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What’s The Best Way to Purchase Data Storage?

Buying new data storage can be an expensive capital investment. Not only do organisations need to purchase storage for their current requirements, but they’re also wise to plan their expenditures based on the storage they think they’ll need in the future.

Of course, in the fast-paced world of digital transformation, it can be hard to predict what your future storage needs will look like. As a result, you risk either under-purchasing storage, resulting in performance and capacity shortfalls, or over-purchasing, which ties up financial resources that could be better spent elsewhere in the business.

In this article, we’ll look at different ways to purchase data storage. But first, let’s explore a few considerations you’ll want to think through before evaluating your current circumstances.

What to Consider When Purchasing Data Storage

Every organisation has different data storage needs, which is why you’ll need to conduct a thorough evaluation before making your purchase. What type of data will you need to store? What are your requirements for backup and recovery? How much are you willing to spend? Make sure you understand your organisation’s requirements relative to each of the following considerations:

Storage Capacity Needs

The type of data you need to store will determine your storage capacity needs and, ultimately, the type of storage you purchase. 

Will you be storing structured data generated from customer relationship management systems (CRMs)? Or will you be capturing large amounts of unstructured data, such as documents, audio, video, and image files? Maybe you’ll be storing both. Unstructured data is growing exponentially, so if that’s the type of data you’ll be generating, storing, and analysing, you’ll need to plan to acquire large amounts of fast storage. It’s one reason retail needs as-a-service storage more than ever.

Data Centre Space, Cooling, and Power Utilization

Sustainability and efficiency in the data centre are becoming more critical factors in IT procurement decisions, especially with storage, which could account for as much as 40% of data centre power budgets by 2030, according to Gartner. As data volumes continue to grow and energy costs increase, reducing storage floor space and power utilization should be top of mind as you purchase data storage. Purpose-built flash storage devices consume fewer watts per terabyte and take up less rack space.

Learn more: Efficient IT Infrastructure Saves More Than Just Energy Costs

Backup and Recovery Needs

An effective backup solution protects your organisation from data loss due to accidental deletion, natural disasters, and human error. But how frequently will you need to back up your data? Will you need multiple copies of your data or backups? Will a local backup suffice? Or will you need an offsite backup as well? 

Also, consider how quickly you’d need to be able to recover data in the event of an issue. How fast will you need to access backed-up data, and what are the ideal recovery points and recovery times for your business? Each of these factors plays a role in helping you determine the right kind of storage to buy.

IT Support

Some storage solutions require specialized knowledge to install and manage. While larger companies usually have in-house teams of IT experts, the resources of smaller companies are often spread more thinly. As a result, it’s important to ensure that you have the right number of qualified IT personnel to manage the solution you choose. 

Related Reading: 5 Questions to Ask Before Choosing Storage-as-a-Service >>

Performance Requirements

Purchasing the correct type of storage can help your organisation optimise the performance of its databases and other storage-dependent applications. How fast does your storage solution need to be? Again, the answer depends on your unique requirements. Will you be performing intense algorithmic calculations on big data? Are you moving more computing to the edge and leveraging 5G capabilities? Consider both the amount and type of applications you use, as well as their individual data storage needs. 

Agility and Scalability

Agility is key to digital transformation. Every business wants to bring innovative products and services to market as soon as possible, as the ability to rapidly pivot business direction in response to market changes or customer demands allows a business to maintain its competitive edge. For this reason, it’s important to consider how scalable your storage solution needs to be. 

How quickly do you need to meet increased demand for storage resources? Do you need to respond to resource demands in real time? Will you need to scale up to support a busy season and scale down again in the off-season? Your answers to these and other questions will help lead you to the right storage solution.

Your Organisation’s Budget

The budget you have to work with will also be an important factor in the type of storage solution you choose. Some storage solutions require upfront and ongoing financial investments in hardware, training for IT personnel, and overhead costs. If you’re operating within budget constraints, it makes sense to purchase a storage solution that’s less expensive to upgrade or one that allows you to pay only for the storage capacity you need. 

Common Storage Solutions

Given all of this, the best way to purchase storage is with a solution that allows you to meet all of the above considerations in a way that works for your workloads, organisation, budget, and data requirements. There are several different types of storage to choose from: 

Direct attached storage (DAS): A digital storage system directly connected to a computer or server. Examples of DAS include hard-disk drives (HDD), solid-state drives (SSD), optical devices (CDs and DVDs), and tape storage. DAS storage solutions are well suited for small businesses that have tight budgets and need high-performance storage at lower costs. 

Network attached storage (NAS): A dedicated file storage system that allows multiple users and devices to share and access storage from a central place on the local area network (LAN). NAS provides high-capacity, low-cost storage that’s suitable for storing unstructured data. 

Storage area network (SAN): A centralized data storage solution that’s typically maintained on premises. SANs pool storage resources from multiple servers, making them available to other computers and servers on the network, similar to direct attached storage. However, since the cost of setting up a SAN can be significant—and because it requires specialized IT expertise to maintain—SANs are generally better suited to organisations with larger budgets.  

Cloud storage: A storage model where data storage is hosted remotely in a secure data centre and provided as a service to consumers by a cloud service provider. Resources are made available over a network or the internet, and the storage solution is managed and maintained by the provider. Resources are delivered on demand and paid for using a pay-as-you-go (PaYG) model.

Storage as a service (STaaS): A cost-effective solution that allows you to rapidly deploy products and services while avoiding the cost of expensive storage hardware. In a STaaS model, storage can be deployed when you need it—no more purchasing excess storage based on projected future requirements. STaaS solutions are also fully managed, giving you access to trained IT professionals and eliminating the expense associated with hiring and training your own IT resources. Under this model, you also gain immediate access to advanced storage technologies as they emerge. 

Get Flexible, Energy-Efficient Storage from Pure Storage

Storage usage can be hard to predict. Pure storage-as-a-service solutions help you prepare for the unexpected so that you can buy the storage you need today, then expand or reduce as demand changes. They also help you prepare for rising energy costs and ambitious ESG goals. Pure Storage DirectFlash modules deliver better density, performance, capacity, and efficiency, directly impacting the longevity of hardware, reducing e-waste and data centre footprints.

Pure Storage® Evergreen//One is a fully flexible enterprise-grade storage subscription service that unifies public cloud and on-premises data storage. Decrease costs by paying only for the storage you use. And mitigate operational risk by letting Pure manage your data storage. Pure Storage Evergreen//Forever™subscriptions offer all-inclusive, enterprise-level capabilities at the time of purchase, and they stay modern with seamless hardware and software upgrades and built-in compatibility with future technologies.

Get the modern storage you need, when you need it, with Pure Storage.

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