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Choosing the Right Enterprise Storage Solution

Enterprise storage, in the most basic sense, is the use of a centralized storage system to manage, protect and provide access to the enterprise’s data. An enterprise storage solution gives connectivity to that data from whatever source or application can effectively use that data.

It’s important to understand, first of all, how enterprise storage is different from basic consumer storage. Enterprise storage requires vastly larger amounts of storage capacity. Enterprise storage also utilizes different and more advanced technologies than consumer storage.

Types of Enterprise Storage Solutions

Historically, there have been three different types of storage solutions available to the enterprise. Direct Attached Storage (or DAS) was, historically, the first to come about. Direct attached storage is storage that’s directly connected to a host computer. In this model, access to the data is provided through the enterprise’s Local Area Network.

For obvious reasons, DAS has fallen out of vogue. It has significant limitations, not the least of which is the impact that this solution has on the rest of the data network. DAS exists today only in the sense that the storage media are attached to storage server nodes, which may or may not be attached directly to the LAN.

Network Attached Storage (or NAS) is exactly that sort of storage. It refers to a storage device that’s part of a server located on your LAN. Network Attached Storage takes the form of data servers that are directly integrated into your LAN architecture. Network file servers typically make up an Network Attached Storage solution.

NAS has its limitations, as well. NAS doesn’t offer compatibility with certain applications, for example. In addition, NAS still can create something of a drag on your Local Area Network.

A Storage Area Network (or SAN) is probably the most widely-used type of enterprise storage solution today. SAN lets you connect more than one host to a storage device. This frees up your server resources in a number of ways, and gives you many more options when it comes to things like redundancy and failover. In addition, a SAN tends to create less drag on the Local Area Network, because much of the passing of data takes place only in the SAN environment.

Choosing the Right Enterprise Storage Solution

When it comes time to choose an enterprise storage solution, there are some things to keep in mind.

First of all, you need to choose a solution that is scalable. The explosive need for data storage means that a system that isn’t scalable can be obsolete in months.

You also need a secure storage solution. Make sure your solution is secured against threats on the network. Make sure your solution has backup and disaster recovery options, as well.

Finally, you need an enterprise storage solution that meets regulatory compliance issues. Depending on what industry your business is in, this may or may not be particularly difficult, but it is an issue that needs to be brought up before you choose a solution, rather than after.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.