The Advantages of Digital Storage Devices for Businesses
By Dianne Mariz
Today, we live in a world surrounded by computers. Whether it’s for personal or business purposes, nearly every user needs one thing—a place to store valuable data. In the recent years, the process of storing data evolved dramatically. Not too long ago, the best way to keep important data from nosy eyes is to have a secure cabinet, guarded by locks or by an out of this world number combination. But as the years went by, the technology didn’t fail us when it comes to delivering comfort and convenience. From small to large organizations, people from all walks of life and ages now enjoy the benefits brought by digital storage devices.
Digital storage devices use storage memory for keeping information. From static to dynamic storage, each type has its own advantages. If you want to find the best solution for your storage needs, gaining knowledge about the types of digital storage devices is a must.
First, let’s discuss the three basic kinds of storage technologies.
1. Magnetic Storage
The most popular types of digital storage devices which utilize this storage technology are hard disks drive, tape recorder cassettes, and floppy disks. Magnetic storage needs a medium like organic metal for encoding data. There are round platters inside hard disks which are made of metal oxide materials. They rotate at a high speed around a spindle. The mechanical part is called the armature and its head is responsible for reading and writing the patterns of magnetic polarities. By magnetizing the platters, the patterns will then be stored in bits.
Primarily, the hard disk drive is the most preferred digital storage device for personal computers. Aside from being one of the fastest devices for storing data, users take advantage of the cost. For a gigabyte of storage space, you need only a few pennies.
2. Optical Storage
This type of storage technology requires two things. First is the optical media which comes in forms of circular discs. The other is the optical drives. They have a laser beam used for lightening. Once the beam reflection hit the photodiodes, they generate the patterns of the voltages. The data is read and written using the laser or optical reflection.
Optical storage technology is often used in the following:
- Compact Disc or CD – It is used for storing programs and music files. The storage capacity is usually 700 MB which is considered pretty low
- Digital Versatile Disc or DVD – This media storage is used for standard definition movies. It uses the red laser rays.
- Blue-Ray Disc or BD – With larger capacities than the first two, this media storage is often used for high definition movies.
Moreover, these types of discs are further categorized into two. RAM is used for temporary storage while ROM is for permanent purposes.
3. Solid State Storage
This digital storage technology utilizes non-volatile memory. It has the ability to retain data even when the power is off. Also, it does not have moving parts. Compared to magnetic and optical storage, this technology is faster, lighter and quieter. It is also more efficient. However, it is also more expensive.
Below are the most common forms of solid-state storage:
- USB Flash Drive – Commonly called as USB, this stick-like portable storage usually comes in small sizes. Users just need to plug this device into a USB port. Good speed is among the top advantages of this device.
- Flash Memory Cards – Smartphones, digital cameras, and navigation devices usually benefit from this type of digital storage. The usual formats are MicroSD, MemoryStick, Secure Digital and CompactFlash.
- Flash Hard Drives – Portable devices, specifically tablets and laptops use this kind of storage technology. While they have the same shapes as the common mechanical hard drives available today, they always come smaller in size.
Solid state drives are considered more efficient than conventional hard drives. Instead of encoding data from platters using magnetic polarities, it uses flash memory which allows the data to be written, deleted, and rewritten as necessary. They are also faster and more efficient because they do not have internal moving parts. While they come more expensive than conventional hard drives, users can benefit a lot in the long run because they consume less power.
An Overview of Storage Options for Business
Technology can easily convince us that anything can happen within a blink of an eye. Sooner or later, you will need more space for your data, especially for business and professional purposes. From your emails to presentations, spreadsheets, audio files, databases and others, these files are considered as one of the lifelines of your company.
Storing this valuable information and being able to manage them well is vital to the success of your business. Fortunately, many options are made available to you. But to be able to choose the ideal solution for your needs, find out first about your storage options.
How do you choose what’s best for you?
First and foremost, you need to develop a plan. Businesses must assess their data and applications properly. You must also consider your physical location as well as the storage capacity.
- Here are some insights to get you started:
- How old is your data?
- How much of your data is stale?
- How much of your data is irrelevant to your business?
- Which of your applications generate the largest amount of data?
- How fast do you need to access your data?
- From what locations do you need to access your data?
By answering these questions, you’ll have a better understanding of your data and the amount you’re dealing with. From here, you can begin considering your storage options. It’s good to know that there are more storage options available which are designed primarily for businesses.
Let’s take a more detailed look at some of your choices:
Flash Memory Thumb Drives
Professionals mostly prefer to use this type of drives as they are highly portable. They come in sizes which are small enough for a keychain. Because they have no internal moving parts, they naturally consume less power. Even while you’re on the go, you can easily connect a flash memory thumb drive to the USB port of your laptop for back up. There are even USB drives that come with encryptions or codes to keep your files safe should anyone steals it or if you lost it by accident. Moreover, there are digital storage devices that allow you to store your Outlook data. These data includes desktop applications, calendar items, bookmarks, file, and even your recent emails. Even when you left your laptop at home, you can still access your data simply by plugging your USB drive into another computer.
External Hard Drives
If you’re looking for a practical way of getting more storage space, then external hard drives is one of your best options. You can directly connect it to your PC and transfer the files from there. However, you must be aware that there are several disadvantages. To be able to access the files when you travel, you need to take the external hard drive with you. If the stored data has no back up elsewhere, your data will not be protected in the event of a catastrophe such as a fire.
