Even if you’re business is currently small you probably don’t plan to remain small forever, and part of the growth process is ensuring that as the business grows so will its technology needs. One area where growth can’t be stopped regardless of the size of company is data storage. And this plagues small business often times more than large corporations, especially because there is no plan for how to deal with it.
Every day new files are created, reports are generated and other information is processed, and much of this needs to be retained. This is why scaleable storage is so vital in the SMB space. Scalable storage lets an SMB or any kind of user start small and grow, as is required. And while starting storage capacity can be determined by business needs and limitations of the start-up budget, scalable storage offers the big advantage of being flexible; growing as the business needs call for it.
Determining what is the right type of scalable storage means looking at the pros and cons offered by each. The first way to handle the needs of more storage space is to simply buy more equipment and add it onto your existing technology. This is an easy, and often times cost-effective way to grow the storage capacity for your company.
The second way is to actually replace older hardware. While this might require replacing each hard drive, which can become laborious, it can pay off in ways that weren’t originally considered. The new technology should make everything run faster for one thing. Yes, there are some costs with adding extra features, but no additional space is taken. More importantly this is newer technology and newer warranties are in place.
The third method is to off load the data. This could be to a secondary storage system, where files that aren’t needed can be backed up to external drives or even archived to CD-ROM. This can generally be the most cost effective, but on the downside back-ups can be lost or even stolen.
Of course for all the pros, there are cons. And simply adding extra equipment might not even be an option if physical space is also an issue, which it typically is for many small businesses. Do you even have the room for more racks or equipment? Do you need more power and what about cooling needs? There is also the issue of cost. This is one of the immediate disadvantages of scalable software.
Likewise, more storage could mean extra software licenses, and some of this might not be obvious from the beginning. Therefore, before you order the devices, you need to consider the cost structure upfront so that your SMB doesn’t pay more in the long run.
Here is a simple checklist to consider:
*How integrated is the current IT staff with the SMB? Will increased storage mean more integration with IT?
*Will your SMB need additional storage expertise? Will a manager be able to control the grown?