SMB storage strategy tutorial

Developing an effective storage strategy for the data center can be crucial for SMBs. Check out this guide for tips on developing an effective data center strategy, including information on outsourcing storage, cost-effective data security measures and the various storage vendors offering SMB-level products.

Developing an effective storage strategy for the data center can be crucial for organizations of any size. However, the task of doing so can be a bit more daunting for the budget-strained IT staffs of SMBs. Check out this learning guide for how-to information on developing an effective data center strategy, including tips on outsourcing storage, cost-effective data security measures and the various storage vendors offering SMB-level...

products.

Table of contents:

Secure DAS without breaking the bank
Considerations when selecting a data storage VAR
Outsourcing data storage considerations for SMBs
Getting started with data deduplication
Conducting a DR Test for SMBs
How SMBs can ensure storage security

Secure DAS without breaking the bank

Whether you're using direct-attached storage (DAS) for primary data storage, backups or archiving, there are a ton of common security issues affecting storage confidentiality, integrity and availability. This tip discusses DAS security issues SMBs can't afford to overlook, including:

 

  • Not knowing where you stand on DAS security issues
  • Relying on users to do the right thing
  • Not adequately patching server software
  • Fault tolerance and business continuity testing

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Considerations when selecting a data storage VAR

Data storage for SMBs has moved beyond basic email and data files to include increasingly larger file formats like podcasts and video streams. There comes a point when data backups, archiving, managing and supporting a rapidly growing storage environment is beyond the scope of a strapped IT department, and it's time to partner with a VAR that can provide these services.

Storage VARs can provide extensive expertise and consulting on current and emerging technologies. Additionally, storage VARs can handle rapidly changing storage needs, assist in regulatory compliance, assure disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC), perform installation and offer financing.

This tip takes a look at the numerous considerations SMBs should examine before selecting a storage VAR.

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Outsourcing data storage considerations for SMBs

Outsourcing data storage and backups has proven to be an excellent way for businesses to capitalize on technology benefits without having to make the investment themselves. With the increased tightening of capital markets squeezing SMBs, outsourcing allows SMBs to free up what would be long-term, capital expenditures, transferring the investment to a pay-as-you-go operational expense.

SMBs that leverage storage outsourcing, and in particular backups, also reduce technology implementation costs, including IT headcount, monitoring and managing the devices, maintaining patches and bug fixes, and maintaining software licenses. This tip provides a list of things SMBs should consider when determining if they should outsource their storage needs.

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Getting started with data deduplication

When it comes to data storage, many SMBs have requirements similar to those of larger firms. SMBs are often proportionally more prolific in information generation. They are also more nimble, and tend to be early adopters of emerging technologies to reach their target markets. The SMB market needs storage tools that meet its growing needs. This tip provides questions SMBs should consider when getting started with deduplication.

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Conducting a DR Test for SMBs

SMBs have a tendency to rely on their IT staffs' knowledge of the environment and feel they are covered in the event of a disaster. However, that same staff may not be available following a disaster and the company might have to rely on other technical resources that are not as familiar with their IT environment to assist with the recovery effort. This is where all the shortcomings of the DR plan can be exposed and why it is imperative to test, before this happens.

This tip examines the importance of ensuring that your DR plan will actually work and explores some of the other benefits regular DR testing offers.

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How SMBs can ensure storage security

Whether it's caused by a limited budget or lack of management buy-in, many SMBs often struggle to achieve reasonable information security. Once you throw critical storage systems into the mix, you've got the potential for some really interesting IT issues. This tip examines the key areas that must be addressed to ensure data storage security.

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This was first published in January 2009
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