Data storage

Top 10 Data Storage Problems and How to Fix Them

Given the ubiquity of data storage, one would think that there are no serious challenges for such a key part of most organizations.

However, there are several data storage issues, some of which have emerged as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, there are ways to overcome these challenges.

1. Find experienced post-pandemic data storage professionals

The COVID-19 pandemic has decimated many IT departments due to downsizing due to illness or business slowdowns. It is possible to reassign data storage tasks to other people in the department. However, be careful: an overall loss of staff could mean that storage has to compete with other IT functions for staff.

It’s also important to find employees who have a solid track record with no security issues. Staffing is often an issue when organizations use third-party data storage services, such as cloud-based storage. Customers are unlikely to know who is working with their data and applications, which presents potential security issues.

2. Security to protect stored data

Increasing cases of cybersecurity breaches, especially with ransomware, are creating data storage challenges for IT management. Although network perimeter security is the first line of defense for data storage security, there is always the possibility that employees with sufficient privileges can access, use, and possibly corrupt or destroy secure data. Encrypting data at rest and in transit is an important strategy for keeping critical data secure.

3. Choose the right storage hardware

For on-premises data storage, IT needs racks of equipment, along with the right servers, storage devices, power systems, network connectivity, and operating environment. IT also needs adequate floor space for the storage equipment rack and, possibly, a raised floor. Managed data storage, especially using the cloud, can reduce or eliminate the need for hardware infrastructure and save money on floor space.

4. Choose the right storage software

There are many data storage products and services available, which can be overwhelming. These products can be resident applications in server operating systems, standalone storage applications, and even freeware that can handle small to medium storage needs at a lower cost. The key is to know the current and longer-term storage requirements, as well as the corollary activities such as data archiving and retrieval.

5. Data protection and data management

The main purpose of data storage is to be able to access the data when needed, without fear that the data has been modified, deleted, corrupted or stolen. To mitigate these data storage issues, data protection and management software applications ensure that stored data will be available in its original form when needed. And if an organization does not access the data for a period of time, it can use an archive for future retrieval, such as for eDiscovery required by litigation. Additionally, if IT no longer needs the data, or it has been overshadowed by new releases of data, various applications can help destroy the data – and even the storage device.

6. Resource Scalability

Storage media must change to adapt to new requirements. Storage components must be able to scale up or scale down. IT could increase capacity by adding printed circuit boards to servers, more servers or stand-alone storage devices, or storage through an alternate data center or third-party managed storage, such as in the cloud. Ease of scalability is a significant benefit of third-party storage, without the customer investing in additional racks, floor space, storage devices, or software.

7. Control and optimize costs

Storage costs can be a big chunk of an IT department’s budget. The cloud has become more popular because it can reduce or eliminate major costs. An organization that uses the cloud may need less equipment, floor space, energy, and personnel than an organization that primarily uses on-premises storage.

8. Disaster Data Accessibility

Ensure that the organization can quickly and securely recover the data and technology resources needed to run the business after a disruptive event begins. Secure data storage is increasingly important in the event of security breaches, especially ransomware attacks.

9. Data storage test

Failure to regularly test and verify that IT is storing data correctly can lead to problems during a true catastrophic event. Testing helps identify problems or bugs in any storage infrastructure. It helps resolve data storage issues before they turn into a major disaster.

10. Data Storage Fix

Patching is one of the most important IT activities because it ensures that all infrastructure elements are running optimally and using the latest software versions. If the data storage infrastructure elements are not properly patched, it could cause the system to crash or shut down at a very inopportune time.