Technology is an integral part of the digitally transformed business environment. The more capable the employed technology, the better a business can perform and compete in the market. In order to create products, enhance collaboration between teams, and launch, businesses rely on a number of different technologies. This includes collaboration tools, data analytics, and storage technologies.
In this article, we’ll explore the top 3 storage infrastructure that can play a key role in improving collaboration, speed-to-market, and enhancing overall productivity; consequently boosting business.
#1 – Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI): How it benefits your business
Hyper-converged appliances combine different components (compute, storage, and networking) into a single system paired with virtualization technology. This saves money, simplifies management, and reduces overall storage infrastructure footprint.
Besides the cost saving, HCI appliances enable businesses to easily provision different types of virtual servers for a variety of projects and applications. This is quicker and a lot easier than setting up dedicated servers for different projects.
Additionally, HCI appliances make collaboration, data sharing, and resource sharing fairly easier. Using the Local Area Network (LAN) or Wide Area Network (WAN), teams can work on the same project, share different virtual servers, synchronize data, and get things done a lot quicker.
Safe to say HCI saves money, speeds up process, and helps collaboration so that your business takes steady steps towards progress and profitability.
#2 – Cloud-based servers: Get the capabilities without the hardware
Cloud-based servers aren’t a new thing anymore but they sure are pretty useful. Cloud storage or cloud-based servers provide your business all the storage and compute capabilities you need, without having to deal with the hardware part.
Popular cloud computing models include:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): This is basically storage and networking
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): This is more like an environment deployed on powerful servers and networking tools. It’s used to build applications and run databases, etc.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): This is a complete software solution. You don’t have to build anything. You get access to a finished product that’s ready to use and is deployed on a cloud server; so it consumes minimum compute and storage from your infrastructure.
Cloud Service Providers (CSPs) like Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google, IBM cloud, etc. deploy powerful servers on their data centers and offer access using WAN (IaaS) on affordable prices. Depending on your business need, the cloud can be a pretty useful tool as it makes sure that your services are always available and saves you from the hassle of dealing with hardware. And that’s not all!
Additionally, third party services providers offer micro and macro services building on the cloud-based servers that play a pivotal role in boosting your business. Examples of such services include:
- Cloud backup – create and storage backups of important business data in the cloud
- Cloud disaster recovery – leverage powerful offsite servers to ensure continuity by using cloud replication and spin up services.
- Cloud archiving – store the larger chunk of your older files in the cloud for years and comply with strict regulations like HIPAA, HITRUST, FedRAMP, CJIS, etc. Example use-cases include email archiving, PACS archiving, surveillance video storage archiving, etc.
#3 – Hybrid storage: The best of both worlds
Looking at the above two storage infrastructure, you might be thinking: “Both are pretty good and I can use them for my business. Isn’t there something that gives me both of these?” That’s where hybrid storage comes in.
Hybrid storage combines on-premises technology with the cloud. This is usually done via cloud connect or cloud storage gateways.
In simple terms, hybrid storage appliances are either hyper-converged infrastructure, converged storage, or NAS appliances with built-in cloud connect. The cloud works as an extension of the on-premises appliance.
With cloud connect, or cloud gateways, you can leverage integrated cloud repositories for redundant storage, or to store copies of your backups or snapshots, or configure them for cloud disaster recovery so that your business can function even in the event of a disaster.
Most businesses, with budget, choose hybrid storage solutions for its truly future-proof nature. Additionally, the integrated cloud helps with collaboration between main branch and remote branch offices. Comparatively, it’s a lot quicker and easier with integrated cloud repositories than using VPNs to access local infrastructure.
Where and when to use the above mentioned storage infrastructure
You might find yourself confused about which storage to pick for your business. Here are some examples to help you figure out which one would be best suited for your requirements:
When to use hyper-converged infrastructure
HCI is flexible, adaptable, and budget-friendly. If your business relies on a number of databases, applications, and processes information that you have to store locally; then HCI appliances are the best fit for you.
Additionally, with virtual servers you can always repurpose your storage resources. Nothing goes to waste and you’re always in control of your investment.
When to use cloud-based servers
If you have space limitations where you cannot adjust any hardware in your business place, then cloud servers are a good idea. But that’s not the only reason to use cloud storage.
Cloud facilitates collaboration, it’s very easy to scale, and if configured correctly, it can save money. Furthermore, if you’re a business whose core operations are not IT, then it’s a good idea to let the experts care for your infrastructure while you focus on your products and services.
When to use hybrid storage
Hybrid storage, as mentioned earlier, combine the capabilities of both HCI and cloud. This makes them a great choice for with the right budget.
Hybrid storage is a good choice if you’re running databases, applications, CRM, EHR and other similar software, and you need to archive data for several years to comply with different industry regulations.
Example use-cases for hybrid storage include: data analytics, genomics research, DNA research, aeronautics software & applications, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, Internet of Things (IoT), etc.
Technology is at the core of most, if not all, businesses today. The three technologies that can help you boost your business are:
- Hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) – combines compute, storage, networking, and virtualization in a single solution. Best fit for businesses looking to run applications and store data locally.
- Cloud-based servers – powerful, affordable, and scalable infrastructure accessible via WAN. Best fit for businesses low on space and budget; and whose core operations are not IT.
- Hybrid storage – combines on-premises storage with cloud technology. Best fit for a diverse range of businesses and use-cases.
Remember, what works for others may not work for you. When it comes to storage technology, one shoe does not fit all. Do your homework before deciding on which solution to purchase and setup.