Understand the Importance of a Storage Area Network

by | Mar 11, 2015 | Business Continuity, Cloud & Hosting

Storage Area Network Has Many Data Protection Advantages

“Storage media fails regardless of type; it is just a matter of when. This fact, coupled with the fact that HDDs are still the most prevalent drive is why HDD crashes have and continue to be the most common cause of data loss.” 

                        -Jeff Pederson, Kroll Ontrack 

Consider this for a moment, 100 percent of hard drives fail, if you use it long enough, it will fail. Generally, users replace hard drives before this can happen, but the day you power them up for the first time, you started the clock. Combine this failure rate with the stark reality that a major data loss is likely to shut down even robust businesses, and you get the picture—properly executed backup is job number one.

A hybrid backup system is an example of strong data safety, providing a copy of critical data in the cloud in case of a catastrophic event, like fire, flood, or the occasional blizzard, in addition to keeping data backed up locally. For local backup needs, consider a Storage Area Network (SAN) for these reasons:

Speed; Numerous common business applications—e-commerce for example—make large numbers of small data requests that servers must process simultaneously, a Storage Area Network can handle these high-traffic databases as a result of superior input and output performance.

Access: Traditional server centric storage systems put each server on its own storage, and then one connects a group of servers to a Network Attached Storage device for backup. The limitations here are obvious, if a server fails, one can no longer access its data, and in addition, this system is relatively slow. With a Storage Area Network, one connects every server to the same high-speed storage network, meaning all the data is available to every server regardless if one server is offline. Now you have data backup from redundancy within the SAN with near zero impact on input and output speed.

Virtualization allows Storage Area Networks truly strut their stuff, with virtualization, countless multiples of desktops and servers can run virtually within a group of physical servers provided they have the speed and access advantages of a Storage Area Network; additionally, the redundant aspect of the SAN provides the ability to “mirror” all of the virtual machines. This means a constant and complete copy of all your data exists within the SAN. This is how enterprises do it, but small businesses are now taking advantage of these same technologies.

Data backup, local and off-site, is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. Invenio IT are experts in data protection and can custom tailor a backup system to suit your businesses’ needs. Please contact us for additional information, and follow us @invenioIT for news and updates.

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Dale Shulmistra is a Business Continuity Specialist at Invenio IT, responsible for shaping the company’s technology initiatives -- selecting, designing, implementing & supporting business continuity solutions to bolster client operational efficiencies and eliminate downtime.