* Scalability. As your business continues to grow, so will your data infrastructure needs. Having a storage infrastructure that is as scalable and agile as the amount and type of growing pertinent business data is a must. Look for appliances that support increased capacity media cartridges or the easy addition of new appliances or arrays.
* Active archiving. Data archiving requirements are usually defined by company policy or industry and government regulations. These policies and regulations will dictate retention and retrieval time requirements. Certain industry requirements may demand a business to reproduce data in a very short period of time, along with "chain-of-custody" audit trail data. There are now technologies that increase efficiencies of active and multi-tiered archive you can incorporate into your infrastructures including new storage media formats.
* Off-site backup for disaster recovery. Up to 60% of SMBs do not have a true backup or disaster recovery plan. The most common mistake companies make in their disaster recovery and business continuity planning is not having off-site backup. You should have a system that will not only provide an on-site copy of data for fast restoration, but also an off-site copy if the disaster causes damage to the primary storage location.
* Cloud. As confidence in cloud providers continues to increase, more SMBs are turning to cloud storage for off-site, online backup. The main benefits of cloud storage are threefold: The cloud provides true disaster recovery and business continuity by adding critical off-site storage to ensure a business' most important asset is accessible in the event of a disaster; the cloud offers pay-as-you-go options, which enable businesses to account for storage as an operational expense, not a capital expense; and cloud storage is infinitely scalable. Adding a cloud element to your existing infrastructure is a simple way of maximizing security and accessibility options.
* Deduplication. Data deduplication takes advantage of the enormous amount of redundancy in data to reduce storage needs. Backups of client systems, file servers, databases and virtual infrastructure are all ripe for data reduction. Eliminating duplicate data can decrease the amount of storage space necessary, depending on the deduplication technology used and the level of data redundancy. By using storage technologies that support data deduplication, you can cut costs, alleviate backup requirements and accelerate data restoration in the event of a disaster.