Best Enterprise Data Storage Solutions for 2024

Enterprise data storage solutions help businesses protect their data and enhance their workflow. In this article, you will learn about different types of data storage, how to choose the right solution for your needs, and the top providers in the market.

What is enterprise data storage?

Enterprise data storage refers to the large-scale storage solutions designed to handle vast amounts of data generated by organizations. Unlike consumer-grade storage, enterprise-level systems are built to support extensive data access, high availability, reliability, and security. These systems are typically used by businesses to store operational data, transactional records, and customer information.

There are various types of enterprise storage solutions:

  • Direct-Attached Storage (DAS). Storage devices are connected directly to a server or workstation, providing high-speed access to data.
  • Network-Attached Storage (NAS). Dedicated file storage has multiple users and devices that can access it over a network.
  • Storage Area Networks (SAN). High-speed network of storage devices provides block-level storage, often used in data centers.
  • Cloud Storage. Off-site storage accessed over the internet offers scalability and flexibility.
  • Hybrid Storage. Combination of on-premises and cloud storage solutions, balancing control and scalability.

Why is enterprise data storage important?

Data storage for enterprises

Organizations that process and collect big data often reach out to third-party enterprise data storage providers. Some of the benefits that these solutions offer include:

  • Data access. Efficient data storage systems allow organizations to manage and access their data seamlessly. This ensures that employees have the necessary information at their fingertips which enhances productivity and decision-making.
  • Scalability. As businesses grow, their data storage needs to expand. Enterprise storage solutions offer scalability to accommodate increasing data volumes without compromising performance.
  • Security. Enterprise storage systems come with robust security features, including encryption, access controls, and redundancy to safeguard data against breaches and losses.
  • Cost-efficiency. Though the initial investment in enterprise storage can be significant, the long-term benefits, such as reduced downtime, improved efficiency, and scalability, lead to overall cost savings.

How to choose the right enterprise data storage

Selecting the appropriate data storage solution for your organization involves considering several critical factors.

What is your data volume and growth rate?

Assess your current data volume and projected growth. Choose a storage solution that can scale with your business needs.

What are your performance requirements?

Determine the performance demands of your applications. High-performance environments, such as those running databases or virtual machines, may require SAN or high-speed DAS solutions.

Do you have any collaboration needs?

If your business relies on collaborative workflows, consider NAS or cloud storage, which facilitate easy file sharing and remote access.

Do you work with sensitive or regulated data?

Evaluate the security features of the storage solution, especially if you handle sensitive or regulated data. Ensure it complies with relevant standards and regulations.

What are your budget constraints?

Consider both initial costs and total cost of ownership (TCO). While cloud storage can reduce upfront expenses, long-term costs should be evaluated.

Cloud, on-premise, or hybrid?

If you need the flexibility of both on-premises and cloud storage, a hybrid solution might be the best fit. This approach allows you to balance control and scalability effectively.

Most companies today choose to work with cloud solutions. For example, a tech startup working on developing a new mobile application can leverage the scalability of cloud services to manage varying workloads and data requirements without significant upfront investment in infrastructure.

However, cloud might not meet safety and security requirements in sensitive fields, which is why some businesses adopt hybrid data storage or store everything on their own servers. For instance, a large bank or financial institution would benefit from on-premise data storage due to the sensitive nature of financial data and the need for stringent security and compliance measures. On-premise storage allows the bank to have direct control over their data and ensures they meet regulatory requirements for data protection and privacy.

Finally, a hybrid approach can be adopted when the business processes various kinds of data. A hospital or healthcare provider can store critical patient records and sensitive information on-premise to ensure compliance with healthcare regulations while using cloud storage for less sensitive data, such as research information and general administrative data.

12 top enterprise data storage solutions

We have evaluated diverse data storage solutions available on the market to provide you with our best picks.

Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service)

Amazon S3

Amazon S3 is a scalable, high-speed, web-based cloud storage service designed for online backup and archiving of data and applications.

Stronger points:

  • Scalability. Amazon S3 offers virtually unlimited storage capacity, making it suitable for businesses of all sizes.
  • Durability and availability. With a designed durability of 99.999999999% (11 nines), S3 ensures data is safe from loss. It also offers high availability with a 99.99% uptime SLA.
  • Security. Features include data encryption at rest and in transit, access management tools, and compliance with various standards (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR).
  • Integration. Seamlessly integrates with other AWS services and supports a wide range of APIs for easy application integration.

Weaker points:

  • Cost. While scalable, the cost can accumulate significantly, especially for high data transfer and retrieval activities.
  • Complexity. Can be complex to set up and manage, particularly for smaller businesses without specialized IT resources.
  • Latency. As a cloud service, it may have higher latency compared to on-premises solutions, affecting real-time data access.

