCSI enterprise storage needs are, in terms of both capacity and physical location. Then we help you examine and identify the options that best fit those needs. Lastly, we help you develop a plan for implementing your chosen storage solution.

What are Your Storage Needs?

Companies first need to assess the SAN, NAS and/or iSCSI enterprise storage needs associated with their applications, their data, and how and where they need to access that data.

Important considerations include

  • 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?

Addressing these questions is vital in establishing the how, when and where of accessing that data in the future, arming you with the knowledge to enable you to meet your business’ storage needs long-term.

Consider Your Storage Options

From flash memory to network-area storage, your company has more essential storage choices available than ever before. These range from portable flash memory thumb drives to network-attached storage systems that can be located physically anywhere on a network.

Options include

Flash memory thumb drives

Also known as ‘memory-sticks’, flash drives are particularly appealing to mobile professionals because they consume little power, are small enough to fit on a keychain and have no moving parts. You can connect a flash memory thumb drive to your laptop's USB port to back up files on the move, with certain USB thumb drives providing encryption to protect your files should the drive get lost or stolen. On some, you can store your Outlook data (such as recent e-mails and calendar items), Internet Explorer bookmarks and even some desktop applications. That way, you can leave your laptop at home and just plug the USB drive into a borrowed computer.

External hard drives

A simple and relatively inexpensive way to add more data storage is to connect an external hard disk drive to your computer. However, external hard drives directly connected to a PC have several disadvantages, not least that files stored on the drive but not elsewhere need to be backed up. Also, if you travel for work and need access to files on an external drive, you have to physically take the drive with you or remember to copy the required files to a USB thumb drive, your laptop's internal drive, a CD or some other storage media. Finally, in the event of a fire or other catastrophic event at your place of business, your data will not be protected.

Online storage

Services that provide remote storage and backup over the Internet offer businesses a number of compelling benefits. By backing up your most important files to a secure, remote server, you're protecting the data stored at your place of business. You can easily share large files with clients, partners and others by providing them with password-protected access to your online storage service, thereby eliminating the need to email those large files. In most cases, you can log into your account from any computer using a web browser, what is a great way to retrieve files when you're away from your PC. However, remote storage, especially during an initial backup session, can be slow; file retrieval is only as quick as the speed of the network access to that storage. For extremely large files, you may have to invest in higher speed network access to meet your needs.

Network-attached storage

Network-Attached Storage (NAS) provides fast, simple, reliable access to data in an IP networking environment. SAN, NAS and/or iSCSI enterprise storage solutions are suitable for small and medium sized enterprises needing large amounts of economical storage shared by multiple users over a network. Given that many businesses lack IT departments, NAS solutions are easy to deploy, manage centrally and consolidate.