Storing massive amounts of data requires massive amounts of storage space. Fortunately, several cost-effective data storage solutions have evolved in recent years. As with most choices, the perfect solution for you depends on numerous factors such as the amount of data you need to store, your performance requirements, and your budget.
Hard Disk Storage – By now, most everyone is familiar with hard disk storage. These so-called "spinning disks" continue to be popular. Not only are hard disks tried-and-true, their capacities have grown substantially. Whether you need a 500GB hard disk drive for a laptop computer or several terabytes of data storage for a medium-sized network, you can get massive amounts of hard disk storage capacity for extraordinarily low prices. Cheap and massive, hard disk storage is one of the most affordable data storage solutions available. However, this comes with a caveat: hard disk storage is a relatively low performance choice.
SSD Storage – SSD storage is much pricier than hard disk data storage solutions. SSD stands for solid state drive. You're likely familiar with SSD storage on some level. For example, your digital camera likely stores photos on an SSD storage card. These cards do not contain mini spinning disks. Rather, there are no moving parts involved. SSD storage is dramatically faster than hard disks, making SSD storage devices a good choice for high performance applications. However, the downside to SSD involves cost. While smaller SSD devices including USB drives and SSD cards are relatively affordable due to their relatively low storage capacities, their cost per gigabyte is dramatically higher than hard disk storage. Investing in SSD storage at larger capacities quickly becomes cost prohibitive.
Online Storage – Online storage is a viable data storage solution for some businesses. With online storage, your data is stored "in the cloud." Third party providers often offer cloud storage at affordable prices. In addition, many enterprises are creating their own private clouds and virtualizing storage. However, this doesn't negate the need for physical storage devices in the data center powering that private cloud.
Hybrid Storage – Finally, one of the best data storage solutions involves blending SSD storage with traditional spinning disks. With hybrid storage, you have both SSD storage and a traditional hard disk. SSD storage makes up a small percentage of the system and is used primarily for storing the most recently and commonly used data. Meanwhile, the bulk of your data is stored traditionally on spinning disks. As you work with your most commonly used data, it's served up quickly thanks to the performance of SSD storage. The data you don't generally need is readily available should you need it, but it's not taking up valuable real estate space on an expensive SSD drive. Hybrid storage gives you the best performance most of the time while also satisfying your need for massive amounts of storage space.
Whether you run a one-person office of an enterprise organization, data storage is crucial to your business. From traditional hard disks and SSD storage to online and hybrid options, numerous data storage solutions are available. Which one is best for your needs?
Stephanie is the author of this article on finding cost-effective data storage solutions to help a business cut costs and save money. A popular solution is using hybrid storage technology, which is offers reliability and speed. In her free time she enjoys volunteering at local schools and traveling the world with her family.