How to Identify Your Data Center Storage Needs

by | Aug 29, 2018 | Data Management

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.

  • Every app relies on a database or other storage to create, manage, or retrieve information.
  • As you acquire new customers or launch new products, data storage needs increase, sometimes exponentially.
  • Future business growth plans rely on having enough storage space to meet strategic goals.
  • Lack of capacity leads to poorly-performing or unavailable systems.
  • Broken systems directly impacts customer experience and employee productivity.

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.

Look at Current Storage Needs and Organic Business Growth

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.

Project Organic Business Growth and Build that Into Capacity Forecasts

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.

Add in Strategic Growth Plans and New Products and Initiatives

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.

Think About How You Will Flex Your Storage Needs

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.

Build Robust Information Security into Your Data Center Storage

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.

Introduce Strong Backup and Retention Plans

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.

Look at the Speed and Capacity of Various Options

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.

Work with a Provider You Trust

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.