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How SMEs can protect and effectively store data to ensure business growth

How SMEs can protect and effectively store data to ensure business growth

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The amount of data being processed by businesses continues to increase and the question often arises about the most effective way of managing this data. SMEs need to consider how to store and effectively protect their data in order to compete with larger companies and continue to grow. We hear from two experts from Nakivo and Scality, who explain how SMEs can prepare an IT storage strategy that enables them to scale.

A robust data storage strategy can have a tremendous impact on a business’s efficiency and capacity to grow. Sergei Serdyuk, VP of Product Management, NAKIVO, explains how SMEs can develop a robust backup data storage strategy.

There’s no question that data has become an essential commodity in today’s world. Any SME generates and processes a great deal of data every day. Therefore, storing and effectively protecting this valuable asset is essential to compete with larger businesses and continue to grow. Here are some of our insights at NAKIVO gained from helping SMEs protect their data on-premises, on tape, in the cloud and on NAS devices.

Here are some steps, in order to develop a robust backup data storage strategy:
· Determine how critical each category of data is to your day-to-day business operations and your Business Continuity and its business value in general. This way, SMEs can better align data storage resources with business priorities.
· Specify the data that needs to be backed up. Where should critical data be stored? Who is authorised to modify or migrate data? Who has access to the backup data?
· Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, or the 3-2-1 backup rule. Diversify backup data storage locations to optimise performance and ensure data recovery in case of a disaster.
· As businesses scale up, it’s essential to have a backup data storage system that can adapt to meet the business’s needs without exhausting the IT budget.

Since the value of a business’s data directly affects its bottom line and overall growth potential, there’s been a great shift to more agile, scalable and flexible storage options for backup in recent years. Take cloud data storage, for example. The use of cloud storage for backup data has surged, as businesses, especially SMEs, seek to store their critical data without any upfront hardware or storage provisioning costs. Cloud data storage provides 24/7 access to data from anywhere globally as long as there is an Internet connection. SMEs can scale up or down their data storage capacity to meet business demands and avoid unnecessary costs.

If a failure or other hardware malfunction hits the primary site, the company can recover backup data from the cloud instantly and resume operation in no time.

Moreover, cloud storage requires no specialised hardware, infrastructure and software as all of these are handled by the cloud provider, allowing SMEs to reduce capital expenditure. Using the cloud for data storage also has some drawbacks, such as higher Internet utilisation along with slow backup and recovery processes depending on Internet connection. However, these disadvantages are offset by all the advantages delivered by the cloud for small businesses looking to save resources and stay competitive.

Maziar Tamadon, Product & Solution Marketing, Scality, offers his insight into how SMEs can find an IT storage strategy that ensures the companies can grow.

It goes without saying that enterprises are generating data at an exponential rate. In this climate, SMEs need to find an IT storage strategy that enables them to quickly and easily scale their storage infrastructure in a cost-effective way as their company grows and keep their data secure and available to fuel this business growth. The unrelenting Digital Transformation compounds this challenge by boosting the business value of that massive data stash.

A software-defined approach is critical in enabling SMEs to scale their storage capacity and performance on demand. Traditional approaches are extremely siloed, require manual provisioning and sizing for performance and capacity and result in overspending and the inability to take advantage of new hardware technologies.

Instead, in a software-defined approach, storage resources are decoupled from physical hardware, aggregated into a giant pool and distributed dynamically to applications and users as needed. This means organisations can select any commodity hardware they prefer, drop them in to expand their storage capacity when necessary and use them until their true end of life, or replace them with the latest hardware to leverage the latest innovations. In this way, additional servers can be added or removed seamlessly, while the software layer automatically rebalances data and scales performance to match. As a result, the storage infrastructure can seamlessly scale for capacity or performance on demand, at the right time and with no fork-lift upgrades or data migrations to worry about. The added benefit is that hardware utilisation is optimised, dramatically reducing costs.

Another huge benefit a software-defined approach enables is programmatic automation, at all levels: deployment, management, maintenance and expansion. That paved the way for the rise of Kubernetes-based orchestration for containerised applications, bringing about the cloud-native trend that has been gaining so much momentum. Software-defined methodology is clearly one of the building block technologies at the core of the transformative way of thinking behind cloud-native concept, shifting the focus away from physical infrastructure and toward application-focused elements further up the stack and the data they rely on.

What’s more, with data being generated and consumed across various locations, at the edge, on-premises and in the cloud, it’s important to find a federated and unified data management solution that works seamlessly anywhere, accelerating access to data for sound business decisions and maximum return on investment and thereby ensuring agility

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