Businesses have many logistical needs, from customer management to staff handling; going through all other necessities they encounter on a daily basis. This often means having to manage and store a lot of data. In the digital era, most of that data will take place under electronic form; taking over from paperwork and folders. As this data is vital to any business, there has been an increase in the different methods a business can use to store and share that important data. Those methods will mostly depend on the nature and size of a business.
Data Storage For Startup Businesses
Businesses who are at an early stage of their life will often start with a limited budget. This is why they will try to cut corners, saving money whenever they can. This means that they will often not be able to afford using an expensive and complex data storage system, often relying on cheaper and easier solutions instead. Most of the data will most likely be contained on the staff computers, occasionally being backed up on a spare hard drive. This method is easy to do and offers a small layer of security in case a staff computer is victim of hardware or software damage. However, as it requires manual backup, it can lead to not all the data being backed up on time; and is also subject to instances of human error (copying the wrong files etc.).
Cloud storage is another solution which can provide an extra layer of safety to a businesses’ data storage. By using services such as Google Drive, company staff are able to store and edit their documents online, ensuring that a spare copy always gets kept in the cloud. Obviously this method does require a regular internet connection, but it offers the advantage of not having to buy more spare hard drives; though cloud storage does cost some money if storing a big volume of data.
Data Storage for Bigger Businesses
Bigger businesses will often store data on their own servers, often using RAID(Redundant Array of Independent Disks) as a favoured method. This method offers to store the data and files across multiple hard drives (and array of drives). Furthermore, it duplicates the data across those different drives so that no data gets lost in the event of one of the hard drives failing. That is because the data is backed up multiple times so a spare copy can always be accessed.
The RAID method will obviously cost more and use more space as it duplicates the data. Also, it is quite a complex system which requires qualified administrators to manage it. Another thing to mention is that only professionals are qualified on how to proceed with RAID recovery, as an unqualified attempt at recovering a RAID system will most likely lead to losing all the data.
However RAID offer other advantages such as accessibility and speed. As the staff accesses the data onto different drives, there is less strain being put on the one hard drive to be accessed by everyone at the same time. RAID is great for safety, and works well for accessibility.
Of course data storage policies will depend on budget, but it is an aspect of business worth investing onto, as data loss has been known to have disastrous consequences on a business. So it is a fine line between investing into the right system and giving the staff the proper training and guidelines to ensure that data which is so vital to our businesses is kept safe.