Companies’ requirements for data storage are constantly growing, email sizes are increasing with bigger attachments, more and more applications require additional storage to operate and compliance regulations mean that data has to be kept longer.

Soon, “Islands” of storage start to appear with data spread across multiple servers from different vendors in multiple locations.  This can be challenging to manage, expensive to run and difficult to secure.

A Storage Area Network (SAN) can help you improve manageability, flexibility, availability and security of your valuable data. SAN’s have reduced significantly in cost over the last 5-10 years making the benefits available to small businesses. Consolidating your storage into one location gives many benefits:

Reduce overall capacity requirements by eliminating space allocated to servers but not used. It’s simple to expand a SAN volume in step with expanding server requirements so it’s no longer necessary to over-allocate storage “just in case”. Spare capacity is retained in the SAN and allocated out on an as needed basis.

Ensuring optimal performance at the lowest possible cost. Data can be moved automatically between different classes of disks as the frequency of data access changes. For example, old data can be migrated to high capacity low cost NL-SAS drives whilst current frequently accessed data can be promoted to lightning fast SSD. This process can be fully automatic without any intervention from the server. It works for any kind of data. High performance applications such as SQL may be pre-positioned to SSD if desired.

Increase stability, scalability and performance. Correctly designed SANs provide both increased performance and far greater scalability than isolated server based storage. Additional disks may be added on demand as your business grows.

Protect your valuable data. Data is the lifeblood of most organisations and 70% of organisations are out of business within 12 months of suffering a significant data loss*. The SAN solutions we supply are highly robust and N+1 fault tolerant. Your data is protected by employing enterprise level architectures with a proven track record and comprehensive software features such as snapshots, clones and replication. Efficient replication strategies enable your data so be copied to a second location of your own (or even to Stack’s DR storage service), enabling fast recovery in the event your primary location is unavailable. Centralising all your data on a SAN makes this strategy appealing and easy to implement.

Centrally encrypt data. With ever increasing regulation and threats from data theft a SAN may be used to encrypt your data in one simple easy to manage operation. Encrypting data at rest is vital for PCI compliance.

As mentioned previously a SAN becomes a key component in your computing environment. It is vital it is correctly designed and offers sufficient performance and scalability. Stack can design a competitive solution that will fulfil all your technical and commercial requirements using our advanced modelling and analysis tools.  We can consolidate your iSCSI/FC/FCoE Storage Area Networks (SAN) and Network Attached Storage (NAS) into resilient and secure storage systems.

*Source – Strategic Research Institute