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5 Trends MSPs Should Watch That Are Impacting Workgroup Storage

5 Trends MSPs Should Watch That Are Impacting Workgroup Storage

With most businesses expanding and evolving to a multitude of workgroups and offices, challenges have arisen in choosing the right storage solution to access and share data without impacting the entire company.

The explosion of data, dramatic rise in file sizes, and the need to access data from anywhere at any time via mobile devices create five unique trends for managing data storage for workgroups and offices.

The Challenges

1. Unified storage
Small and medium businesses can’t afford to implement two separate storage solutions—both a file-based NAS and a block-based SAN—for each workgroup or branch office. Organizations need a storage solution that can deliver both storage solutions in a single unit.

2. Ubiquitous client support
The concept of when and where work happens has been fundamentally altered by the mobile revolution and the BYOD (bring your own device) trend. Remote users and branch offices tend to rely heavily on those devices, like tablets and smartphones, to be able to access their data from anywhere, 24/7, to help their companies be successful.

3. Data protection
The mix of local and networked storage, administering data protection across different storage devices, and managing access from mobile devices for mobile and remote branch workers, all increase the complexity of securing data. Organizations need to limit access to sensitive data and easily manage data security across multiple storage devices deployed at branch offices.

4. Data replication
Whether storing exciting sales collateral or corporate document templates, every business needs to be able to keep data where it can be easily accessed. Businesses that effectively share information between multiple locations and workgroups function more efficiently by reducing redundant efforts and duplicate file storage. The challenge for the organization is how to give users access to the files they need and ensure mission-critical data is available even in the event of a catastrophe.

5. Enterprise reliability
Business owners know they need their storage devices to be available and utilized around-the-clock. That means data storage systems need to be constructed of quality components that run reliably, and that both hardware and software need to operate optimally under varying conditions.

Solving Your Data Storage Challenges

The emerging class of network storage servers from WD addresses all five of the above challenges. The WD Sentinel X-Series, including the DX4000 desktop unit as well as the rack-mounted RX4100, serves as a unified storage solution that can handle both block- (NAS) and file-based (SAN) applications simultaneously without the need for two separate storage devices.

It also includes broad support for all of the major desktop PC and mobile device platforms. Organizations can even enable remote Web access capabilities to allow users access to shared files and folders via their browser from tablets or smartphones virtually anywhere in the world.

WD Sentinel X-Series storage servers include native Windows security and manageability features that IT admins are already familiar with. Organizations can easily manage permissions through the Essentials Dashboard in Windows Storage Server 2008 R2 Essentials. If the unit is joined to a Windows domain, permissions and access control can be managed through Active Directory. For larger organizations using Microsoft System Center, the WD Sentinel X-Series of products can be managed through Windows Server by System Center’s unified management framework.

Data replication is supported in the WD Sentinel X-Series by enabling DFS-R, as hub-spoke for a main office publication model or as a mesh for a distributed resource model, through the File Server Management Console. Multiple WD Sentinel X-Series servers can define a distributed file share namespace and deploy replication of shares that hold business critical materials.

Pre-populated with WD Red data center-class hard drives, the WD Sentinel X-Series is built for rugged dependability and enterprise-class reliability. In the event of a drive failure, it also has an Auto-RAID feature to ensure data is protected, as well as dual redundant power supplies and dual gigabit Ethernet ports to guard against power and network outages.

The WD Sentinel X-Series deliver proven, reliable and affordable solutions designed to handle the evolving demands of your company at the accelerating pace of business.

Guest blogs such as this one are published monthly , and are part of MSPmentor's annual platinum sponsorships.

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