Storage has become the necessity in our lives. Personally, we have to save our documents, such as resume, cover letter, diplomas, certificates, and other references that need to be saved for future use. So for that purpose, we usually use the hard drive in our desktop, flash drive, and/or SD card to store them. However, for business organizations, those tools’ cannot meet the need of the data needed to be stored. This is when we need servers in the network storage to keep the data in a safe place and can be pulled out whenever needed.

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Business organizations like the education department of any state in America would definitely need network storage to maintain and store the data for the employees (administration, teachers, and staff), students, and families. The education department has massive of data that need to be archived for many years and have room for more to store as the year goes. For example, students’ records are data that need massive space of storage. Students who are now working adults might need their school records one day. The education department must be able to save all the data for reference check. Students who transfer from one state to another need the data pulled out when they registered for the new school. The storage of the education department must be large enough to keep the data in hand for all who have been students and currently are students. However, how far back can the data be kept? Everything has a limit in capacity, including the network storage. This is an essential job for the storage managers when designing the network storage system.

To solve the problem on storing such an enormous amount of data from years back and for the future years after, I would suggest the storage manager to departmentalize the storage and add related tags to them. That means to have storage for students’ records, for teachers’ records, for other staff records, and for school records. The concept of departmentalized the records is similar to what Yahoo did with their search feature; however, Google did something extra to win Yahoo. Google has the search engine in the background to help end users find their search based on key words. The department of education can do the same. School-related records are usually stored in the ATS system; however, that is for insider-users only. Outsiders like parents and those who do not have access to ATS cannot use the tool. The bottom line is to keep five things in mind when designing the network storage system. Make sure to “prevent data loss, offer adequate capacity that can easy scale as storage needs grow, provide fast access to data without interruptions, be prepared for equipment failures, [and] use cost-effective technologies” (Breeding, 1997).

From Castagna’s article, I also learned that it is better to maintain what we have instead of reinventing the wheel to increase the burden we already have as storage managers. (Castagna, 2011) In other words, since the education department already has the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) system built in, let’s keep that system as the record keeping. On top of that, find ways to synchronize the records that have been input into the ATS to the network for storage. This can be served as a backup as well. From this backup storage, data that are more than 30 years can be archived and compressed into digital files and store in zip files by decades. Records that are between 1990 and 2009 can be saved in digital files in server storage. Records that are between 2010 and present should be stored in digital files in server storage 2010-2020 for easier access. Although key words and tag words are included, separating the servers can safe time to find one specific data in a timely fashion. By compressing the size of the files of the data, there should be sufficient room for more data to add on. The costs of this arrangement of network storage are rather low. Zip drives do not cost that much. Plus, the compressed digital files that are saved in each server do not cost that much either. The major costs fall onto purchasing multiple computers to store such data as servers in the central office of the education department. With ATS as the initial record keeping, the network storage is a backup for it. Key words and tag words can be synchronized with the ATS and the servers as well.

In conclusion, network storage design is not too hard, as long as it serves the purpose of storing the data for a long period of time, can be pulled up whenever needed, and cost less. The education department has ATS to input the records. With the network storage system, all the data, old and new, can be stored in a safe place for a long period of time. Key words and tagging to find a specific data file from the categorized server help speed up the search process and costs less.

    References
  • Breeding, M. (1997). Storage for the Network: Designing an Effective Strategy. Network Computing Online. Retrieved from https://librarytechnology.org/repository/item.pl?id=1239.
  • Castagna, R. (March 2011). Efficient data storage: A guide for storage managers. Search Storage, Tech Target. Retrieved from http://searchstorage.techtarget.com/report/Efficient-data-storage-A-guide-for-storage-managers.