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4 Questions to Ask When Upgrading Storage Capabilities

Posted by Connie Roberts on Mar 31, 2016 9:43:53 AM

data_storage_strategy_-_CAS_Severn.jpgA storage upgrade can be very complex, and there are a sea of options that lay before companies of all sizes. The goal is to hit that perfect-fit system. This system should fulfill your needs today, of course, but it should also have the ability to grow with your business.

But scalability is only one of many concerns when developing an effective storage strategy. After all, when it comes to storage upgrades, the choices you make today will affect your organization’s prosperity for years to come.

Here are the top 4 questions companies must ask themselves when looking to upgrade their storage capabilities:

1. Hybrid Flash vs. All-flash Storage: Which Is Better?

It’s not about which is better; it’s about what works best for your needs. Since flash storage comes with a steeper price tag, hybrid storage has definitely grown in popularity. By retrofitting SSD (flash) drives into existing a disk-based array as a sub-zero tier layer, companies can speed processing within parts of their storage infrastructure.

With this flash-optimized storage layer, companies can access the hottest data faster, thus leaving older, less frequently accessed data to be stored on slower, spinning-disk layers. Disk latency for high commodity data becomes a concern of the past.

For companies that require broader, more expansive, and faster data access across multiple data tiers, an all-flash storage array may be the better answer. In the end, it comes down to a diagnosis of your organization’s data needs and speed requirements.

2. Does High Tape Capacity Create Big Problems?

To compete with the growing storage capacity of SSD (or flash) drives, many tape tech manufacturers decided to create tape drives with higher capacities. High capacity tape systems do carry risks, however.

With higher volumes of storage, the number of times a tape drive must be accessed will increase exponentially. This could lead to conflict issues and reliability concerns. The greatest risk of all, though, is a greater single point of failure. After all, losing 6 GB of data in a drive failure would be bad, but losing 160 GB would be exponentially worse.

3. What Should I Do with Unstructured Data?

Ensure that you have a data management platform that is robust enough to analyze data from all systems and servers across your enterprise. This includes structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data sets. To perform accurate data modeling that will produce accurate insights for business heads, you must have the storage foundation to operate a robust data analytics platform.

4. What Are My Compliance Needs?

Are you operating in a highly regulated industry, like healthcare, retail, financial services, law, and government? If so, the stakes are high when it comes to security. It is essential to ensure that your environment is flexible enough to manage ever-changing compliance needs.

Companies must also consider the management of those compliance shifts, as well as the ease at which alterations can be made without disrupting systems too much. After all, an inability to keep pace with compliance results in serious penalties.

For many compliance-driven industries, data retention policies must be taken into consideration. Keeping that data at hand for a set amount of time – whether that’s weeks or years – requires scalability and data prioritization standards that can automatically store, transfer, and archive information accordingly.

Storage projects require a lot of thought and consideration, for the consequences of your decisions stay with your organization for many years to come. Want to know more questions to ask to ensure a prosperous outcome for your storage project? Our team is ready to help.

Contact a CAS Severn Expert

Topics: storage

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