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How to Handle Storage Constraints

Storage is a key element that has to be handled when you’re in charge of a business’ IT systems. Data storage is vastly different nowadays to how it was a few decades ago. Now, the majority of businesses store all their data on computers and on hard drives. Gone are the days where huge filing cabinets held vast amounts of paper documents; those files have now transferred to the digital, to be protected by computer systems.

One problem with this is that computer storage isn’t unlimited (just like physical, real space for filing cabinets isn’t either). There may come a time where your company’s data storage is growing too quickly and the limits on how much data can be held are soon to be reached. So, what are you to do in this situation? How do you handle storage constraints? This article will offer some advice by exploring a few options.

More physical hardware

This is probably the simplest solution there is. If there’s just no time to look at exploring other options and you need to increase the storage capacities available quickly, then you can just add some more hard drives into the infrastructure. Hard drives aren’t particularly costly nowadays and they continue to drop in price. However, in the long term, it isn’t cost effective or efficient to just keep adding more hard drives.

According to a 2013 IDC report, storage for applications will grow annually at a rate of 53% between 2011 and 2016. Essentially, the amount of data being stored is only going to expand, so just adding on hard drives as and when it’s needed isn’t likely to be the best option.

Clean out your data

A lot of the time companies will just keep backing up all their data without considering that some of it could probably be cleaned out. If a file is rarely, or ever, accessed, then you can clean it out from the main drives and transfer it elsewhere. For example, if data hasn’t been accessed for half a year, then consider moving it to tape drive storage. The data is still accessible, but it isn’t taking up valuable space on your day to day storage.

Increase efficiency

It might be suitable to look at the backup systems you have in place and see if their efficiency can be improved. A Microsoft TechNet article believes that by optimising your disk space usage through removing duplicated data can reduce consumed space by 50% to 90%.

You might find that you’re backing up lots of different versions of the same file. Even if it is tracking the file changes, it is necessary to keep every alteration to a file? This is especially true if the file is now in its final state or perhaps hasn’t been accessed for a while. You could find that a lot of storage space could be freed up by getting rid of data that has been duplicating itself on each backup.

Also, ensure that any space set aside for certain programs offers reasonable boundaries. There’s no point taping off a huge amount of space for a program that doesn’t require it.


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