Features:

  • Lifecycle management for automating data transfer between storage classes.
  • Versioning and cross-region replication for disaster recovery.
  • Fine-grained access control policies.

Pricing:

  • Storage: Starts at around $0.023 per GB for the Standard storage class.
  • Requests and data retrieval: Priced per operation, with GET requests at $0.0004 per 1,000 requests.
  • Data transfer: Additional charges for data transfer out of AWS regions.

NetApp

NetApp

NetApp provides a range of data storage and management solutions, including on-premises storage arrays and cloud-integrated solutions.

Stronger points:

  • Performance. Known for high performance and low latency, especially in hybrid and all-flash storage arrays.
  • Data management. Advanced features like data deduplication, compression, and tiering to optimize storage efficiency.
  • Flexibility. Supports both file (NAS) and block (SAN) storage, making it versatile for different workloads.
  • Cloud integration. Seamless integration with cloud services (AWS, Azure, Google Cloud), enabling hybrid cloud deployments.

Weaker points:

  • Cost. Initial investment can be high, especially for all-flash arrays and advanced features.
  • Complexity. Can be complex to manage and requires specialized knowledge for optimal configuration and maintenance.
  • Scalability. While scalable, physical limitations exist compared to purely cloud-based solutions.

Features:

  • ONTAP data management software for unified storage operations.
  • SnapMirror for efficient data replication and disaster recovery.
  • FlexClone for instant data cloning without additional storage overhead.

Pricing:

  • Varies: Depending on the configuration and specific solutions. All-flash arrays can range from $20,000 to over $100,000 based on capacity and features.

Dell EMC SAN (Storage Area Network)

Dell EMC SAN

Dell EMC SAN solutions are designed for high-performance, reliable data storage and management and are typically used in large enterprise environments. They provide block-level storage over a high-speed network, suitable for critical applications and databases.

Stronger points:

  • Performance. Offers high-speed data transfer and low latency, ideal for transaction-heavy applications and large databases.
  • Scalability. Easily scalable to accommodate growing data needs, allowing for the addition of more storage without disrupting operations.
  • Reliability. Built with redundancy, data protection, and failover capabilities to ensure high availability and data integrity.
  • Management. Comprehensive management tools for monitoring, provisioning, and optimizing storage resources.

Weaker points:

  • Cost. High initial investment and ongoing operational costs, making it more suitable for larger enterprises with significant budgets.
  • Complexity. Requires specialized knowledge for setup, management, and maintenance, potentially necessitating dedicated IT staff.
  • Physical space. Needs dedicated physical space and infrastructure, including cooling and power.

Features:

  • Advanced data services like deduplication, compression, and snapshots.
  • Integration with VMware for virtualized environments.
  • Support for multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.

Pricing:

  • Varies: Depending on the configuration and specific models. Initial costs can range from tens of thousands to several hundred thousand dollars.

Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS)

Amazon Elastic Block Store

Amazon EBS provides persistent block storage for use with Amazon EC2 instances in the AWS Cloud. It is designed for high availability and durability, supporting various workloads, including databases, file systems, and applications.

Stronger points:

  • Integration. Integrates with AWS services, allowing easy management and deployment within the AWS ecosystem.
  • Scalability. Highly scalable, enabling users to increase storage capacity and performance as needed.
  • Performance. Offers different volume types (General Purpose, Provisioned IOPS, Throughput Optimized, Cold HDD) to match performance needs.
  • Availability. Built for high availability with replication across multiple availability zones (AZs).

Weaker points:

  • Cost. Can become expensive with high-performance volumes and significant data transfer.
  • Vendor lock-in. Tightly integrated with AWS, which might be a drawback for those seeking a multi-cloud strategy.
  • Latency. While generally low, latency can be higher compared to on-premises storage solutions.

Features:

  • Snapshots for data backup and recovery.
  • Encryption at rest and in transit.
  • Ability to change volume types and performance characteristics without downtime.

Pricing:

  • Storage costs: Vary by volume type. General Purpose SSD (gp3) starts at $0.08 per GB-month.
  • Provisioned IOPS: Additional charges apply based on provisioned IOPS and throughput.
  • Data transfer: Costs for data transferred out of AWS regions.

Dropbox Business

Dropbox Business

Dropbox Business is a cloud storage solution designed for collaboration and file sharing among teams. It is suitable for businesses that require easy-to-use, secure storage with robust collaboration features.

Stronger points:

  • Ease of use. User-friendly interface with simple file sharing and collaboration features.
  • Collaboration. Strong tools for team collaboration, including shared folders, comments, and integration with third-party apps.
  • Accessibility. Cloud-based, enabling access from anywhere with internet connectivity.
  • Security. Offers enterprise-grade security features such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and advanced access controls.

Weaker points:

  • Performance. Not designed for high-performance applications or large databases; more suitable for file storage and sharing.
  • Storage limits. Although plans offer substantial storage, there are limits compared to some enterprise-grade storage solutions.
  • Cost. Can be expensive for small businesses if advanced features and higher storage limits are required.

