Data is the lifeline of every business, irrespective of its size or type; hence data protection and storage are essential components of its success. Data is equally vital for governments, educational institutions, healthcare sectors, and even small start-ups, making data security highly crucial. As companies grow, the need for innovative enterprise solutions increases; however, luckily, this challenge is met by tech experts who constantly strive to create the perfect data storage system to accommodate any business’ needs. From standard HDD setups to virtual cloud solutions, numerous options are available on the market tailored to fit any organization’s requirements.
What is Enterprise Storage?
An enterprise server is a product or service that allows companies and organizations to store, manage, and access digital data. It can also store a massive volume of information that different users can access. This storage system can handle up to 300 gigabytes of data, making it invaluable for large industries and institutions. In addition, setting it up does not require different systems or complex wiring. It makes enterprise data storage a viable option for any platform without limitations.
Advantages of Enterprise Server
Enterprise storage servers are slightly different from regular storage servers as they are used in business houses to manage and back up data. This system helps in sharing data with multiple computers on a network platform.
These storage servers differ in many ways from typical consumer storage servers in terms of features, technology, and size. Therefore, IT managers must meet specific parameters when they deploy enterprise storage servers.
The purpose of a storage backup is to provide a copy of the data that is in active use in case the primary/ main storage system fails or loses data.
It is a central repository where data can be stored and shared.
Suppose you store your data in A, and if A fails for some reason, you can restore data access from another point, B, to achieve data continuity without facing downtime.
Archival Storage stores data that is not actively used but is useful in maintaining a particular business function in the future.
How do I select Enterprise Server?
Before choosing a specialist to provide enterprise data storage solutions, businesses should consider their needs and future goals. Data is the lifeblood of any business today, so it’s crucial to consider how and where you store it. Your decision must base on your organization’s data needs. Hence, there are many factors to consider and questions to ask yourself before deciding on a commercial data storage solution.
For example, direct-attached storage works well if your storage needs are limited. However, if you don’t need to store vital or large amounts of data, this storage will work for you. In contrast, storage area networks are efficacious for complex storage needs that require rapid expansion. We also need a technical team to support and oversee such systems to keep them running smoothly.
Or, if you are okay with going a little over your budget, you can use Cloud storage; your invaluable data can be stored safely and protected with this enterprise storage.
Why do we need Enterprise Storage?
A central repository for corporate data is an enterprise storage system. It provides a shared resource for data sharing, management, and protection through connections to other computer systems.
Types of Enterprise Storage
Direct Attached Storage
Direct Attached Storage (DAS) is a form of data storage accessed by connecting an external drive directly to your computer. Examples include external hard drives cabled to a desktop or laptop and the SSDs that use the M.2 connector on the cable or motherboard. The DAS is a fast way for users to access their computer storage.
DAS is one of the less flexible data storage methods. In contrast to network-based storage, accessible from multiple locations, the hard drive data is accessible only from the computer to which it is attached. It’s not highly scalable since you can only connect as many drives as your computer has ports. Storage capacity may be limited depending on the drive used.
NVMe is a solid-state drive protocol that connects storage to computer memory through the PCI Express Bus. It is a flash protocol that enables fast sequential read/ write speeds of stored data.
HDD is considered too slow for many businesses, but all-flash storage is something else. Many storage companies offer flash arrays.
NVMe over Fabrics is primarily a combination of the DAS and Storage Area Networks. NVMe devices connect to computers, but the protocol is used in network fabrics over Ethernet, InfiniBand, or Fiber Channel. It is a relatively new technology that enables NVMe connectivity across networks. NVMe-oF still doesn’t solve all the problems, but it’s really fast. The DAS variant is also relevant for businesses requiring high capacity and performance for storage.
Network Attached Storage (NAS) is a storage system that stores files on a device available to users in different locations as long as they have network access. NAS devices contain hard drives that store files such as documents, videos, music, and photos. Some of the best NAS devices even support M.2 SSDs. In addition, NAS offers a random array of Independent Disks (RAID) for businesses needing large-scale backups of their hard drives.
NAS is suitable for businesses looking for lower storage costs than Cloud providers. Suitable NAS devices come with an upfront fee; the lack of monthly payment can save buyers in the long run. NAS devices also allow users to create access controls to manage access to employee files. It is an essential feature for enterprise security.
NAS is generally not commercialized for enterprises by NAS vendors themselves. Instead, they target home users, small businesses, and sometimes mid-sized business devices. But NAS is also in most enterprise storage reviews for a good reason. NAS is suitable for small businesses that need local backup.
Storage Area Networks
A storage area network is a high-speed data storage network created between a specific group of devices; these devices can be in multiple locations. Storage area networks or SANs often use Fiber Channel technology to carry signals over copper or fiber optic cables. The switch directs network traffic between sites. Fiber Channel is a SAN-friendly protocol; it is fast and does not drop packets when network bandwidth is saturated.
SANs are popular with businesses that need to store critical applications such as databases and also need fast connectivity to those applications. SANs are also efficient for business because the network size is scalable. Many devices and servers can participate in a storage area network which can be as large or small as needed.
In software-defined storage (SDS), data storage services are managed through software rather than hardware. While the software runs on hardware, it is not bound to it: it is an abstract layer and is movable from one piece of hardware to another. As a flexible storage option, SDS offers a wide range of hardware options for companies with data centers. SDS infrastructure can run on a variety of hardware systems.
SDS has the advantage of being less prone to vendor lock-in due to its compatibility with multiple hardware. Furthermore, it provides several alternatives for data storage and can be used in various settings. SDS architectures offer an additional money-saving benefit as they enable businesses to relocate data that is not accessed frequently onto cheaper archive platforms.
Cloud storage makes stored data remotely accessible, so it’s secure and available even in the event of a hardware failure. In addition, Cloud storage providers often keep multiple copies of your data in various locations. So, for example, if one data center experiences a power outage, the data in another data center remains safe.
Before Cloud storage, companies stored data locally on servers. While this provided quick access to data, businesses risked losing data if they did not have backups in another physical location. Cloud storage is more scalable than local server storage. It can be used from multiple locations and back up data, enhancing security if a disaster happens.
Organizations have three options for Cloud storage environments –
Public Cloud Environment – Fully managed by cloud service providers.
Private Cloud Environment – Managed by a company and is often on-premises on company servers.
Hybrid Cloud Environment – Combines cloud environments according to a company’s needs.
A Hybrid Cloud is a competitive offering from a Cloud provider as it gives businesses more flexibility in storing data. It is suitable for enterprises with different data types and many workloads.
Some data might need to stay on-premises, while others might work best in public Cloud object pools. Additionally, a hybrid environment offers more options.
There is a myriad of options available for enterprise server storage. Still, to select the optimum storage type, you can assess various aspects, such as the server’s functionality and your requirements.
We hope this blog will answer most of your questions regarding enterprise server storage so that you can make an informed decision.