Any reader of my blog knows that I’m a sucker for small storage systems. I currently use would a four bay Data Robotics Drobo, but there are many other fine choices for those with different needs. I was talking to my friend Jerome Wendt about this, and we are collaborating on a buyer’s guide for small business storage systems. While researching this guide, I was struck by the wide variety of systems out there today.
Most small businesses have just a few terabytes of data, but it is incredibly critical to them. This data must be preserved, protected, and available for applications regardless of the financial for technical resources at hand. The good news is that there are so many capable systems available. This is also the bad news. Many individuals select their storage systems based on personal experience, but small business IT staff may never have worked with a specialized storage device. They may not even know that such things exist!
In preparation for our buyers guide survey, I performed a survey of the small business storage array market. This revealed over three dozen companies selling a wide variety of file and block storage devices for between $1000 and $20,000. Most of these sport 4 to 12 hard disk drives, 2 to 4 interface ports, in a single controller orchestrating storage operations. All include some form of RAID, but there were dozens of different data protection strategies mentioned.
We prepared a detailed questionnaire for the producers of these small business storage systems, in are currently in the process of contacting these vendors. If you work for a company that sells such a storage system, and would like to be included in the survey, please contact me by email. If you’re interested in learning more about these small business storage arrays, watch this space. I’ll be writing about my experience and observations and will post a link to the finished guide when it becomes available.