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What high-availability storage options are available for small businesses?

Greg Schulz discusses different high-availability options that are available to SMBs in this expert response.

What high-availability options are available for SMBs?
There are many different types of high-availability (HA) storage options that are about as diverse in pricing, offerings and capabilities as is the size or characteristics of the small- to medium-sized business (SMB) market environments. For example, there are host software-based solutions for server clustering and failover along with data replication tools from brand-name vendors and smaller or startup providers.

Network-, appliance- and storage system-based high-availability storage solutions all range in price and functionality, and include multipathing drivers, redundant network and storage adapters for availability, entry and midrange storage systems with high-availability features, and replication and data movement options. Most SMB-focused storage systems support snapshots, redundant hot-swappable comments (including controllers, disk...

drives, power and cooling fans) and other high-availability features.

Likewise, many SMB-focused products either support local and remote data replication along with integration with server clustering tools.

When looking for high-availability options for SMBs, look at all your components, including your application, operating system, physical and virtual machine (VM) servers, adapters or NICs, network (LAN or SAN) switches and storage systems for a single point of failure.

Once you identify those single points of failure, eliminate them by implementing fault containment or fault isolation techniques such as server cluster failover, or application replication and failover, redundant network (LAN or SAN) connections, along with storage systems that have built-in redundancy. The bottom line is high-availability options are no longer exclusive to just the enterprise, nor should it break the bank for SMBs to implement.

This was first published in March 2010
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