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Overview of Enterprise Storage Markets

January 27, 2014 No Comments

Data storage may not sound like a critical component of running a business, but it is actually a major component of the IT infrastructure and can have severe detrimental effects on a company if it is set up poorly. Enterprise storage differs from the personal storage we are all familiar with on our laptops in that is designed for a much larger scale, requires much higher scalability and reliability and is, of course, much more expensive. The enterprise storage market is a highly lucrative sector for tech-savvy entrepreneurs to delve into. But before you do so, getting your business structure in place is crucial. Learning how to form an LLC could provide your enterprise storage venture with a strong legal foundation. With the right tools and resources, forming an LLC can provide numerous advantages, such as potential tax benefits and personal liability protection. There are several major markets within enterprise storage that business owners should be familiar with.

Cloud Storage

Cloud storage is one of the newest additions to enterprise storage. The personal version of this is services like Google docs or Dropbox that store documents in the cloud where they can be accessed anywhere. Enterprise services, such as Amazon’s Amazon Web Services or Qubole’s big data services, offer large-scale storage to businesses. The cloud is touted as a highly scalable, cost effective option for long term storage as well as a convenient way to scale in-house tasks that outgrow the internal system. There are a variety of options for using the cloud from using a public cloud hosted by a third party to a private cloud created by the business to a hybrid version of both cloud and in-house.

When the cloud was first introduced, it was met with much skepticism, as businesses were concerned about security and didn’t want their data kept outside of their control. However, as cloud services have developed and become more secure, many companies are turning to the cloud. InterContinental Hotels Group, which represents seven hotel brands, uses both the private and public cloud for key business operations. For example, it built its private cloud in order to host its Salesforce CRM system and uses the public cloud for application development and testing.

Backup and Disaster Recovery

Having a backup and disaster recovery system in place is crucial to protecting the well-being of any business. Outages and downtime start affecting company profits quickly as well as creating customer service issues. The site built to manage the healthcare exchanges in the United States, for example, was built without a backup system and a glitch with the site’s host ended up shutting the site down for several hours. According to a study by Brilliant Ideas LLC., 90 percent of companies that have downtime for a week or more fail within the next year, so although backup systems are expensive, they are crucial to the success of any business.

So what is backup storage, exactly? Backup storage keeps a copy of the data that is currently in use, so that if the active data is lost, it can be recovered through the backup. Common backup systems include RAID, a multi disk storage system, local storage in the Storage Area Network or as part of a tiered storage system that allocates data to different media such as hard disk, tape or flash storage depending on its properties.

Archive Storage

Archive storage consists of data that is no longer in use but must be stored and be retrievable in order to meet compliance regulations as well as to collect data for analysis or other business needs. Specific compliance requirements vary by industry, but email, in particular, must be archived in a certain way. For example, businesses are required to preserve email and attachments in a non-alterable and non-erasable format for up to seven years, and all emails must be indexed and searchable in order to meet requests by regulatory bodies.

There are several options when it comes to data archiving. Tape is one of the cheaper options for archiving, and if you are ok with retrieval being a little slow, it can be a reliable option. The cloud is also becoming a popular option for archiving as it frees up the company’s internal system and is fairly affordable. Overall, when researching options the main things to look for are reliability, scalability and overall price.

Enterprise storage is much more complex than those without a background in IT believe. However, becoming familiar with the components of storage and ensuring that your data is accessible and protected is a crucial step to ensuring the success of your company.

by Rick DelGado, Independent Author

I’ve been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I’ve started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet.” – Rick DelGado

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