Keeping your data and your customer’s information safe is a primary goal for any business owner. But figuring out how to do so can be tricky.
It comes down to two basics: You can store your data locally, or you can store it on a virtual server.
To find out which business storage solution is right for you, ask yourself the following questions:
What can you afford?
First things first: You need to determine what you can afford. The primary difference of expense between virtual private servers and on-site servers comes down to whether you want to pay one large sum upfront or a much smaller amount each month.
When you buy a physical server, you can spend anywhere from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars depending on how much storage you need. Using virtual server hosting means you don’t need to pay for any hardware, but you will pay a monthly fee for storage.
Will your business be growing in the immediate future?
When you pay for a physical server, you pay for a set amount of storage. When you pay for virtual storage, you can generally upgrade as you go. Before you pick one, you should evaluate what your long term business goals are.
Start by determining how much storage you need right now. Then speak with your team about possible plans to expand and by how much. Once you have an idea of how many more employees and clients you’d like to bring on — and when — you can make an informed decision about what type of server would work with you to accommodate any future growth.
Will you need immediate access to it?
Looking at your current team, how many require access to your business data storage? Does that person or team need to be able to access it at a moment’s notice? If so, virtual server hosting may not be right for you.
When you have a physical on-premises server, you and your team can work with it and troubleshoot it whenever necessary. With a virtual private server, you’re at the mercy of the provider and their support staff. That being said, some server companies promise 24/7 support and access. And when it comes to updates, your provider will handle any and all patches. Research your company and its policies before making a final decision.
How sensitive is your data?
Finally, consider the sensitivity of the data you store. Is it imperative that your staff — and only your staff — have access to it? If so, on-site servers are your best bet.
If you can trust a third party to help you store and manage data, consider the virtual private server.
Whichever method you go with, be sure to tell your clients exactly who has access to their information, how it will be used, and how you plan to keep it safe.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of which business storage solution is best suited to your data needs.