Considerations for Data Storage Management
The information contained in this article is not intended as legal advice and may no longer be accurate due to changes in the law. Consult NHMA's legal services or your municipal attorney.
Did you know that more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire history of the human race? According to the Gartner Group, one of IT’s biggest challenges today is massive data growth. Additionally, RMON Networks conducted a poll in 2016 and we learned that New Hampshire municipalities are also significantly challenged by data storage growth. Information like emails, office documents, spreadsheets, presentations, database files, images/graphics, and audio/video files make your office function as it should. These applications that run and protect your city or town require a lot of disk space as well.
What’s Causing this Data Growth?
Body Cameras for police officers
Archiving e-mail messages
Spyware requires more backups, which requires even more storage.
New versions of software applications or operating systems can demand more space. Sharing large media files, such as videos
Storing all this information and managing storage is critical to an organization’s behind-the-scenes success. Fortunately, there are many solutions available to help!
Proper planning is the starting point. Once you know how much data you’re dealing with you’ll have a better idea about your storage needs.
On Premise. If you are going with an on-premise solution, you will need to carefully plan for your hardware purchase. If you purchase too much hardware, you will have wasted your money. However, if you do not purchase hardware with enough power or space, then you will be left with sluggish systems, and ultimately need to spend more to buy more hardware.
5 basic questions to ask when exploring storage solutions.
How fast do you need to access your data?
How soon do you need to be back up running if data is lost?
How long must you retain your data?
What are the regulatory requirements you need to comply with?
What level of security are you looking for?
The Cloud. Don’t want to keep investing in hardware? Then the Cloud is a great option for your storage needs. With the Cloud you are able to pay and scale as your data grows. Findings from the latest 2016 State Chief Information Officers (CIO) survey clearly show the Cloud is the solution of the future. In fact, 76% of State CIOs have or are planning on moving their digital archives to the Cloud, and another 88% have or are planning to utilize the Cloud for data storage.
Think the Cloud model sounds great? We do, too! Just remember, not all “Clouds” are created equal. Some are designed to handle data archiving, while others have increased performance and stability. Refer to the same 5 basic questions above, and measure your Cloud vendors against those as well.
So our advice? Planning! Planning will be the key to your success! Put in the effort ahead of time to ensure success in the future, and don’t be afraid to reach out to an expert if you need assistance.
Tim Howard is President and CEO of RMON Networks (www.rmonnetworks.com), an IT Support Company specializing in services for municipalities since 2002. He can be reached at 603-869-7323, or firstname.lastname@example.org.