Choosing the Right Storage Device for your SMB

Small-scale organizations looking to increase storage space or find a safe place to keep backups should definitely consider investing in a freestanding data storage device. While there is a lot of “do-it-yourself” involved in setting up freestanding media storage devices for an enterprise setup, such devices can offer an excellent return on investment, as well as easy and convenient access.

So what are the factors you need to look at before you buy media storage devices for your organization’s SMB network?

Budget

It goes without saying that the more money you have to spend, the better and larger the storage device you can get. You can opt for “drive in a box” solutions, which bundle a standalone enclosure with connections and a power supply along with a large, affordable hard disk (usually not an SSD) with capacities up to 500 GB.

Bus or Ethernet

You can choose media storage devices that connect over FireWire or USB or you can choose network-connected devices that connect over 10/100/1000 megabit Ethernet ports. While computer-attached devices are cheaper, they’re massive resource hogs and will cost more in overhead. Network-attached storage (NAS) devices on the other hand cost more but will save you money over the long term. They also come with bundled services, connections, and other functions. Which bring us to our next point.

Add-ons

Multipurpose NAS devices generally come with USB or FireWire ports for directly connecting bus-attached devices directly for increased storage capacity. Some also offer DSL or cable modem hookups for Internet linkage, network-related services such as custom DHCP and NAT configurations, and security features such as firewalls or VPN gateways.

Network Backup Management

Some SMBs only backup shared storage; in which case, key files and data should be stored on a shared device to ensure that it’s protected and available, even if your device goes down or fails for any reason. Many data and media storage devices come bundled with proprietary backup software. However, be on the safe side and be sure to formulate a proper backup plan.