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Creating a Small Business Storage Strategy

Posted: 09/13/2013

Creating a Small Business Storage Strategy

As businesses  generate an increasing amount of routine data,  it’s important to devise a storage strategy—policies and procedures for storing, accessing, and backing up business information. The need becomes even more critical when team members routinely work outside the office, complicating your ability to know where or how data was created.

More Than Technology

While the technology options for managing the storage needs of small businesses continue to grow, choosing the right one depends on more than just selecting the hottest or flashiest storage technologies.

Instead, to help design the best small business strategy,  think about the types of data your business generates on a routine basis, how important that data is to the success of your business, and the applications used to produce that data.

For instance, your customer and financial data are among your most important assets, so it makes sense that you'd spend the most time worrying about storing and backing up that information.

Choosing Storage Devices

Fortunately, a variety of storage tools can help you safeguard important data. Most storage pros consider the different needs of a small business when designing a storage strategy, and then align the ways data needs to be accessed with the most efficient tools for doing so.

For instance, the most recent or important data will likely be stored directly on the network or in shared online repositories. Older or less critical data can be shifted over time to external devices for archiving. It'll be available if you need it, but you can free immediate-access capacity for more important data.

Popular storage devices among small businesses include:

  • Direct attached storage. This generally involves a large-capacity external hard drive (generally 1TB to 3TB) that, as the name implies, connects directly to a PC. File backups can be performed manually or according to a schedule. This can be an inexpensive strategy, but is best suited for only a couple of computing devices.
  • Networked attached storage. This form of storage involves an external device that's connected to a business server. It allows team members to access the data on the storage device through the server.
  • Cloud storage. This option is gaining traction in the small business market. A cloud service offers the convenience of automatic backups as well as the ability of team members to share files easily. Data from the computing devices in your small business can be backed up and shared whenever a device connects to the Internet, making the process seamless.

Many businesses consider the ability to store more data online as one of the advantages of using online applications that are delivered over the Web. In most instances, this shifts most of the storage burden to the cloud services provider.

Business owners evaluating their storage needs are also considering hybrid devices that include backup and recovery features, as well as data deduplication software that removes extra copies of files, such as email attachments shared among several users.

By considering the types of information your business generates and how you use it on a routine basis, you can develop a strategy for managing and protecting your  valuable data.

Help protect your critical business data with AT&T Tech Support 360SM Backup and Go and AT&T cloud services.