In the enterprise tech world, storage capacity is one of the most important components in any setup. Not only does storage capacity impact your ability to create documents and facilitate your business’s day-to-day operations, but storage can also impact:
- Server speed
- Workstation speed
- Transfer rates
- Data security
As well as a host of other vital enterprise considerations, The overall productivity of your operation will be determined by how effective your storage solutions are, so today, we will teach you everything you’d need to know about storage!
Hard Drive Disks
Hard drive disks are one of the most common types of storage you can get in computing, and they are the core storage solution for most workstations and servers out there due to their ability to store large quantities of data and serve it efficiently when needed.
Most personal computers will have either:
- One main hard drive partitioned into different segments
- Multiple hard drives for a range of storage applications
Servers will also use hard drive disks, but unless it is a fairly small server, they will most likely be part of a storage array (more on that later).
You can get all kinds of sizes with hard drives ranging from a few hundred megabytes (rather outdated tech now) to several terabytes. The most common hard drive disks usually have several gigabytes of storage capacity.
SATA Hard Drive Disks
When SATA describes a hard drive disk, it describes the connection the disk will use to receive and send data. SATA disks tend to have slower write and read speeds than their SAS counterparts but, in turn, can store much more data.
This makes them a good choice for mass storage.
SAS Hard Drive Disks
SAS-based hard drive disks differ in their connection type from SATA hard drive disks. SAS disks will, as discussed above, have a faster transfer rate but won’t provide as much storage.
This makes them ideal for workstations as workstations generally require faster read and write times to run applications.
Solid-state drives are another storage solution that prioritizes speed and efficiency over huge storage capacities. Compared to any hard drive disk (even SAS hard drive disks), solid-state drives are faster, writing and reading by a significant margin.
For servers or workstations that require the fastest drives possible, solid-state drives are the way to go. However, they cannot store as much as a hard drive disk, which is a considerable downside to solid-state drives.
A common application for a solid-state drive is to dedicate one of these drives to running the operating system of a server or workstation. This will improve the overall speed of every process the computer system will conduct.
External Hard Drive Disks
External hard drive disks are exactly what they sound like; hard drive disks that don’t get fitted into the case of the workstation or server. These disks are usually connected to a machine via a USB port.
This makes them ideal for transferring large quantities of data over long distances or offline storing sensitive data. However, data transfer rates using a USB port are dramatically slower than with a normal hard drive or solid-state drive.
Their main function in enterprise businesses is primarily to store important information externally. If the external hard drive isn’t connected to the internal network, it cannot be accessed, making data stored on external hard drive disks very secure.
For larger-scale enterprises, fitting hard drives or solid-state drives into machines may not be enough to render services or store the massive amounts of data you’ll need. This is when upgrading to a storage array is advisable.
A storage array is usually a series of hard drive disks linked to provide one huge hub of storage that can be used by an internal network (or server to customers).
For example, if you are a hosting company renting server space, you’ll most likely need a storage array to allow multiple customers the space they need to run their websites or manage their files.
They can be expensive to create but are worth the investment for the benefits they can bring to an operation.
Cloud storage is the term used to describe renting storage space from a web hosting service provider. When you buy cloud storage, you buy storage on their servers to store your files.
It is a great way to store backups or old files you no longer need but might need to keep for audits or records.
As a third party will manage most cloud storage, it is strongly recommended that it only be used in conjunction with your internal storage (and that you don’t use it for sensitive data).
Storage is critical to every operation and should never be taken lightly. Investing in good storage solutions is investing in your internal network’s current and future stability (and, by extension, your ability to conduct business).
Work on creating a solid foundation for your business and purchase reliable storage solutions.