Get the right data storage for your growing business

May 03, 2017

Businesses cannot successfully grow whilst neglecting their technology needs; although it is impossible to become an IT expert while remaining focused on your business. The world of IT is, of course, constantly changing. Think about cloud computing, Big Data and the Internet of Things – terms you had probably not heard even 10 years ago.

One area that has changed a lot is data storage. The traditional hard disk drives that we have been familiar with are being squeezed out as Solid State Drives (SSD) get cheaper and people demand mobile solutions.

Whilst the traditional hard drive still has its place most observers would argue that the cloud is the future of storage. However, for some users a full cloud solution might not be the right option. You need decent broadband, with reasonable upload and download speeds so that staff don’t waste time waiting for the data and applications they need. Some businesses prefer to keep some of their data local and there are still some concerns about security with cloud storage.

Here we look at five of the most popular data storage and some of the pro’s and con’s of each one.

Flash drive, pen drive, thumb drive, whatever you call them a USB flash drive is a quick and easy way to transfer and store files.

Pros: Flash drives are extremely portable and very easy to use. They make sharing files and data very easy and have good transfer speeds, whilst the size makes them ideal when travelling.

Cons: There is only a certain amount of times that a drive can be cleared and rewritten to before it fails. From a security viewpoint, drives can easily be lost (or stolen) and a USB is not the most cost effective solution.

External hard drives seem to the go to option for personal use and small business, and they are certainly a flexible option.

Pros: Drives are portable, easy to install, durable and perfect for backups as well as media sharing. There are a range of sizes available to suit different needs, from 500GB to 8TB.

Cons: As with any removable device there is the issue of theft or less. External hard drives can also be an expensive option, are susceptible to damage if dropped and cheaper options can suffer from reliability issues.

Internal Hard Drives are the traditional spinning disks that we’re all used to that sit in desktops and laptops the worl over.

Pros: Fairly robust, with plenty of options available to fit most budgets and needs. Numerous 1TB drives from well-known manufacturers such as Seagate are available for under £50.

Cons: Slow in comparison to the newer SSDs. HDD will eventually fail so you need to ensure that you have a back-up solution. The a relatively large and cumbersome in a mobile age.

A Solid State Drives (SSD) is a data storage device that contains a chip which enables it to constantly store data. Both SSD’s and traditional hard drives can store and retain data even when the device is not switched on. This is called non-volatile memory and differ from volatile memory such as RAM that loses data when switched off.

Pros: SSDs are both reliable and fast, much quicker than traditional hard drives. SSDs also have no moving parts and therefore there is less chances of scratches interfering with its function.

Cons. The price per GB is higher than that of hard drives and SSD has a limited storage capacity in comparison. SSDs also has a shorter life span than a traditional hard drive.

Cloud Storage is flexible, cheap and accessible but there are downsides.

Pros: Free cloud storage could be perfect, depending on your data storage needs. Cloud storage provides automatic updates and full syncing with phones and tablets so accessing dta from anywhere is easy.

Cons: Online storage brings up the issue of data protection. Who exactly owns the data and what happens if you stop your cloud service or it goes out of business? Paying for cloud storage is an ongoing cost, whereas other options are one off costs, so this needs to be taken into consideration.

RAID is a data storage unit that brings together multiple drive components into one unit, in essence two or more hard drives or SSDs in sync.

Pros: For larger companies or data heavy businesses RAID can be an excellent choice for keeping data constantly backedup.

Cons: RAID can be expensive for small business and is not particularly user friendly.

The data storage solution that’s right for you will very much come down to the needs of the business. If you are considering a new data storage solution talk to our experts by calling 0115 7980704 or emailing info@your-itdepartment.co.uk

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