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How To Choose The Right Data Storage Solution

28 February 2018

In the modern age, businesses of all sizes need to store data. Depending on the nature of the company and their industry, the type of data storage solution will differ. However, all businesses are now required by law to have a secure way of storing information.

In this article, we analyse the available methods of data storage, and which could be best suited to your company.

How Much Storage Do You Require?

Before selecting any data storage solution, the most important task is to assess your current and future storage requirements:
• How often do you need to retrieve data?
• How much of your current data is duplicated?
• Is the data still relevant or can it be deleted?
• How quickly do you need to access the data?
• Which locations do you need to access it from?

Also consider which of your applications and procedures generate the most information, and which would be the quickest and most efficient way to store data from these processes. This will help to create a picture of how much data your business is handling, and will point you to the most
convenient and economical method of storage.

USB Flash Drive

A cheap and effortless way to store data is to use a USB flash drive. They are well suited to the needs of sole traders, freelancers, or mobile businesses as they can be transported easily and are very difficult to break. An additional benefit is that they can be plugged into various computers, reducing the need to always work from the same laptop.

The downside is mainly their size – they can be easily lost and this represents a security threat – although it is possible to get encrypted USB devices that will prevent data from being accessed should it be lost or stolen.

External Hard Drive

Using an external hard drive is another method that gives storage capability on a low budget. A hard drive provides a larger volume of data storage but they are less mobile than USB devices, and the stored data also needs to be regularly backed-up.

Nowadays, due to their bulky nature, many people prefer to use USB drives, but hard drives still have a valuable place in the data storage arsenal, especially for small business networks that are based in a single, fixed location.

Cloud Storage

To reduce the reliance on physical data storage, many companies have now migrated much of their information to the cloud. It is a secure storage system for a host of different digital files – images, videos, emails, word documents, and bookmarked web pages can all be stored online, and are
quickly located by using a familiar folder system.

The main issue with relying only on cloud storage is that it often becomes expensive over time. The amount of data will build up, and you are likely to outgrow free plan options quickly. Having your own on-site storage solution may be a better option.

Network Attached Storage (NAS)

NAS systems are purpose-built appliances which contain storage drives, and can be placed in an office location. This ‘all-in-one’ solution is a great way to consolidate your storage needs, making data retrieval easy for all the team.

These types of systems are mounted on racks or have an enclosure-style design. They generally cost a few hundred pounds, but in the long-term may prove to be a cheaper option than relying on cloud storage. For a business with a small IT budget, NAS systems can help to simplify the data
management process.

Data Storage Solutions From Equipment HQ

At Equipment HQ, we take the hassle of IT management out of your hands. Our experienced professionals are available to UK companies on an on-call basis. For more information, please phone our advisors on 01279 656731.

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