Sometimes when you are in a position to explore managed storage, you may not have the direct experience to make the best decision for your business. Managed storage has it’s pros and cons and in the world of AI and machine learning, it’s becoming an even more complex and larger topic of discussion. Regardless if your company does machine learning or not, managed storage still might make sense.
As always, if you have any specific questions about managed storage and need more personalized help, don’t hesitate to contact us and a member of our enterprise team can identify what might be the best solution for you.
If you’re here to learn all the in’s and out’s of managed storage, then keep reading!
- What Is Managed Storage?
- Key Features of Managed Storage
- Types of Managed Storage Solutions
- Advantages of Managed Storage
- Future Trends in Managed Storage
What Is Managed Storage?
Managed storage is a solution where a third-party service provider manages and maintains data storage infrastructure. Organizations in this model offload the responsibility of managing storage hardware, software, and associated tasks to experts while they focus on their core business operations.
With managed storage, businesses can leverage the expertise of external service providers who ensure data storage infrastructure’s availability and data security. These professionals handle storage capacity planning, disaster recovery solutions, high-performance file storage, and data center monitoring.
Organizations benefit from state-of-the-art data centers and storage solutions by opting for managed storage. These providers typically offer scalable solutions that adapt to changing business needs, ensuring that storage resources can grow or shrink as required.
Overall, managed storage provides businesses with a reliable and efficient way to store and manage their data, so strategic initiatives remain in view while the complexities of storage management are left to the experts.
Key Features of Managed Storage
One of the key features of managed storage services is scalability. Scalable managed storage solutions allow easy adjustment of storage resources based on your business’ changing needs. Scalability ensures your organization can efficiently manage its data growth without experiencing any limitations.
The scalability of managed storage solutions is crucial for businesses that experience fluctuating data storage demands. Scalability allows them to adapt to changing circumstances without significant investments in additional staff for infrastructure management.
Managed storage services also offer the flexibility to scale your capacity up or down as required without managing a hardware inventory. This means that as your data storage needs increase, your managed storage provider can easily add more storage resources to accommodate the growing data volume from various storage solutions in their data centers.
Similarly, if your storage requirements decrease, they can reduce the allocated storage services accordingly. This flexibility not only saves costs but also ensures optimal resource utilization.
Data Protection and Backup Solutions
Another crucial feature of managed storage services is the provision of robust data protection and backup solutions. The managed storage provider ensures secure storage against risks such as hardware failures or natural (and human) disasters.
One data security method is implementing comprehensive backup strategies to create regular copies of your data on and off-site. Redundancy ensures efficient restoration in the event of data loss or corruption.
Additional data security is achieved by measures such as encryption, access controls, and security protocols to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of your data. Providers offer regular monitoring and proactive maintenance to mitigate potential vulnerabilities and quickly address security incidents.
Performance Optimization and Monitoring
Performance optimization and monitoring are essential managed storage services that provide optimal efficiency and storage solutions that meet the demands of today’s workloads. To achieve performance optimization, managed storage providers employ various techniques.
First, they closely monitor the storage solutions, continuously analyzing performance metrics and identifying bottlenecks or areas of improvement. They proactively address these issues for smooth, uninterrupted file storage.
Managed storage providers also fine-tune storage systems to maximize performance. This includes optimizing file storage, implementing caching mechanisms, and utilizing advanced data storage technologies like solid-state drives (SSDs) or Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) drives for faster data access.
Types of Managed Storage Solutions
Network-Attached Storage (NAS)
Network-attached storage (NAS) is a managed storage solution offering a dedicated network file-sharing functionality designed to be easily accessible over a local area network (LAN) or wide area network (WAN). They typically have an operating system and file management software, making them independent storage devices.
NAS solutions are ideal if you require centralized, shared storage for multiple users or devices. You get a simple, cost-effective way to store and access data files and folders across your network regardless of their physical location.
NAS devices are expandable by adding additional hard drives or connecting multiple NAS configurations, creating a storage cluster. These clusters help you increase your storage capacity as your data storage needs grow.
Storage Area Network (SAN)
A storage area network (SAN) is a managed storage solution providing high-performance, block-level storage. SANs are designed to provide centralized storage resources accessible by multiple servers or systems simultaneously.
SANs use dedicated network connections, typically Fibre Channel or Ethernet, to connect storage devices to servers. The SAN’s network architecture is suitable for demanding applications and workloads, allowing efficient data transfer with low latency and high bandwidth.
