4 Data Storage Solutions to Consider for Your Business

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These days, how your company stores and transfers data is as important as what kinds of software you rely on to get the job done. Depending on what kind of company you run and how you prefer to format your office, there are several data storage solutions that work great on their own and in conjunction with one another. Consider these options for your company’s information storage and transfer needs.

Cloud Storage

Completely virtual data storage is a great method for companies that maintain telecommuting staff and need to easily share information across several different devices that may or may not be compatible. Storing your data through a cloud system, like Dropbox or a file hosting service, makes that data accessible from anywhere with Wi-Fi hotspot. This does require a little extra security, but a company that operates carefully can benefit greatly from cloud storage.

Flash Memory

Other than cloud storage, USB flash drives are the smallest, simplest method of storing and sharing information across multiple devices. These tiny but powerful devices can store the better part of an entire computer’s data and connect easily to any machine that has a USB input. They’re also surprisingly durable and many are easy to protect with extra security features. Most flash drives allow password protection and encryption, so even if the device is lost, the information inside is safe.

External Hard Drives

This is a popular option for mobile professionals who need a lot of memory and functionality from their data storage systems. External hard drives operate like portable computer “brains.” They can use any computer as a terminal to access and modify the information, so it’s like being able to carry an entire desktop computer in a one-pound format. This is especially good for companies that handle a lot of large file types, as external hard drives have a lot of storage space. They’re excellent for transferring videos and backing up your pictures in case your primary machine experiences problems.

Network-Attached Storage

This storage method is becoming very popular with small businesses that don’t have the time or personnel to handle complicated IT issues. NAS (Network Attached Storage) stores data on a company network of shared machines, so it spreads out the transfer demands to multiple devices and allows more than one person to access a single file at the same time. NAS also typically comes with built-in security measures and data backup. In essence, it’s a way to eliminate the “sharing” step of file sharing. It’s like everyone in the company is working off of one big machine. To ensure optimum efficiency, exhaust all options when it comes to choosing your network. The best part about the versatility of data storage options is that none of them are exclusive to any of the others. You can comfortably implement any combination of the above methods to suit the needs of your company. Each method offers a different level of power, mobility and security, so examine each one for its pros and cons.  When you find the system that suits your needs perfectly, you’ll wonder how you ever ran your business without it. Does your business rely on one or many storage methods? What challenges have you run into regarding storing data?

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Published by Teddy Hunt

Teddy Hunt is a freelance content writer with a focus on technology. When not behind a computer, Teddy spends the majority of his free time outdoors and resides in Tampa, Florida.

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22 Comments

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  1. I can just say one thing that it is a very nicely laid out post.

    A person who has no knowledge of hardware and data retrieval can recover data from his or her lost drives… or at least can start with the basic duty…

    Thank you for sharing this post with us.

  2. Hey Teddy 🙂

    Love this post. You have gathered very well information on data storage solutions which are really great useful and beneifical for everyone. As I know, every body needs a storage device or medium to backup their important data from one place to other, which requires the storage and it may be cloud storage or external data storage. I like to use cloud storage such as google docs, onedrive and dropbox etc. But they have a limited memory to use. So we can use an external backup devices too which you have described here, are more important too. But external devices are expensive and chances of lose of data.

    Therefore we should always care before choosing right data backup services. You have explained here a beautiful information which is great guideline for new user.

    Thanks a lot for posting!
    – Ravi.
    Ravi Roshan Jaiswal recently posted..The Top 12 Power Banks under $50My Profile

    1. Hi Ravi,

      Thanks for letting Teddy and me know that you found his post informative. There are so many options available these days. You’re right, we do need to be careful to find the solution(s) that are right for us.

      I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for taking the time to join the conversation.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Keeping Your Online Business SecureMy Profile

  3. Nice information Teddy !
    If i owned a business i would always choose flash or hard disk storage to keep my confidential and secure data.I will never trust cloud or network storage as they have high probability of being hacked . Thanks for sharing the information.

    -Pramod

    1. Thanks for sharing your take on this Pramod. I use flash drives, external hard drives and cloud computing. I think there are risks involved in all of them. Personally, I think there’s less risk in using cloud computing with a reputable company than there is in having something happen to a hard drive or flash drive. I agree that they’re more vulnerable to hacking but our equipment is also vulnerable to fire and theft.

      Actually, years ago, we had taken our computer to a reputable repair shop. (We had mirrored drives and somehow, the mirror had broken.) On top of that, one of their technicians was transporting our drive in his vehicle and it was stolen. It was just one thing after another. We ended up losing data that we could not recover. If that had been today, I would have had the additional measure of using cloud computing.

