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How to Manage a Storage Array

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Storage arrays that you have bought for your business are very easy to manage, but you need to be certain that you have looked into the details.

There are a lot of people who could set up or maintain storage arrays on their own and find that their new equipment may have the highest level of security along with the most space.  All businesses are different, however, and you should pay attention to all the features to take care of your needs accordingly.

Weigh in the economics of replacing multiple arrays vs upgrading them.  It’s not always just a matter of upfront cost.  A new array can offer added benefits, such as performance, data migration capabilities, improved interoperability, better scalability and better uptime.

Futureproofing Storage Capacity

A storage array, also called a disk array, is a data storage system used for block-based, file-based or object storage. The term is used to describe dedicated storage hardware that contains spinning hard disk drives (HDDs) and/or solid-state disk drives.

Storage arrays come in many sizes, and can accept various sizes of drives.   While you don’t need to buy the largest storage space available, you should futureproof your equipment as much as you can to accommodate for future growth.

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Decommissioned disk arrays can take on lower level storage roles in your business.  Many organizations reuse their storage investments by redeploying older storage arrays in less performance-intensive or critical roles.  Some may be repurposed for backups and archives.  Older disk arrays may be out of warranty, however, older hardware replacements when components fail can often be purchased on auction sites for a lower price.

Brand

Brands and reviews can help you make a decision on how reliable software or hardware can be.  Most storage arrays can coexist with each other.  Do research and make sure that if you have this requirement, it meets your needs.  Speed differences may cause more issues that brand.  You will want to make sure that your drives are in sync in regards to speed.  Selecting similar equipment will ease interoperability issues, reduce the proliferation of management tools and erase the learning curve needed for configuration and maintenance.

Security

Storage security is s group of permissions, parameters and settings that make storage resources available to authorized users and trusted networks.  Alternatively, they also restrict access.  These permissions can be applied to various levels such as hardware, software, communications protocols, file sharing, and organizational policy.

When considering a security method for a storage array or storage area network (SAN), network requirements typically require easy access for authorized personnel.  It should be made difficult for a potential hacker or unauthorized user to compromise the system.

The network must be reliable and stable and protected against online threats and malicious intent.   Sensitive data should be encrypted and unneeded services should be disabled to minimize potential risks.  Updates should be installed regularly.  Redundancy in the form of a raid should always be implemented in mission critical applications to help data loss due to malfunction.

Users should be informed of network and storage policies.

Maintaining Your Storage Capacity

array - How to Manage a Storage ArrayNo matter how much storage capacity you squeeze into a disk array, it’s only a matter of time until you run out of space.  You should know how many disks an array can hold, and how many disks are actually installed.

Connectivity can be another limitation.  Bottlenecks may develop as more users and applications demand storage access.  Plan for growth in the array and network level.

Use data classification techniques to identify data, estimate the importance and move less important data to less mission-critical hardware.  This can help free up some storage on your more critical devices.

Another method of expanding storage is by replacing existing disks with larger ones.  For example, replacing a 500 GB disk with 1 TB disk can effectively double storage capacity within the same disk array adding additional storage array devices to the data center.

Monitor Your Shop

Monitor your devices with the help of software.  If within your means, use datacenter management software to manage your shop.  Setup monitoring software to monitor performance, uptime, storage capacity, and health of your hardware.

One example of a Storage Resource Monitor can be found in the video below:

You can visit this web site to get more information on the wide variety of storage arrays that are out there.  Get more information on how to manage storage products, protect your data, stay organized.

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