Features:

  • Smart Sync for accessing files without taking up local storage space.
  • Admin console for user management and activity monitoring.
  • Integration with productivity tools like Microsoft Office and Google Workspace.

Pricing:

  • Standard plan: $15 per user/month with 5 TB of storage.
  • Advanced plan: $24 per user/month with as much space as needed, along with additional admin controls and security features.

BackBlaze Business

BackBlaze Business

BackBlaze Business is a cloud storage solution designed for data backup, archiving, and disaster recovery. Known for its affordability and simplicity, it provides businesses with reliable data protection.

Stronger points:

  • Affordability. Offers one of the most cost-effective cloud storage solutions, making it accessible for businesses of all sizes.
  • Simplicity. Easy to set up and use, with straightforward backup and restore processes.
  • Unlimited storage. Provides unlimited backup storage for a flat fee, which is beneficial for businesses with large data volumes.

Weaker points:

  • Limited features. Focuses primarily on backup and lacks some of the advanced features offered by competitors, such as real-time collaboration tools.
  • Performance. May not be suitable for high-performance applications requiring low latency.
  • File versioning. While it offers versioning, it keeps only the last 30 days of file versions by default, which might not be sufficient for some businesses.

Features:

  • Continuous and automatic backups.
  • File versioning and retention for up to 30 days.
  • Easy-to-use web interface for file recovery.
  • Integration with network-attached storage (NAS).

Pricing:

  • Backup: $70 per computer per year for unlimited backup.
  • B2 Cloud Storage: $0.005 per GB per month for storage and $0.01 per GB for downloads.

Egnyte

Egnyte

Egnyte is a hybrid cloud storage solution that combines the flexibility of cloud storage with the performance and security of on-premises storage. It is designed for businesses that need robust file sharing, collaboration, and data governance capabilities.

Stronger points:

  • Hybrid capabilities. Combines on-premises and cloud storage, offering the benefits of both environments.
  • Collaboration. Strong collaboration tools, including real-time editing and file sharing.
  • Security and compliance. Advanced security features and compliance with industry standards (e.g., HIPAA, GDPR).
  • Performance. Local storage capabilities provide high performance and low latency for frequently accessed files.

Weaker points:

  • Cost. Higher cost compared to some cloud-only storage solutions.
  • Complexity. More complex to set up and manage, particularly for small businesses without dedicated IT resources.
  • Limited storage plans. Storage capacity might be limited compared to pure cloud solutions, depending on the plan.

Features:

  • Hybrid storage architecture for flexible deployment.
  • Granular permissions and robust user management.
  • Integration with popular productivity tools like Microsoft Office and Google Workspace.
  • Advanced data governance and compliance tools.

Pricing:

  • Business plan: Starts at $20 per employee per month for up to 1 TB of online storage.
  • Enterprise plan: Custom pricing for advanced features, more storage, and dedicated support.

Tresorit

Tresorit

Tresorit is a cloud storage solution focused on security and privacy. It provides end-to-end encryption to ensure that data is protected from unauthorized access, making it ideal for businesses that handle sensitive information.

Stronger points:

  • Security. End-to-end encryption ensures data privacy and security, even from the service provider.
  • Compliance. Meets various regulatory requirements, including GDPR, making it suitable for industries with strict compliance needs.
  • Collaboration. Secure file sharing and collaboration features allow teams to work together without compromising data security.

Weaker points:

  • Cost. Higher pricing compared to some other cloud storage solutions, reflecting its focus on security.
  • Performance. Encryption and decryption processes may introduce some latency, affecting performance slightly.
  • Limited integrations. Fewer third-party integrations compared to more established players like Dropbox or Google Drive.

Features:

  • End-to-end encryption for all files.
  • Secure file sharing with password protection and access controls.
  • Version history and recovery options.
  • Zero-knowledge authentication, ensuring only the user can access their data.

Pricing:

  • Small business plan: $20 per user per month for up to 1 TB of encrypted storage.
  • Business plan: $24 per user per month with advanced features and more storage.
  • Enterprise plan: Custom pricing for additional storage, advanced security features, and priority support.

Hedvig

Hedvig

Hedvig, now part of Commvault, provides a software-defined storage platform that delivers multi-cloud data management capabilities. It supports various storage protocols and integrates with diverse cloud environments.

Stronger points:

  • Flexibility. Supports block, file, and object storage, making it versatile for different workloads.
  • Multi-cloud integration. Integrates with public and private clouds, offering data mobility and management across multiple environments.
  • Scalability. Easily scalable to petabytes of storage, accommodating growing data needs without significant infrastructure changes.
  • Automation. Advanced automation and orchestration features simplify storage management and deployment.

