What All Startup Owners Should Know About Data Storage?

What All Startup Owners Should Know About Data Storage?

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by Micah James — 4 weeks ago in Business Ideas 8 min. read
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Starting a Business is not as easy as it sounds. Typically, you must catch up with new processes and make critical decisions concerning your assets, including critical data, intellectual property (IP), and software. And to manage your cloud-stored data and essential company information safely, you need a well-thought-out data strategy.

What Is Data Storage?

Companies collect data such as financial data, client data, vendor data, and analytical data to gain insights necessary for business decision-making and solving problems. Businesses do not use all the data at once, which calls for a storage system. Data storage refers to the processes, technology, and systems used to retain and preserve data and make it accessible whenever necessary.

You can store data using block, file, or object storage. Block storage stores data in equal-sized blocks and is ideal for data that you need to frequently access and edit. File storage keeps data in folders and files, and the data usually looks all the same. Lastly, object storage means you store data in the form of objects with unique identifiers and metadata. It is appropriate for data that don’t require editing.

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Why Is Data Storage So Important?

As long as businesses collect data, they will always need efficient data storage to retain it and make it easily accessible. Below are reasons to invest in data storage solutions that align with your data needs.

Easy Data Access

In the current fast-paced business environment, data storage allows you to access your data at any time. If you have on-premise data storage, the staff can easily retrieve data whenever they are within the workplace. Similarly, cloud storage enables you to access and share data regardless of location, as long as you have an internet connection.

With increased data accessibility, employees can use the data confidently and quickly, which promotes productivity. Whether you need data for future reference or sharing, having robust and reliable data storage will make your work easier.



Data Security

Data loss can occur for reasons such as natural disasters, negligence, criminal activities, and even technical issues that may wipe out data from your computer. Data storage allows you to secure data from unauthorized access or loss. In case of natural disasters like floods or unfortunate events like fires, off-site data storage means your data is safe.

Besides protection from data loss, data storage safeguards sensitive information. It helps you uphold data privacy and ensures compliance with data laws and regulations.

Efficiency

Data storage promotes business efficiency by speeding up data retrieval and sharing. It ensures your business operations are organized and removes the need for paper storage that may take up space. You can also automate processes and determine where specific data go, which promotes organization and efficiency and saves time.

On the same note, having a digital data storage solution instead of physical storage space saves time, and you won’t have to move the location every time you amass large amounts of data. In the case of cloud storage, you don’t need physical storage space. The third-party cloud service provider is also responsible for managing and maintaining the system, reducing your expenses and responsibility.

Scalability

The agility and scalability of your business rely on how fast you can make decisions in a changing business environment. With proper data storage that allows you to access and share information, you can scale up business operations and take advantage of market trends to stay on top of the competition.

Data storage also gives you the flexibility to increase your data volume to match business growth and expansion. You can create data centers or network drives to store large data volumes daily or opt for cloud storage. With cloud storage, you can scale our data storage services depending on your needs without incurring the costs of setting up and maintaining on-premise services.

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Business Continuity

Data loss can have devastating effects on a business. According to the Small Business Association, 90% of businesses fail within two years after a disaster. With data storage, you are assured of the safety of your information after data loss or disasters as it makes backup and recovery possible.

You don’t have to completely lose data in case of an unfortunate event, and you can bounce back within no time. A dependable data storage solution that includes off-site options ensures that your business continues even after difficult times.

Data Storage Options for Your Start-Up

There are numerous data storage options to choose from. However, it differs from one organization to another. To find the best solution for our company, you need to understand your options to make an informed decision. If you are looking for a data storage solution, below are options you should consider.

Network-Attached Storage (NAS)

A NAS storage connects directly to the company’s network instead of a specific workstation or server. This makes the data it stores accessible on all devices connected to the same network. Think of it as having private cloud storage where you have total control. With this in mind, employees can access data from anywhere, making remote work possible.

Network-Attached Storage is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses with a collaborative workflow due to its ability to allow data access by multiple users at once. This way, employees don’t have to reconcile various versions or create copies of the files. Note that the performance of NAS depends on network activity, meaning a lot of activity will slow it down. You will also need another NAS device if you want to expand your storage.



Direct-Attached Storage (DAS)

DAS data storage uses storage hardware that connects directly to the device rather than a network or server. It is among the most affordable data storage solutions, and most DAS backup devices, like external hard disks and pen drives, can connect to a USB port.

Although DAS is among the most affordable storage option and offers impressive speeds, it does not promote sharing. This is because you have to move the device physically between workstations or people to access or share data. You may also have to upload them online. It is, therefore, ideal for businesses that do not manage a lot of data.

Storage Area Network (SAN)

Storage Area Network is a dedicated computer network that provides shared storage space to multiple storage devices and servers. When you connect to the Storage Area Network, you gain access to storage as if it were directly connected to your computer.

SAN is more resilient to common issues affecting single-storage devices as it connects multiple devices. It also increases data storage efficiency by bringing together different storage resources in a single network. However, it can be more expensive and complex than other private storage options if you don’t intend to use it for cloud computing.

