Storage options abound

Approach Pros Cons
Traditional server- attached storage Most agencies have the necessary IT skills to manage this common architecture. The broad range of third-party products keeps prices low. Can be difficult to add new storage to keep pace with fast-growing needs. Server failures disrupt storage availability.
Network-attached storage Can be attached directly to a local-area network wherever storage is needed. Installation typically takes just minutes. Not ideal for storing transaction-oriented databases. Increases risk of data becoming too decentralized.
Storage-area network Extremely scalable. Provides access between any server and any storage device on the SAN. Very expensive. Uses Fibre Channel connections, which are unfamiliar to many IT shops.
Storage-on- demand product Agencies pay for storage only when it's needed. Adding storage capacity causes minimal disruption.Price is slightly higher for the upgrade convenience. Locks agencies into current technology and price for future storage purchases.
Storage service provider Service provider handles storage product acquisition and maintenance. Agencies have a predictable, monthly cost for storage. Security concerns arise if the service provider stores data off-site at its own facility. Agency IT staff may lose storage-management skills.


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