Storage solutions that meets your exact needs today and tomorrow
With 2.5 exabytes (2.5 billion GB) of data is generated per day, and total data doubling every two years, businesses storage management is becoming more challenging and critical.
Data Storage Overview
Businesses are generating, storing and analyzing more data than ever before in the world’s history. It’s estimated that 90% of the world’s current data was created in just the last two years.
Although traditional data storage costs have come down in recent years, the rise in data and the need for real-time access to that data are forcing companies to re-evaluate their data storage strategies.
We help companies get more value from their data by combining industry best practices with the industry’s leading data storage technologies.
We help companies get more value from their data by combining industry best practices with the industry’s leading data storage technologies. We work with companies to create data storage solutions that leverage your existing infrastructure investments while providing the accessibility and capabilities you need to effectively move forward.
Data Storage Solutions:
Data backup and data snapshot solutions
Data backup and data snapshot solutions that deliver the right combination of recovery, security and speed
Hosted and Cloud-based storage
Hosted and Cloud-based storage services for accessible, reliable data storage solutions that scale quickly and cost-effectively
Email archiving solutions that use industry-leading technology (e.g., Barracuda, Symantec, etc.) to deliver intelligent search capabilities for simpler information management and government compliance
Automated backup solutions
Automated backup solutions that offer flexible recovery points for faster business recovery
Solid-state storage solutions
Solid-state storage solutions that combine reliability with speed
Traditional and direct-attached storage solutions
Traditional and direct-attached storage solutions including tape drives, RAID storage systems and more
Network-attached storage solutions
Network-attached storage solutions that provide optimal capacity, security and recovery for multi-site companies
Virtualized storage solutions
Virtualized storage solutions from EMC, NetApp and other solution partners that enable companies to quickly and cost-effectively scale out their storage
Direct and Network Attached Storage Architectures
Direct Attached Storage (DAS)
Direct Attached Storage (DAS) provides customization, flexibility and scalability within one dedicated, single-tenant array. It's a simple and powerful storage solution, ideal for applications that require an efficient, fully redundant array to maintain availability.
Storage Area Networks (SAN)
Storage Area Networks (SANs) enable low-latency, high-bandwidth connections to your data. If you're looking for a long-term, customized storage solution that you won't easily outgrow, SAN is a good option. Begin with as little as 250GB and add capacity as you need it.
Network Attached Sorage (NAS)
Network Attached Storage (NAS) can serve data quickly and reliably across a growing range of workloads. It’s a smart storage investment if you need a long-term, customized solution that you won't easily outgrow. You can choose from a variety of platforms based upon your requirements for performance, advanced protocols, built-in features and capacity.
Fibre Channel vs. iSCSI
The two dominant communication technologies-protocols for storage networks - Fibre Channel and Internet Small Computer Systems Interface (iSCSI) - have both been widely used in SANs and competed with each other for many years.
Fibre Channel (FC) became the leading choice for SAN networking during the mid-1990s. Traditional Fibre Channel networks contain special-purpose hardware called Fibre Channel switches that connect the storage to the SAN plus Fibre Channel HBAs (host bus adapters) that connect these switches to server computers. FC connections provide data rates between 1 Gbps and 16 Gbps.
iSCSI was created as a lower cost, lower performance alternative to Fibre Channel and started growing in popularity during the mid-2000s. iSCSI works with Ethernet switches and physical connections instead of specialized hardware built specifically for storage workloads. It provides data rates of 10 Gbps and higher.
iSCSI appeals especially to smaller businesses who usually do not have staff trained in the administration of Fibre Channel technology. On the other hand, organizations already experienced in Fibre Channel from history may not feel compelled to introduce iSCSI into their environment.
An alternative form of FC called Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) was developed to lower the cost of FC solutions by eliminating the need to purchase HBA hardware. Not all Ethernet switches support FCoE, however.
Cloud Storage Solutions
These days, small businesses increasingly need access to their data on the go, with no overhead for storage maintenance and no hardware maintenance costs. Cloud storage provides an efficient solution and is rapidly gaining in popularity.
Data Storage Oprions. Before cloud-computing, individuals stored their personal data on hard drives and memory cards. But computers and mobile phones can be easily damaged or lost, and may require physical proximity to the device in order to access the stored data. Businesses have stored their data on large-sized servers hosted in dedicated data centers. Data can only be accessed by a user who logs in to the corporate network, and it may not be accessible via the Internet or when the user is on the move.
What is cloud storage? A cloud service provider or a cloud hosting company provides a fixed-size server space to clients, who use it to store data. While the client owns the stored data, the hosting company owns and maintains the required hardware. The cloud host offers non-stop accessibility to client data, while providing secure access as designated by the clients. The data, in turn, may be stored across one or many servers, configured by the cloud hosting company in their data centers.
There are almost as many cloud storage services as clouds in the sky, but we try to list some of them, focusing on business-centric offerings (in many cases, providers offer consumer-oriented versions at a lower cost—and with less storage and/or fewer features).
Dropbox for Business
Lots of people use Dropbox's free and extremely easy-to-use basic service to sync and share personal files between the cloud and PCs and/or mobile devices. Dropbox for Business bulks up to support multiple users, provides 1 TB of storage per user, centralized administration/activity monitoring, additional security settings, and the capability to track and recover previous versions of files.
Cloud storage isn't just for storing files; it's also a great platform for real-time collaboration. Google Drive offers 15 GB of free cloud storage as well as access to Google's Web-based productivity suite. Users can save, edit and invite others to work on Docs, Sheets and Slides (Google's versions of Microsoft Office's Word, Excel and PowerPoint, respectively) right on Google Drive itself. Additional storage can be purchased for a monthly subscription, starting at $1.99 a month for 100 GB.