If you want compelling benefits, then this type of storage service must be on top of your considerations. A remote server helps keep your files secure and protected should anything happen to your device. Moreover, by having a remote online storage, you can share files with your co-workers, clients or business partners easier and faster and wherever you are as long as you have an Internet access. You just need to give them access to your online storage in forms of passwords. There is no need to transfer large files via email. In case of emergencies, you can easily open your account from any computer at any place and retrieve the files you need. If you’re always working on large files, then it is recommended to invest in network access with higher speed.
Providing a simple, fast and reliable access to your valuable information, network-attached storage services are highly recommended for small and medium-sized businesses. It provides various solutions in an IP networking environment. If your company requires a large amount of storage which can be accessed by multiple users, then this easy to install storage solution service is a great choice. The involved parties can easily share the data over a network. Anyone in your team with access can also consolidate and manage the data if needed.
Here are the top advantages of using NAS solutions:
- The basic NAS solutions can come in a form of a single hard drive with built-in Wi-Fi connectivity or with an Ethernet port. For 300 GB of storage space, a business only needs to invest an average of $200.
- If you want to scale the overall storage capacity, you just need to upgrade your NAS solutions by having additional FireWire and USB ports. It allows you to connect your external hard drives as well.
- A NAS solution also enables your business to benefit from multiple hard drives. Whatever you store on your main drive will automatically be copied to the second drive. In case something happens to your first drive, you don’t have to worry as your data is still safe and sound
- A NAS solution also increases performance by being able to offload file serving coming from the other servers on your network. You can also merge the storage system which can help you reduce costs and meet the growing requirements of your business.
How Digital Storage Devices Make Your Business More Productive
1. Digital storage devices reduce document storage space.
With the ever-rising need for storing files and documents for regulation compliance, business processes, and customer service, paper-based storage has dramatically become a costly expenditure. Vital information cannot be easily retrieved when needed compared to electronically generated data as you would need to find them in conventional storage areas with thousands of paperwork. And when it comes to business, you definitely know that time is money. Moreover, by storing your data online, you don’t need to have those big and bulky cabinets occupying an expensive space within your office. This innovative system allows you to make other areas productive for other business purposes.
2. Digital storage devices allow easier retrieval of data.
A conventional filling system involves a lot of effort. The files are needed to be organized manually and retrieving them in a swift manner, say in a matter of seconds, would be impossible. Also, the traditional storage method gives plenty of room for mistakes and inefficiency.
As the number of documents increases, urgently trying to look for the data you need in real-time would be even harder. Through the use of technology storage devices, you can easily manage your data using a system that enables users to simultaneously save and access data anytime and anywhere.
3.Digital storage devices allow you to share data in a more efficient manner.
In a business, being able to share important files and documents within your workforce, clients, and colleagues is vital to the success of your company. A good communication is one of the lifelines of a business and being able to distribute the right copy of file or information counts as well.
With the help of digital storage devices and online storage solutions, the need to photocopy the files that need to be distributed is no longer necessary. There would be no costly printing, bottlenecks can be eliminated, human errors can be reduced and the possibility of miscommunication is very little. This way, the entire workforce of your company can focus on more important aspects of the business. Digital storage devices keep your data secure.
Paper documents carry a high risk in terms of security. You can accidentally leave your documents in a coffee shop or a restaurant. Moreover, they can easily be ruined by natural elements such as fire and water. Your private and sensitive information is vital to everything you do and protecting them is your utmost responsibility.
Technology storage devices provide safety and security to your data because you are allowed to set restrictions. You can control the access of anyone who wants to view your files with the help of your passwords and you can choose whom you want to share your files with. Also, there are digital storage services solutions that enable you to view the history of actions performed on your data and you can easily know if someone has made irregular actions. You are also given the ability to apply real-time edits and changes to your passwords as necessary.
4. Digital storage devices help in disaster recovery.
Do you have a backup plan in case your business encountered a disaster? Paper documents are vulnerable to the risk of flood, fire, theft, vandalism and more. By storing your data on online storage, you can have a backup and you can access them no matter where you are as you try to recover from such unwanted incidents. Rest assured that no documents will be lost or misplaced.
5. Digital storage devices allow you to easily update your data.
Being able to view your information anytime and anywhere as long as you have an Internet access allows you to see changes and updates in real time. In paper documents, you need to change everything that is written and re-file them all over again. That can be time-consuming.
Moreover, in case of a disaster and you lost your license to operate, information stored in your digital storage device can be easily recovered and you can authenticate the validity of your business information. This system also enables you to comply with requirements and regulation in a more professional manner.
6. Digital storage devices help improves customer service.
Customers are increasingly becoming demanding nowadays. With the advent of the Internet, most people expect that anything can happen in just a snap. If your business relies on data stored on digital storage devices, rest assured that you can respond to the requests and questions of your customers immediately.
Access to the necessary information in real time is vital to keep your clients happy and satisfied. If they are contented with your prompt services, there’s a high chance that they will become your return customers. Moreover, this competitive edge can make your business look more professional and more reliable.
Protect Your Important Digital Information at All Times
Before investing in technology storage devices and data storage solutions, it would always be better to consult with the experts. This strategy can be considered a substantial investment and choosing the ideal solutions will impact your company’s current and future needs. There’s no need to decide in a rush as there are experts who can guide you to make the best decision.
By developing a plan supported with a thorough assessment as provided by the professionals, rest assured that you’ll have the most essential storage management devices and systems which can help propel your business towards success.