If a business loses data access that could mean a retail store is unable to process transactions, an accounting company cannot issue payroll, or a small town doctor can’t pull up a patient’s medical records. Losing data access, even if the data is still safe, can be catastrophic for any business.
Because most data systems have been designed for and targeted towards larger businesses, SMBs aren't always aware of available solutions like small scale redundancy or where to start to choose the right system for them.
Choosing a DSS System
The three key elements in choosing a DSS system are: Space, Cost, and Ease of Maintenance. A data system should optimize efficiency in all three categories while providing above par performances.
Space: Space to host servers is often scarce for many businesses. How much space would the servers need becomes an important question when introducing new servers.
Cost: There are 2 types of cost that are associated with setting up new servers.
Ease of maintenance: As system configurations becomes more advanced, the complexity of set up, maintaining servers increase as well. Simplicity is vital in building an IT infrastructure and the data system to avoid mis-configurations.
- The initial CAPEX (capital expenditure) cost, like purchasing a car outright, you pay for it up front, but the asset has a useful life beyond the first year.
- OPEX (operating expenditure) costs are often underestimated, ongoing costs involved in running a business. These are like buying gas for the car.
SMBs Need Purpose-Built Servers & Storage
While network based solutions such as SAN and NAS have been very good at providing data redundancy to large data centers and corporate offices, they’re often too complex and too expensive to be effective on a smaller scale.
An example of a smaller scale redundancy solution was created by our partner Echostreams for a dental franchise. Echostreams was able to preload all the servers and VMs into their DSS212 system, providing redundancy and failover capabilities for all the servers, without the superfluous capacity of a system built for a larger business. DSS212’s 12 drives in front allow users to expand shared data storage up to 96TB; more than enough for most small businesses.
No data system can maintain 100% uptime, and without redundancy or similar solutions a business location is rendered inoperative for as long as a servers are down. A dental office like the one above wouldn’t be able to see patients’ record or insurance info, dental scanners wouldn’t upload and download data. Issues like that can make it hard to make money and, although these costs might not be apparent right away, they present themselves in the long run.