Head in the Cloud? Don’t Forget Physical Storage Needs

Server room at National Archives.

Businesses are quick to consider cloud solutions for their storage needs. But it’s essential that you consider your local storage solutions, especially physical ones. Here’s what you need to consider.

Your own server room

Many startups that need loads data kept safe will look to outsourced servers, which can save a lot of money. This can be a more reliable solution than generic cloud services, but you need to consider just how much data you need to store, as well as the various data ownership problems that may arise when you outsource things. You may need to set up your own server room.

Which is, of course, easier said than done! You have to actually have the space for it, for one thing. You also need to be strategic when it comes to what rack system to use. Strong air conditioning systems will be needed to prevent overheating, which you can read more about at Zipfair.com. All those wires can take a long time to sort out, too! Still, the result can definitely be worth the cost and effort.

The old filing cabinets. All gone now

Physical records

Servers are good for abstract data, but many businesses still need to deal with physical records. And no, this doesn’t mean they’re antiquated. No matter how “paperless” your office aims to be, a fair amount of physical documents are going to accumulate over the years. Contracts, letters, invoices, et cetera. Sometimes, it’s not all that practical – or even all that smart – to digitize absolutely everything. Physical documents come with a bunch of benefits.

These documents, of course, end up consuming a large amount of room. They’re also a devil to keep organized. Lifehacker.com has some good advice when it comes to creating a filing cabinet storage system and workflow that will make everything much easier.  It may be worth digitizing as much as you can to free up room, but don’t get too caught up in being paperless; it’s a pipe dream!

The right computers

Many business owners tend to make their employees work with pretty underwhelming computers. This can be understandable, of course; the need to cut costs when you’re developing the business is usually pretty strong. But you don’t want your IT infrastructure to be too simple; inadequate computers can hurt productivity in the long run.

These computers should have a good data storage capacity. You can read more about it at ExplainingComputers.com. Many would suggest that your average office computer should have around 800GB-1TB of data storage, but it really does depend on what your employees do. 1TB might be too much for accountants, but it might not be enough for video editors and animators!

From left to right, a DVD disc inside a plastic cover, a USB flash drive and an external hard drive

External hard drives

Last but not least: external hard drives. The most famous example is the portable USB drive. These things are office essentials. They make it much easier to transfer large amounts of data across the office. Using email, the cloud, and other online solutions ends up taking too much time and bandwidth, which you can read more about at Startups.co.uk. You can also look into external hard drives with hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes of space; they probably won’t fit in your pocket, but they’re still very useful!

Just a regular computer user. I write for regular users like me. When we grow up we are taught basic security tips like how to cross the street. But we are not taught how to take care of ourselves online.