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Cloud Storage

Instead of storing data locally, you can retain it online in the cloud. You purchase cloud storage services from third-party providers like Google and Microsoft that provide everything you need. With cloud storage, you can then access your data anywhere as long as you have an internet connection. Also, the provider incurs the trouble of setting up and maintaining the storage system and infrastructure.

Cloud storage allows you to scale your storage capacity depending on your business needs with the touch of a button. Employees can share data and collaborate on cloud storage platforms regardless of location. Popular cloud storage options include Google Drive, iCloud, DropBox, and Microsoft SharePoint.

Hybrid Storage

Hybrid storage combines public and private cloud storage features to give you the best of both worlds. Businesses get to choose which data to store in which cloud storage. For example, you can decide to store less sensitive data in a public cloud storage environment and reserve the private cloud for highly regulated and confidential data.

Your internal IT department can manage the system. By using hybrid data storage, you can enhance the security of our data while reducing maintenance.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Data Storage for Your Start-Up

With a long list of options, choosing the appropriate data storage for your business is necessary for continuity and growth. The best way to do this is by understanding your company’s needs so you can find the service that meets them in the best way possible.
Here are some vital tips to keep in mind before choosing a data storage solution.

1. Start from the Right Foot

As a Startup, you want to streamline your data infrastructure and ensure it’s as solid as possible. You want to invest in long-term data storage solutions that are reliable and up-to-date. For instance, instead of going for cheap legacy storage technologies, you want to invest in cloud storage capabilities that will remain relevant in the long run.

To ensure you choose the right data storage solution, you want to assess your data and understand what is critical for your business. What software tools and apps do you use daily, and what data do you collect or store within your systems?

Answering these questions right will help you narrow down the right data storage solutions and backup options.

For instance, on-premise storage may not offer the needed scalability, or it could be too expensive to set up, while public storage may not meet your data security demands. That way, you could narrow it down to hybrid, colocation, or cloud storage.



2. Storage as a Service (STaaS) is Gaining Adoption

Storage as a service (STaaS) is a new data storage subscription model where a service provider delivers storage solutions to consumers on a need basis. STaaS is revolutionizing the data storage industry thanks to its many benefits. Ideally, building a data storage capacity from scratch is costly. The high capital expenditure or CAPEX discourages many startups, not to mention the difficulty of predicting storage needs in the future.

Like software as a service (SaaS), storage as a service model only lets you worry about the operating expenditure or OPEX. This reduces the upfront costs and gives you the flexibility to either upgrade or downgrade storage capacity based on your needs. That means you don’t need to predict the growth trajectory of your business or make purchases with the future in mind.

Besides the obvious advantage of optimizing storage costs, STaaS offers the always-on reliability and convenience of the major cloud service companies. That means you won’t have to worry about regular downtimes, plus you’ll also enjoy a storage management environment optimized for your unique needs.

3. Security is Key

When building a startup brand from scratch, most entrepreneurs don’t pay much attention to security. This is a costly mistake that could hurt your brand reputation down the line. Security vulnerabilities often occur at any stage of the project development process, whether during project conception, implementation, partnering with third parties, etc.

As a startup, you can minimize data security issues by implementing all the critical data security strategies, such as developing and implementing sound policies, training employees, firewall configuration, etc. Safeguarding your network and securing your data in a well-managed cloud is crucial to avoid potential data breaches.

Once your network and data infrastructure is up and running, you should conduct regular vulnerability assessments and penetration tests to minimize data security incidents. Where possible, partner with security, compliance, and IT consultancy companies to help your startup grow and expand in the right direction.

4. Location

Countries are increasingly imposing privacy and data access laws. The physical location of your data center will determine who has access to your data and how it is controlled. Therefore, you should be familiar with the regulations to ensure data security. Ensure that the country you store your data in honors its laws if you are worried about the government taking and misusing your data.

Also, the risk of natural disasters is a critical factor when choosing your data storage location. Some areas are more prone to disasters like tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes than others, which can interfere with your operations. Lastly, the farther your data center is from your location, the lower the data transfer speeds.

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5. Cost

The cost of your data storage will depend on the services you expect to get. Most cloud storage providers offer monthly subscriptions or annual payment plans for different tiers of data storage services. Identify what your company requires in terms of the number of users, features, and the amount of storage you are getting so you can compare and settle for the best. Also, consider hidden fees such as customer support when factoring in your expenses.

Fortunately, most providers offer free storage plans so you can see whether they are ideal for your business before upgrading to a paid plan. It is advisable to choose a provider who allows you to not only pay for the storage you use but also remove or add services depending on your specific requirements.



Bottom Line

Every business, regardless of the niche, has sensitive data that must be stored right to avoid serious consequences. Your business IP, employee, and customer details are just but a few pieces of data that must be kept safe and away from unauthorized access. Choosing the right data storage solution is one way to safeguard your most important asset. If you need help during the selection process, seek professional guidance from a knowledgeable IT expert.

Micah James

Micah is SEO Manager of The Next Tech. When he is in office then love to his role and apart from this he loves to coffee when he gets free. He loves to play soccer and reading comics.

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