Data storage has been a very important consideration, especially for businesses. Without the right data storage solutions, you could struggle with keeping information intact and usable. Worst, you could be facing very costly outages and data loss. And with the advent of big data, data storage has become more important. And it is not just any storage. For data to be really usable, you should be able to access it when you need it and able to search for it easily.
What complicates the problem is that, unlike the type of information and data we used to get, most of the data we see now are not structured in any way. It could come from anywhere. It could be an e-mail, an e-mail attachment, a comment left on your Web site, or it could come from Facebook or Twitter. The thing with unstructured data is that it mixes both usable and relevant data with junk. You would need to be able to store all the data, with the most useful and most relevant readily accessible and the junk stored in the least expensive resources.
So how do you know if you have your storage down pat? You have to make sure the following:
- You should be able to save the data that you get.
- The data that you store should be available when you need it, where you need it.
- Data should be saved a couple of times so that you have redundant data. This is to make sure that you do not lose anything.
- You should be able to manage that data even when it is not structured.
Some of the concepts you should be familiar with includes:
- Data backup or making sure that you have copies of your data stored somewhere so that you would be safe if you encounter data loss or suffer from catastrophic event or disaster. You should also know the difference between and the advantages and disadvantages of different data storage techniques, such as NAS, disk-to-disk backups, tape backups and remote backups. You should also be able to assess your disaster recovery systems.
- Data storage hardware or those components that you need such as disk drives, clustering, arrays and even networks.
- Data storage management, which include tools and software that help you set up, configure, distribute and archive your storage. It should be able to give you reports about your stored data and monitor it.
- Storage area networks, or having a common place for all your stored data on an independent, always-available and fast network.
You should also be familiar with tiered storage, wherein you put usable and relevant data on high performing and always available storage networks, which may be very expensive and relegate old, unused data to more cost-efficient storage. And there are online storage solutions, which include SAS disks, RAID systems and the cloud. Virtualization would also be a good storage strategy as it helps you have effective storage while also keeping the costs down.
Four Cornerstone can help you with storage. From helping you obtain solutions offered by Oracle to actually setting up your Oracle storage systems, you can rely on us to be there. Just call us to find out what we could do for you.
Photo courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory.