When you sit down for your weekly consulting session with your technology consultant (you do have regular strategy sessions – right), she might suggest you consider two technologies for your growing business, according to VAR Business magazine. Wireless printing and SAN (Storage Area Network)
WIRED printing is a commodity. You connect a printer to your computer or directly to your network so other users on your network can use it.
Wireless and mobile printing takes things a step further. Buying a printer with built in wireless capabilities lets you put the printer anywhere there is a power socket and the wireless range can reach your wireless computers. With the growth in wireless networks its easy to setup wireless networks around the office, but leaving wireless users with no or inconvenient printing options.
Maybe you have some older printers that are note wirelessly enabled, you can buy a small printer server that will attach to the printers and wirelessly enable them. Portable printers, weighing only 4lbs are less are also perfect tools for “place anywhere” printing. HP’s Deskjet 450wbt weighs only a bit over 4lbs.
Another technology, which you should be familiar with is SAN. According to http://www.mathstar.com/Technology_Glossary_S.htm, SAN is a high-speed subnetwork of shared storage devices. A storage device is a machine that contains nothing but a disk or disks for storing data. A SAN’s architecture works in a way that makes all storage devices available to all servers on a LAN or WAN. As more storage devices are added to a SAN, they too will be accessible from any server in the larger network. In this case, the server merely acts as a pathway between the end user and the stored data. Because stored data does not reside directly on any of a network’s servers, server power is utilized for business applications, and network capacity is released to the end user.
Instead of using a file server which would rely in part on the strength of the server a SAN will give you added capacity AND increased performance. If your growing business relies on data intensive databases and network applications SAN might be a solution you would want to consider in conjunction with your consultant.
Enterprisestorageforum.com has a GREAT series of overviews about network storage here
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