How to Determine if Your Church Needs a Shared Storage Solution

Posted 8/10/2016

To the ‘non-techie’ type, shared storage sounds pretty scary. Aren’t they complicated, expensive and hard to use? What if I only want to edit media content for the congregation, not become an IT expert? The simpler the workflow is, the better I like it.

The decision to move from a local external drive powered by “sneaker- net” – where you transfer files by physically moving removable media from one computer to another – and getting the needed files between editors to a shared storage system usually comes down to three factors: you want to protect your content from damage and loss; you also want to be able to complete your editing quicker and decrease your time to a completed project; and you want to be able to increase the number of editors that can be working on multiple demands at the same time.

A properly designed and implemented shared storage system actually saves you time and money. Shared storage allows all of How to Determine if Your Church Needs a Shared Storage Solution BY CORKY SEEBER your media to be contained in one location. No more looking for that fire-wire drive whose last known whereabouts is a mystery. No more worrying how you are going to get content off the remote local drive that was accidentally dropped late last week and doesn’t appear to be functioning anymore. One of the great advantages of a central shared storage is the protection that is provided to all of your content that is stored in the shared storage. By employing RAID data protection, which allows for the complete recovery of all of your data – even if a disk drive fails.

There are a few less obvious benefits to moving all of your content to a central shared storage system. For example, you get better utilization of your purchased storage devices. If you are constantly moving drives between editors, you end up having extra drives to ensure that you have enough storage space to move projects. By combining all the storage space in one location, you can better project when you will need to get more storage space. Combined with the fact that most shared storage systems allow you to easily add additional storage when you are ready, having a central storage solution makes it easier to manage and project your storage growth needs.

Don’t forget that several disk drives working together will provide you with much better performance. It’s that better performance which allows you to edit your content as if it was sitting directly on the editor’s desktop rather than from a protected central storage location. A shared storage solution also removes possible bottlenecks when a client system goes down. With the ability to support editing resources where they are most needed, you can effortlessly work around workflow conflicts that tend to get constricted during critical schedule requirements.

Shared storage solutions have been around for decades. But with the recent improvements in Ethernet performance, (specifically lower price points for 10 Gigabit Ethernet copper solutions), there has been a rise in much less costly and less complicated shared storage solutions with considerably better performance. When compared to older, more expensive and more complicated Fibre-based solutions that have dominated the shared storage market in the past, we now have shared storage solutions that are not nearly as intimidating. Newer shared storage solutions are much easier to configure and operate, and are less expensive. Today’s shared storage solutions could be exactly what you need to raise your editing ministry work to a whole new level—while getting the job done quicker and refreshingly stress-free.

- Corky Seeber

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