Weaker points:

  • Complexity. Can be complex to deploy and manage, requiring specialized knowledge.
  • Cost. Higher initial costs for deployment and licensing, which might be a barrier for smaller businesses.
  • Vendor lock-In. As part of Commvault, integration with their ecosystem might limit flexibility for businesses using diverse storage solutions.

Features:

  • Multi-protocol support (block, file, object).
  • Global deduplication and compression to optimize storage efficiency.
  • Advanced data protection and disaster recovery capabilities.
  • Unified management interface for streamlined operations.

Pricing:

  • Varies: Pricing is based on the amount of storage and specific configuration. Typically involves a combination of licensing fees and subscription costs, which can be customized based on business needs.

Red Hat

RedHat

Red Hat provides a range of enterprise storage solutions, including Red Hat Ceph Storage and Red Hat Gluster Storage. These solutions are open-source and designed for scalability, flexibility, and integration with Red Hat’s ecosystem.

Stronger points:

  • Open source. As open-source solutions, they offer flexibility and avoid vendor lock-in, with strong community support.
  • Scalability. Both Ceph and Gluster are designed for massive scalability, supporting petabytes of data.
  • Integration. Seamless integration with Red Hat’s broader product suite, including OpenShift and OpenStack.
  • Cost-effective. Lower costs compared to proprietary solutions, especially considering long-term TCO.

Weaker points:

  • Complexity. Requires significant expertise to deploy and manage, especially in large-scale environments.
  • Support. While community support is strong, enterprise-level support can be expensive and is often necessary for mission-critical deployments.
  • Performance. Performance tuning can be complex and may require specialized skills to optimize for specific workloads.

Features:

  • Object and block storage with high scalability and strong performance.
  • Scale-out NAS solution for flexible file storage.
  • Strong integration with Kubernetes and OpenShift for containerized environments.
  • Advanced data replication, mirroring, and self-healing capabilities.

Pricing:

  • Subscription-based: Pricing varies based on the subscription plan, the number of nodes, and support level. Typically starts at a few thousand dollars per node per year.

SwiftStack

SwiftStack

SwiftStack is an object storage solution designed for scale-out storage needs, providing high availability, scalability, and integration with cloud-native environments. It’s particularly well-suited for unstructured data workloads.

Stronger points:

  • Scalability. Designed for large-scale storage, handling petabytes of unstructured data efficiently.
  • Cloud-native integration. Excellent integration with public clouds and Kubernetes, supporting hybrid cloud architectures.
  • Cost efficiency. Lower TCO through software-defined architecture and commodity hardware usage.
  • Simplicity. Simplified management with a user-friendly interface and strong automation features.

Weaker points:

  • Limited protocols. Primarily focused on object storage, which might not be suitable for all types of workloads.
  • Complexity for SMBs. While scalable, the solution might be overkill for small businesses with modest storage needs.
  • Vendor dependency. As a proprietary solution, businesses may face vendor dependency issues.

Features:

  • Multi-cloud data management and mobility.
  • Native S3 API compatibility for seamless cloud integration.
  • Comprehensive data protection and disaster recovery features.
  • Simplified deployment and management through a centralized dashboard.

Pricing:

  • Custom: Pricing is typically based on capacity and support requirements, and involves a subscription model. Contacting SwiftStack for a tailored quote is recommended.

SUSE

SUSE

SUSE provides enterprise-grade storage solutions, including SUSE Enterprise Storage based on Ceph, which offers highly scalable and resilient software-defined storage.

Stronger points:

  • Open source. Built on Ceph, offering flexibility, cost savings, and avoiding vendor lock-in.
  • Scalability. Supports massive scalability, ideal for large enterprises and data-intensive applications.
  • Integration. Strong integration with SUSE’s Linux Enterprise Server and other SUSE products.
  • Cost efficiency. Cost-effective due to open-source licensing and the ability to use commodity hardware.

Weaker points:

  • Complexity. Deployment and management require a high level of expertise, which can be a barrier for smaller organizations.
  • Performance tuning. Performance optimization can be complex and requires skilled resources.
  • Support costs. While the software is open-source, enterprise support can be costly, especially for comprehensive, 24/7 support plans.

Features:

  • Unified storage solution for block, file, and object storage.
  • Advanced data replication and self-healing capabilities.
  • Integration with SUSE CaaS Platform and OpenStack for cloud environments.
  • Robust monitoring and management tools.

Pricing:

  • Subscription-based: Pricing varies based on the number of nodes and support levels. Typically starts at several thousand dollars per node per year, with various tiers depending on enterprise needs.

Conclusion

Enterprise data storage is a cornerstone of modern business infrastructure. By carefully evaluating your organization’s specific needs and considering factors like performance, security, and cost, you can select the right storage solution to support your business objectives.

If you want to learning about enterprise software development, check out our other articles:

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