When dealing with sensitive data, it makes sense to ensure that it is being kept in a safe and secure place. Choosing where to store that critical data is an important decision that needs to be made promptly, and with plenty of consideration. It should also be compliant with the necessary legal requirements for the specific data type it is being used for. Typically data is stored in one of three options – onsite, offsite or a combination of the two.
OnSite Data Storage
In onsite storage, the data and storage hardware that are needed are typically located internally to their owner’s geographic location or place of work. A computer room or data center may be located onsite, where the storage arrays are securely located, and all of the internal systems will have direct access to the storage within the same building or organisation (usually through an internal Local Area Network).
The benefits of onsite storage include:
- Performance improvement – local storage results in very low latency (time between user action and response) and fast response, with high-speed transfer rates.
- Additional control of the data’s security through organisation-defined security policies and retention rules, to suit necessary compliance standards.
Some of the negatives of onsite storage may include:
- Expense – the initial outlay spend for storage at an internal location can be expensive, depending on numerous factors associated with building the security and storage infrastructure.
- The storage device will need to be maintained, managed and upgraded in-house, which will require additional support and resources internally.
- Deployment of the onsite storage solution can be a slow process, with many initial steps that need to be taken before it is in a functional condition.
- How long the storage solution is likely to last in a working condition as technology is constantly evolving, leaving many older technologies obsolete.
Offsite Data Storage
When the data and storage hardware are located remotely from the place that they are being used, it is known as offsite storage. Nowadays, this offsite storage refers often to cloud storage from a cloud service provider, rather than a physical storage location. Remote files are displayed as if they are stored on an external local hard drive through an internet connection and a web browser interface.
The benefits of offsite storage include:
- Scalability of offsite storage solutions, whereby most storage providers such as cloud providers are able to offer expandable storage to suit their clients needs.
- It is an affordable storage solution, as you are only paying for what you use. There are no additional costs associated with maintaining the platform or support personnel.
- Faster deployment times so that data can be stored sooner – it is usually already set up and ready to go for the client.
- Flexible approach to connectivity for offsite data storage, as it can be made available to users through an internet connection or a dedicated virtual private network.
- Offsite storage performance has gotten faster due to network improvements.
Some of the negatives of offsite storage may include:
- Security and privacy, particularly with regard to the integrity and security of the data.
- If the storage solution complies with the rules, regulations and requirements for that particular data type.
- Long-term needs for storage versus the overall cost of the storage solution.
- Latency and network bottlenecks may impact the performance speed of the offsite data storage solution.
Hybrid storage is a mix of offsite and onsite storage approaches for data storage.It’s a popular solu An example of a hybrid storage solution could be a server array located in the head office, which also replicates data to an external cloud-based location for backups or data-integrity reasons.
Storage of data is a strong concern for many, particularly when it comes to the security needs and compliance requirements of particular data types. To ensure that the storage solution chosen best suits what your business needs, engage in further research and speak with a professional. There is no one-size fits all solution to data storage.