The biggest draw of SANs is storage consolidation. Centralized storage resources eliminate the need for direct-attached storage (DAS) on individual servers. Simplified storage management means better resource utilization.
SANs are also expandable by adding more disk arrays or upgrading existing components. If reducing waste and optimizing your storage use is of concern, SANs support features like thin provisioning, allowing efficient storage resource allocation based on actual usage.
Cloud-Based Storage Solutions
Cloud-based managed storage leverages cloud computing to provide scalable and flexible storage services. Cloud storage lets you store and access data over the Internet, eliminating on-premise hardware and infrastructure management.
Managed cloud storage solutions offer virtually limitless storage capacity because cloud providers maintain vast data centers with extensive storage infrastructure. Your business can seamlessly scale up its storage resources and save on physical hardware investment and management.
Cloud-based storage solutions typically replicate data across multiple servers and sometimes data centers. This redundancy means that if one server or data center goes down, your data remains accessible from other locations, minimizing downtime and data loss.
Hybrid Cloud Storage Solutions
Hybrid cloud storage incorporates the advantages of both on-premise infrastructure and cloud-based storage. You leverage private and public cloud services to meet specific storage needs in a hybrid cloud storage environment.
Organizations can store sensitive or critical data on private cloud infrastructure while using public cloud storage for less sensitive data or peak workloads. All of this is accomplished with the redundancy and flexibility of the cloud.
Advantages of Managed Storage
Simplified and Efficient Storage Management
One advantage of managed storage is simplified and efficient storage management. You offload complex and time-consuming storage management with managed storage solutions to expert service providers. They have the staffing and resources to efficiently handle storage infrastructure, including hardware, software, and associated tasks.
The provided solutions consider storage capacity, performance optimization, backups, and disaster recovery. Managed storage providers monitor and proactively address storage issues for uninterrupted and reliable file storage.
Overall, simplified and efficient storage management provided by managed storage solutions empowers businesses and enhances productivity.
Another managed storage advantage is the potential cost savings. Opting for managed storage solutions avoids significant hardware, software, and maintenance costs associated with data storage.
Managed providers leverage their expertise and economies of scale to offer cost-effective storage solutions. They have the resources and infrastructure to efficiently manage their solutions while passing potential savings on to you, the customer.
Furthermore, managed storage eliminates hiring internal IT staff or allocating resources to storage management. Instead, redirect your focus and wallet to other strategic initiatives.
Enhanced Data Security
One of the most significant advantages of managed storage is enhanced data security. Managed storage providers prioritize protecting your data against potential risks and threats. They implement robust security measures to safeguard the integrity of your data and mitigate unauthorized access and data breaches.
In addition to comprehensive backup strategies and redundancy, managed storage providers employ monitoring and proactive maintenance to identify and address hardware and network failures. They continuously monitor their infrastructure and quickly mitigate any security incidents that may arise.
Overall, enhanced data security provided by managed storage solutions gives you peace of mind, knowing your data is protected against potential threats and vulnerabilities.
Future Trends in Managed Storage
As technology evolves, managed storage is poised to experience significant advancements. Two key trends shaping the future of technology and potentially managed storage are Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
AI is revolutionizing the way data is managed and stored. With AI-powered algorithms, managed storage providers can further optimize storage resources, predict storage needs, and proactively address potential issues.
AI algorithms can also analyze patterns in data usage, identify bottlenecks, and recommend storage configurations that best suit specific workloads. This potential feature not only supercharges storage efficiency but also enhances overall performance.
ML, on the other hand, can enable managed storage solutions to continuously learn and adapt to changing storage requirements. In contrast to AI, ML algorithms can analyze historical data patterns, identify trends, and make intelligent decisions to allocate storage resources dynamically. Storage capacity can be automatically adjusted based on real-time demands, optimizing resource utilization and potentially cutting costs.
Edge Computing and Distributed Storage
Managed storage providers can also explore innovative technologies like edge computing and distributed storage architectures. Edge computing brings storage resources closer to where data is generated, reducing latency and improving data access speeds. Distributed storage architectures, on the other hand, leverage decentralized networks and blockchain technology to enhance data security and resilience.
In a data-driven world where companies constantly generate and rely on vast amounts of data, the importance of managed storage cannot be overstated. It empowers you to store, manage, and protect your data effectively while focusing on strategic initiatives and driving innovation.
Managed storage is a vital component of modern IT infrastructure, providing businesses with the storage solutions needed to navigate the complexities of data management in today’s digital landscape.
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