How To Choose The Right Data Storage Device For Your Business


Christine HarrellYou know you need some form of data migration and backup plan, but which type is right for your business? The best way to answer this question is to look at the way in which data is recovered from different types of storage media. After all, recovering data after a disaster is the reason for implementing a data migration plan in the first place. The last thing you want in the event of a catastrophe is not to have the resources or the time to restore the data saved in your storage devices.

Before looking into the different types of storage media, it’s important to point out the different types of data that a company may need to store. First, a company has archived data that it may not access on a daily basis such as patient records or documents needed to comply with the Sarbanes Oxley act.

Second are working files, these are critical files that are accessed on a regular basis such as email, data grids, real-time inventory information, etc. The third type of data is system files. This includes all of the programs and software currently installed on your computer, settings, etc. Each of these different types of data may be suited for different types of data storage devices depending on your business data structure. Your ideal data storage solution may be a combination of different types of storage devices for different types of data.

Recovering data from tape media

The wonderful thing about tape media is its ability to store so much information in such a compact amount of space. Tape media is ideal for archived information such as customer records and case files that don’t necessarily need to be migrated back to the system in the case of a crash.

Recovering entire systems from tape media can take longer than with other types of data storage devices. Restoring data from tape media isn’t necessarily as simple or intuitive as restoring data from a hard disk. Owners of small businesses with no IT department will want to make sure they understand how to restore all of the critical files from tape media before deciding to store every bit of data this way.

Recovering data from disk storage

With disk storage, the data on the working hard disk is mirrored onto the secondary disk storage. This means that if the primary disk is destroyed, you can essentially tap into the information on the secondary disk storage and pick right up where you left off. Disk storage is especially simple when it comes to restoring system files.

The problem with storing everything on disk storage is the limited space. While the storage space of disk storage devices has grown tremendously while prices for storage have come down, some companies still need a lot more space than disk storage can provide for their archived data.

Recovering data from optical disks

Somewhere in between tape media and disk storage in terms of ease of recovery are optical disks. Assuming your optical disks are well organized, you can essentially spend a day migrating data from optical disks back onto the systems.

If you’re thinking of choosing optical disk storage, make sure to have either an automated backup system in place like an optical jukebox, or a very solid plan for backing up data at regular intervals. The potential danger with optical storage is intending to back up data manually, but then not doing it for one reason or another, no matter how well meaning your intentions.

Before choosing a type of data storage device, ask yourself how long different parts of your organization can be without certain types of data before critically impacting the business. Of course the ideal option is to have no downtime whatsoever, but there may be certain types of data such as archived data that you can afford to be without for more than a few hours. Data storage vendors that offer consulting services and sell a wide variety of product types and brands can be an incredibly valuable resource in helping you find the data storage solution that is optimal for your business.

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