How To Choose Your Next Enterprise Storage
Choosing your next enterprise storage is no easy task. Data has never been more important to business, and its exponential growth (expected to continue to 2020 and beyond) makes it difficult to project future requirements. Additionally, the growing number of service providers and storage technologies further complicates the decision-making process.
It’s a complex task. You must choose a solution that gives your business a competitive edge, whether that’s in supporting the analysis of data and the creation of real-time insights, providing your customers with great service, or simply storing and managing data quicker and better. But you also need to meet your compliance requirements, defend against increasingly sophisticated and varied cyberthreats, and meet budget requirements.
With so many things to consider, where do you start?
Start at the Beginning – Defining Your “What”
Many businesses start their search already certain they need a specific strategy or solution for storage, whether that’s to go to the cloud, stick with in-house servers, or to go with a specific provider.
This is rarely the best approach.
Starting with a pre-conceived bias restricts your choice and fails to take into account the wider market, especially niche providers who may suit your business perfectly, but not have the marketing clout that the bigger players have.
Instead, gather a comprehensive list of your business and technical requirements. Start with your decision to choose a new enterprise storage solution: what has prompted you to seek a new solution? How is your current solution holding your business back – and what would the ideal solution achieve? What problems are you looking to solve?
Try to define your desired solution in as much detail as possible. Technical details you should consider include:
- The volume of storage you require in TBs
- The level of performance you need in IOPS (Input/Output Operations Per Second) and MB/s
- The requirements of the applications you’ll be running on your new platform
- How you project these technical requirements to change over time
- Your requirements for compliance (what certifications do you require?)
Additionally, consider your budget, potential timescales, and any other business considerations that may affect your decision.
Assessing Potential Partners
Unless your business holds specific expertise in enterprise storage or is willing to hire it, your best option is to find a service partner who can meet your brief. With your “what” already defined, it becomes easier to focus on how each potential partner can help you meet your business and technical objectives, and gives you a clear benchmark for selecting the winner.
In addition to your requirements, you may also want to consider the following questions:
- Are there any partnerships involved? Where are there service dependencies, and how might they affect your business?
- How much customization will be required to enable your current technology to run on the new platform? Who will be responsible for this?
- What services are delivered by the provider, and which need to be covered by your team – will you need to make additional hires?
- How scalable is their proposed solution? Can it meet your project requirements over the next few years?
- How do they handle downtime (if a cloud solution)?
- What level of technical support do they provide?
- Who is responsible for migration, how will it work, and how long will it take?
Ultimately, this decision is about finding a partner who you trust to give you advice that is in your business’s best interests. It can’t (and shouldn’t) be rushed.
We help CIOs, CTOs, IT teams, and creative professionals to solve their enterprise storage problems and maximize the productivity and efficiency of their business. Our expertise includes a wide range of solutions for businesses of all sizes and requirements.