Box is an online file-sharing and content management service designed for enterprises. The service allows for work documents to be accessed and viewed from various mobile platforms. Box offers a range of business-centric features, such as the capability to exchange documents online, track changes with version history, and tracking of file activities. Small business can get 100GB for 4€ per user per month; Box Business, which offers unlimited storage and additional features, is 15€ per user per month. Box Enterprise with Active Directory and dedicated support is also available for larger businesses.
Unlike most of the services on the list, Amazon Glacier is a niche storage service designed to offer durable and low-cost storage solely to meet data archival and backup needs. Modeled after Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3) offering, Amazon Glacier differs in that it's optimized for data that is infrequently accessed, making Glacier suitable only for data where retrieval time of a few hours is acceptable. The cost of storing data at Amazon Glacier is $0.01 for 1GB per month, which works out to about $10 per month for 1TB. Do note that this excludes data transfer charges incurred when uploading and retrieving data.
Microsoft OneDrive offers a generous helping of free storage, and good integration with Windows operating systems. If you're using Windows 8 or Windows Phone for example, Onedrive will sync system/device settings and apps as well as files and folders. But it's not just for Windows—you can get OneDrive for Mac, iOS, and Android, too. Multiple people can collaborate and edit documents simultaneously in real-time and from any device—PCs, Macs, tablets, and smartphones. Upload photos or videos from your phone or tablet.
With SugarSync for Business you can sync and share files and folders from any PC, Mac, iOS, or Android device (or even something called a BlackBerry). SugarSync for Business also includes an Outlook plugin that lets you email links to large files rather than attaching the files themselves, which is a handy way to get around the size limitations for email attachments
SpiderOak is an online backup provider designed with a strong focus on privacy and security. The company offers a 100 percent private cloud storage, online backup, sync and sharing service that utilizes a "zero-knowledge" privacy environment. "Zero-knowledge" means no one but the user can see the stored data — not even the SpiderOak staff or the government. SpiderOak supports desktop environments such as Windows, Mac and Linux, as well as mobile platforms such as Android and iOS.
Online Backup for Small Business - MozyPro: MozyPro can automatically back up your critical files that reside on desktops, laptops, or servers. The company's software is compatible with both Windows and Mac (including Mac-based servers), and it can also back up data from ubiquitous Windows server applications Exchange and SQL. Mozy charges a flat rate according to the amount of storage you consume rather than the number of computers you need to protect (though there is a surcharge if you need to back up servers).
CrashPlan combines online storage with complete backup services. The service backs up changed information as often as every minute and continues to watch for changes to data in real time. After the first backup completes, CrashPlan checks for data that is already backed up and ignores it, making subsequent backups much smaller because they contain only new or changed information. It also offers on-the-go secure file access from any mobile device, including iOS, Android and Windows Phone. Downloaded files are instantly available on a user's mobile device, even when they're offline.
How To Pick The Right Cloud Storage Provider
Enterprise cloud storage offers a number of benefits -- scalability, reduced infrastructure and predictable costs, to name a few. But moving data to a public cloud introduces a host of new concerns that organizations must address when evaluating providers.
To further complicate matters, no two enterprise cloud storage providers are alike. Service-level agreements, pricing models and regulatory compliance know-how differ greatly from one service provider to another. Below you can find the top factors to consider when choosing a cloud storage provider. If you take the time to weigh these factors, you can proceed with confidence.
If the cloud provider is not in a profitable financial position or is still trying to establish a successful business model and/or customer base, there is a high degree of risk this will be a losing venture and the company will fold.
Although innovative technology and hardware can help streamline an industry or establish new industries, in the case of cloud backup, the infrastructure being implemented by the cloud provider must be a proven one for an enterprise customer to entrust the cloud provider with critical corporate data.
Established customer base
When looking for a provider, it helps to know which other businesses are using their services. A small customer base, although growing, would indicate more of a start-up. Loss in customer base would indicate something is wrong and making clients leave. Ensure that service providers that quote thousands or millions of customers are referencing business customers, not just customers. Use your internal or peer network to speak with customers of a given service provider.
Geographically distributed data centers
Geographically distributed data centers become important to ensure that there are failovers if constant uptime is mandated and there is an unforeseen problem with the primary data center where data is located. Location is important to diversify risk, especially in the case of natural disasters, but also to comply with regional jurisdictional requirements for data location. For example, some geographies have requirements that data not leave regional borders, which necessitates a service provider have physical facilities in that region.
Make sure the cloud provider has a security program in place and that it is well documented and meets all mandates. This will help establish the security credibility of the cloud provider.
Since security is the top concern for most cloud storage users, small businesses should look for a provider that offers personal key encryption. The ability for customers to set and manage their own encryption keys means the cloud provider cannot decrypt their files. They should also find a service provider that encrypts the data while it is both transferred to the cloud provider's system and while it is being stored in the system. The combined use of these two encryption types helps establish stronger data security that if only one was used.
Third-party validation and accreditation
Periodic, successful audits of a cloud provider's security procedures are essential to verify the cloud provider's processing and hosting of customer data is done safely and securely. SSAE 16 is a widely recognized auditing standard developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants that verifies whether a service organization has been through an in-depth audit of its control objectives and control activities to ensure safe and secure process and hosting of customer data. Additionally, ISO 27001 certification establishes a potential cloud provider as having met international standards for measuring information security management systems.
SLA terms and execution
Established service-level agreement (SLA) terms and execution are integral not only to establishing how a customer's data will be processed and hosted but also to setting a transparent level of service the customer can expect from the cloud provider. This helps set expectation levels and establish the anticipated level of service.