      It comes down to our comfort level. Thankfully, there are many options available to us. Thanks again for taking the time to weigh in on this.
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ways of Protecting Your ID on Social MediaMy Profile

  4. Hello Mr Hunt,

    While it is easy to understand Dropbox or USB flash drives or external hard disks, it is not so easy to evaluate the other two options. For me it is not so clear the difference between cloud storage and network attached storage (apart from the wireless access points).

    The best solution for small business owners seems to me external hard drives. Easy to work with, portable and able to store huge amounts of data, these type of devices seem good enough.

    You also have a lot of control when it comes to security and it is more difficult to lose an external hard drive than USB Flash.

    Have a wonderful day
    silviu recently posted..The Fundamental Question According to GoogleMy Profile

    1. Hi Silviu,

      For small businesses, I agree. I think IT professionals in businesses like to have control with the external hard drives and network attached storage. One you begin to use these ancillary options, including the cloud and flash drives….control tends to lean toward employee managing data….and that can be hectic.

      Thanks for commenting!

    2. Hi Silviu,
      I have to admit that I wasn’t familiar with the term network-attached storage until Ted submitted this article to me. As Ted mentioned in his reply to you, NAS is geared more to bigger businesses. Most small business owners and solopreneurs don’t need to store terabytes of data.

      I agree with you that external hard drives are a good solution but I’m also a firm believer in cloud storage services like Rackspace and Amazon S3 as another layer of protection. We don’t hear much talk these days about having disaster recovery plans but we all should have a plan in place.

      Maintaining off-site backups as well as local backups needs to be part of that plan. Should a disaster hit locally, we would still be able to recover our data. So, outsourcing to a company that has the infrastructure in place to protect our data for us can provide us with peace of mind.

      As always, thanks for joining in the conversation!

  5. I have used them all in the past but very limited on the network storage type. The others a bit more often. A few years ago I used to drag an external usb hard drive around with me. Now that flash drives are larger in capacity I tend to go with them for the smaller size.

    I do use cloud storage like Dropbox, but I still prefer to limit that to non-personal/non-important files. Some people tell me you worry too much, but there is just way too much talk about stolen and hacked files and data in the news all the time. I would be willing to bet it happens more than we know about or realize.
    Ray recently posted..The Wonderful World Of Ever Evolving TechnologyMy Profile

    1. Thanks Ray! It seems like you’ve used a wide array of options depending on the situation. I like it. Seems like a good plan. Thanks for sharing.

    2. Ray,
      I have concerns about Dropbox too. I do use it but it’s mainly someone sharing something with me and I would be hesitant to share important files on it. So, I don’t think you worry too much at all. 🙂

  6. I am paranoid when it comes to backing up and keeping everything in a storage backup. My host server is Racksapce and they backup my website daily. I also have a backup server in the office . For storage I also use an external Media & Backup Center that is. One terabyte. To share information we use a cloud service and Dropbox,
    Arleen recently posted..What Color Means to Your Corporate IdentityMy Profile

    1. It sounds like you have a good strategy for backing up Arleen. I backup in multiple places too. Years ago, I purchased an inexpensive online storage account with GoDaddy. (I used to host with them.) I use Microsoft Office and it’s so easy to simply email files that I change to that account.

      Thanks for dropping by and I hope you’re having a nice weekend!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Building Your Personal Brand OnlineMy Profile

    2. Hey Arleen,

      Like Sherryl mentioned, it seems you have a good strategy. Curious if you find a terabyte is enough space for you? Having the right tools for success is so important. Your storage is a base necessity. Seems like you have that under control.

  7. Thanks for these tips. Cloud storage, like Dropbox, enables companies to share information with external audiences, too. It makes it a lot easier than trying to send large files back and forth by email (although there are file transfer programs, too). I find more of my clients are using the Cloud to share information not only with people in their company but also outside consultants and vendors.
    Jeannette Paladino recently posted..Visual Images Add Clarity in Your Writing – and They’re Fun!My Profile

    1. Jeannette,
      I remember when cloud computing was unimaginable and now it’s become part of our lives. Applications like Dropbox has made it so easy to collaborate and share information. I use it with clients too.

      Thanks for joining the conversation Jeannette. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.

  8. I use all the methods you mentioned except the last one. The reason I don’t use the last one is I am a company if one :). I love cloud technology for so many reasons. The ease of use, ability to share on a limited basis and the back-up of data are just a few. All that without allot of boxes and space to store stuff. What’s there not to like about that. ????
    Susan Cooper recently posted..Pretend Listener: Musing (Podcast)My Profile

    1. Hi Susan,
      Thanks for dropping by. I like cloud computing myself and having BackupBuddy automatically backing up and sending my backups to the cloud is a huge time saver. Last Christmas, I bought my husband a small portable hard drive and I think I use that more than he does. 🙂 It is so handy to make a quick backup of my Outlook and data files.

      Have a great weekend!
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Building Your Personal Brand OnlineMy Profile