Cloud storage is a growing trend, big and small businesses use the “cloud” to store a large volume of data. But, what really means cloud storage?
Information saved in the cloud is basically stored on the internet. Remote data centers retrieve the information when you need it. The most common file storages are the computer hard drive or portable devices like USBs. This means the information is stored in a physical space. Instead, the information saved in the cloud is kept in global data centers. You only need an internet connection to access the files.
There are many companies offering cloud storage, the market is booming with endless options. On the one hand, you have well-known firms like Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, and Google. On the other, you’ve medium-size enterprises like Digital Ocean, Box, and Mega offering data storage.
The choices are pretty big, yet, most companies offer the same services. Usually, you pay monthly fees depending on the amount of data you want to store. Prices may vary, but most companies have several subscription plans.
Cloud storage has many pros and cons. The biggest selling point is that you don’t have to keep files in a physical place. Businesses such as Spotify, Netflix, or BitCasa have their entire system based on the cloud. Other small companies use the cloud for back -up.
There are 3 types of cloud storage:
Public: Keeps general data and it can be accessed by anyone you give permission to. There aren’t many concerns about privacy and information is fairly easy to access.
Private: Is designed for a company or a person with specific needs, this means not everyone can access the files. And as a general rule, the information is restricted. Companies can run a cloud system either on the premises or externally. This kind of storage is used by large companies.
Hybrid: This is a combination of both, some data is private and other files free to access. In addition, you can integrate specific features.
A huge advantage is that you can work with a distributed team. In today’s world, this is crucial since all successful businesses have collaborative teams across continents.
What’s more, the time invested to deploy information and ship a project is minimal. You can run the fastest operations comparing to the traditional business model. In the long run, cloud storage helps to reduce costs, making your business more efficient.
There are also few disadvantages, one of them is reliability. Make sure the company storing your information is reliable and doesn’t crash often. As for the servers to be down when you need them the most is a real pain. People still remember when Amazon cloud pulled the plug after a storm in 2012 affecting many big companies like Netflix or Pinterest Also, Microsoft services went down few times. So, it’s clear the system has few flaws.
Another disadvantage is security. Companies feel uneasy with the idea of leaving their data to third party companies. Privacy is the main concern, but also accessibility if you have not internet connection you can’t access the information. Besides, large data requires more bandwidth and this can be costly especially for small business. You could be locked in a service provider unable to move to another company for some time. But, if hacking is your main concern, the solution is to encrypt all the important data. It’s unlikely that any intruder will go to your files. However, is recommendable to keep important files in more than one place.
Cloud computing is already adopted by many companies large and small. It’s an effective way of running a business. However, we can’t say cloud storage is 100% effective. Most consultants would tell you don’t keep your eggs in one basket, and this can be applied to your company data.