Unless you’re involved in IT service demand or capacity management, data center storage probably isn’t something you think about in your day to day. While these ITIL disciplines are the most directly involved with data storage, it actually touches on far more areas of your IT department and overall business.
You need to plan for and execute on your data storage needs, and the best time to start is right now. We’ve broken down the main areas you’ll need to consider.
No-one enjoys auditing, but sometimes it’s necessary. If you don’t know how much data you’re storing right now, it’s time to get a baseline. Audit your current capacity and match that against the demands of your existing infrastructure, applications, IT assets, and other elements.
Get together with your operations area and understand how data usage increases over time. Look at projected growth models and create various scenarios for how much data storage you will need and when.
Every business launches new services and tries to build its customer base. Look through strategic initiatives, marketing plans, promotions, new product launches, and other projects to understand how they will increase demand. Build this into your forecast for how much data you’re going to need.
You need to find a balance between having enough storage to meet future demands, and not paying for unused storage. For some businesses this means an active data center management policy with rapid access to new servers and hardware. Other businesses will choose a cloud-based approach where you can spin up new data storage instances as you need them.
With the increase in data breaches, the need for strong IT security has never been greater. Involve your IT security team in analyzing data center storage needs and take into account their recommendations for storing data. Remember that you will need to protect data in all forms and environments — development, test, staging, production, and archive.
Disaster recovery and business continuity demands that you have excellent retention policies and backup processes. Implement the data backups you believe your business needs, whether that’s online, offline, or near-line, and configured for continuous, incremental, or snapshot retention.
Accessibility and performance is just as important as capacity and demand. Make sure your data storage solution has the right responsiveness and uptime to meet customer and employee demands in all use cases. In addition to upgrading your data stores, you may also want to optimize your networks, applications, and other areas to streamline operational and technical processes.
The right managed service provider can make data storage much easier to implement, upgrade, and manage. Whether you need a local datacenter, a public or private cloud, or a hybrid setup, choose a provider who understands your exact business needs and can tailor their approach accordingly.
Get these steps right, and you’ll never have to worry about running out of space again. Still have questions? Contact us to find the best data storage solution for your business.