No matter how fast digital storage capacity increases (and, let's face it, it’s rising at an impressive rate), digital content and data storage demands seem to rise exponentially with it. Similarly, with the spiralling cost of properly storing and maintaining your company’s data securely, it’s always worth casting an objective eye over ways in which you can save valuable space and maximise your data storage efficiency. Regular assessment and a little forward thinking can save money and prevent you or your company having a storage surplus or shortfall.
- Compressing/archiving – no matter how on the ball you are regarding deleting old files, the nature of digital media means that data accumulates and needs fairly regular attention. Archiving is an essential tool in your fight against storage issues and, coupled with appropriate data-compression, can free up a surprising amount of space from drives and servers you thought were full. Computing is based on pattern recognition and data normalisation takes that premise and applies it to carefully recognising (and erasing) duplicate patterns and duplicate data in your storage media.
- Education and protocol – doubtless your company has rules and regulations governing employee behaviour so surely it makes sense to educate your workforce about data protocols too? General guidelines about data that needs to be kept and data that can be deleted will keep those storage servers from bursting at the seams with unnecessary data.
- Analysis and prediction – a glance behind and a glance ahead will always help you with data storage. Looking back over the storage you have and also what you’ve actually used, coupled with a little predictive planning of how your storage needs will grow over the next few years, should offer a useful guide as to the data storage space you’ll genuinely need.
- Make the most of what you’ve got – it seems too obvious to be pertinent, but a surprising number of people simply upgrade their digital storage without even attempting to utilise their existing capacity. Take a regular inventory of what storage space you have, how much of it is available, how much is retrievable and manage it more efficiently and you could well save a lot of avoidable outlay on superfluous data storage space.
- Use the Cloud – so much more than just the buzzword-de-jour, the Cloud offers virtual online storage which is secure and instantly accessible globally. With the Cloud’s infrastructure improving all the time it’s become a viable alternative to conventional storage options and the wise shopper can find safe, reliable and, most importantly, scalable Cloud storage for a price that makes purchasing hardware storage a much less attractive option. The Cloud is there to be used…use it.
Regularly monitoring of space usage, along with instigating an ongoing system of reclaiming and re-assigning data storage capacity, will help you keep one step ahead of the tide of non-essential data that inevitably builds up over time. As the saying goes...knowledge is power…but it should also maybe add that too much knowledge causes a mass of surplus data. Don’t be afraid to de-clutter your data and free yourself some valuable space.