The Right Approach is Key!
So you’ve decided your growing company or agency is needing data storage, but you don’t know where to start.
If you’re starting from a blank slate and don’t have previous IT experience with setting up complex data center environments, we are here to help provide some direction and an idea of where to focus your efforts.
To introduce data storage, we asked ChatGPT for a quick introduction and find that the results were quite accurate:
“Large data storage is becoming increasingly important for companies as more and more data is being generated and collected. Setting up large data storage can seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be done relatively easily.
The first step in setting up large data storage is to determine your company’s data storage needs. This includes evaluating the amount of data that needs to be stored, the types of data that need to be stored, and the expected growth rate of the data. This will help you determine the type of storage solution that is best for your company.
Once you have a good understanding of your data storage needs, the next step is to choose a storage solution. There are several options available, including direct-attached storage (DAS), network-attached storage (NAS), and storage area networks (SANs). DAS is a simple and cost-effective option that is well-suited for small businesses, while NAS and SANs are more complex and expensive options that are better suited for larger businesses with more demanding storage needs. Contact RackSimply to review these options and assess your data.
After you have chosen a storage solution, the next step is to implement it. This involves installing the necessary hardware and software, configuring the storage solution, and testing it to ensure that it is working properly. It is also important to consider data backup and disaster recovery options at this stage, as this will ensure that your data is protected in case of an unexpected event.
Once your storage solution is set up and working properly, it is important to monitor and maintain it on a regular basis. This includes monitoring the performance of the storage solution, checking for errors, and performing regular backups. It is also important to plan for future upgrades to ensure that your storage solution can continue to meet your company’s growing data storage needs.
In addition to the technical aspects, there are also important security considerations when setting up large data storage. This includes protecting your data from unauthorized access, ensuring data integrity and compliance with regulations. Depending on the type and sensitivity of the data, encryption, multi-factor authentication and regular security audits are some of the steps that can be implemented to protect data.
In conclusion, setting up large data storage for a company can seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach, it can be done relatively easily. The first step is to determine your company’s data storage needs, then choose a storage solution that is well-suited for your company, implement it, and maintain it on a regular basis. It is also important to consider data backup and disaster recovery options and security considerations to ensure that your data is protected and compliant with regulations.”
Circling back to the introduction from ChatGPT. The first step is to completely get to know your data. What kind of data is it? What is it used for? What level of security is needed. Is there government compliance associated with the business you’re in? Does it contain sensitive student or personal information? All of these factors need to be considered when understanding where to store your data.
On-Premise vs. Cloud
There’s an age-old debate at the center of data planning that stands the test of time. Do I store my data in the cloud? Or should I buy hardware and keep it on the premises? This is a conversation worth having and often times the answer is both or a combination of. Workloads these days call for a hybrid cloud strategy, segmented depending on your data’s requirements/purpose.
Data Storage in the Cloud
Small businesses without serious security or compliance requirements are often advised to store their work-related data in the cloud. Excluding sensitive employee or customer information. There are many cloud storage options to check out. If you have an email account set up with Microsoft, it’s been to utilize SharePoint or OneDrive. Additional options exist within the Azure cloud and may require a cloud consultant for larger data sets (call RackSimply to brainstorm). On the flip side, a large competitor to Microsoft Azure is Amazon. You can use Amazon S3 for large data storage in the AWS cloud. This approach is doable through various how-to/instructional videos on YouTube, or may require a cloud consultant.
Data Storage On-Premises
Selecting hardware for an on-premise data storage solution can be an ambiguous process. Understanding how much data you have, and how fast it will grow relative to the lifetime of the equipment, all need to be considered. The fastest way to get to the finish line on a value-added solution is to call a rep at RackSimply but if you’re checking it out for yourself, consider the following:
- Is my data set large or small? If it’s small, there’s a chance a workstation, PC, or MicroServer is an ideal fit for a data-storage environment. If its large, the solutions can vary in size in scope. Small-medium-sized businesses or Enterprise may be interested in checking out creative server-based solutions, or SAN-based solutions ranging from spinning disk, to ssd, to NVMe.
- For complex environments consider what your application requirements are. Determine the throughput required and speed needs of your applications and business case. Understanding cache requirements, RAID requirements, and network connections are a few of the key components to consider.
- Understand where the data is being stored.
- Do you have a backup and recovery strategy? Knowing where your data is, is it at risk of any natural disasters? Fires? What happens if the equipment goes down? What’s the plan to get it back up and going? Thinking in this way requires a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery strategy. A solution that should be sized based on accepted downtime.
- There are many other things to consider as data sets get larger, more complicated, and dispersed across multiple clouds. As requirements get more complex, more Enterprise Architects may need to get involved to double-check the solution.
For more information on planning your data storage environments, reach out to a qualified consultant to discuss further.