Businesses are required to comply with more and more data laws and regulations set by the Government and Industry. There are more than 18 different data compliance acts affecting UK companies making compliance one of the biggest challenges facing IT departments.
Data storage is no longer just a matter of retention for internal use but now regulations stipulate that some data must be kept for certain time periods and in certain cases be available within just 24 hours. Therefore, storage solutions must address how data is kept, protected, shared and retrieved. In addition to adhering to data compliance regulations networked storage enables higher availability, better network performance and increased uptime.
It is necessary to perform a business analysis to highlight compliance commitments relating to each data type. This analysis can be used to assess the best technologies for your compliance requirements. In addition to a storage infrastructure solution it is also imperative to implement effective disaster recovery.
- Storage Area Network (SAN) – is a high-speed sub-network connecting storage devices and servers to provide consolidated storage and storage management. Data is not stored directly on to any of the network’s servers, maintaining server power for business applications and releasing network capacity to the end user. SAN is highly scalable and can offer high system availability, extensive fault tolerance and low cost of ownership.
- Network Attached Storage (NAS) – relocates storage from application servers onto its own independent platform. The server still handles the data processing but a NAS device will deliver the data to the user. By consolidating storage, resources are more scalable and manageable and hard disk storage space can be added to a network without shutting down existing severs for maintenance and upgrades.
- Direct Attached Storage (DAS) – as the name suggests, is a storage device that connects directly to a single server for storage and retrieval of data and database applications or email. Performance is not as high as NAS and it requires high capital expenditure.
- Economies of scale – Organisations can manage more data for less money by consolidating data across the network rather than using many distributed devices (as would be the case with DAS)
- Business continuity planning – A common data location allows copies to made quicker, with less disruption and more efficient migration than with disk-to-disk or disk-to-tape methods. Improving business continuity and a providing efficient disaster recovery.
- Improved management – Single point storage allows for easier data management and monitoring.
- Compliancy – Data is stored and made available in compliance with associated laws and legislative guidelines.