What Is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage has experienced rapid growth in recent years, and that trend is only likely to continue. Cloud storage provides users with an effortless way to store, share and access data from anywhere in the world regardless of device. Traditionally data was stored on an individual device such as your computers hard drive, but as storage demands have increased, along with the need to quickly share work with colleagues from around the world, the limitations of the traditional model have become badly exposed.
What Are The Benefits Of Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage provides numerous benefits for their users which include but are not limited to:
- Cost – If you have a lot of storage requirements, then buying sufficient hardware can quickly become very expensive. With cloud store, the upfront and ongoing costs of hardware purchase and maintenance are eliminated, and the price of cloud storage is generally significantly cheaper than buying the hardware. There is also no need to continually update and upgrade hardware, as that is the responsibility of the cloud storage provider.This generates considerable savings for all businesses regardless of size.
- No Limitations of Scale – The aim of every business is to increase profit, market share, and to grow the business. As a company grows, there will be an increased requirement for data storage. With cloud storage, increasing your available space is a quick and easy operation, normally available at the click of a button. This has the added benefit of freeing up your IT department and developer teams to focus on complicated software problems or other technical problems, rather than wasting time building out storage infrastructure.
- Anytime, Anywhere Access – Potentially the biggest benefit of all, cloud storage provides customers, business owners and any other type of user with shared access regardless of geographical location. As the world continues to shrink, thanks to the intricacies of the internet, this aspect of cloud computing becomes ever more valuable.
- The Ability To Separate and Lock Down Specific Data – There can be many instances within a business when certain information needs to be locked down. Cloud storage provides this ability without having to compromise access to other vital pieces of business-related information. A good example of this might be where an accounting firm is working for a company that goes into liquidation. The creditors might want all financial information for that firm to be locked down so that nothing can be changed or edited. In a traditional setup, this may have required an entire computer to be turned off, or even removed from the premises, whereas, with cloud computing, it is a quick and easy process to lock down a specific area of the storage which relates to that particular company.
- Redundancy – Whenever it comes to essential data, it is critical that there are ideally three different copies of the information in three different locations. Imagine for instance that a business backs up their vital data to an external hard drive, as well as on the internal hard drive of the computer. Many people might think that this was an excellent way of backing up the data, but the problem is what happens when there is a fire or other major disaster at the office or building in question. Both the original and the backup copy of the data is destroyed, meaning that that system is inherently flawed. By utilizing cloud storage, a company immediately has two copies of the data, backed up in two separate locations across the world. In an ideal situation, the recommendation is to have a third copy, in another different format in another location, just in case one of the backup copies is corrupted.
What Key Components Should A Customer Look For When Buying Cloud Storage?
There are three important factors that a customer should ascertain before placing an order with a cloud storage provider.
- Redundancy – The process of redundancy planning should also be built into any kind of cloud storage system. Essentially this should mean that data in numerous different locations, and on various servers in each location. This builds in protection against anything ranging from a natural disaster, human error, or something as basic as hard drive failure.
- Ease Of Access – Data needs to be easily accessible and available 24/7, so before signing up for a cloud storage contract enquire about downtime and historical reliability. Not all data is created equally, so if for instance, you choose to archive certain data, then it would be reasonable for that data not to be available as quickly as your everyday data. However, you should be given a set of standards regarding the quality of service you should expect.
- Your Data Should Be Secure At All Times – Whether it is your own personal data, client data, or data that relates to a business, it is critical that this information is never breached or compromised. The data should be encrypted during any transfer process, and when stored in the cloud. If a customer perceives that a company is not protecting their data, then it could destroy any trust in that company, and ultimately ruin any companies reputation. Always ask about data security protocols and ensure that the cloud storage platform meets the minimum standards required.
What Are Some Ways That Cloud Storage Can Be Used To Benefit A Company?
There are many more benefits that cloud storage can provide other than simply storing photographs, documents and music.
Migrating Data – Sometimes there may be a necessity to move valuable data from a Mac to a PC, or from an IOS device to a computer. In these examples, the ability to directly drop a file into a cloud storage system, and then give users access to download it to their device can be a quick and easy solution, to what could otherwise be a problem. Imagine that a company is giving a sales presentation to 1000 people in the audience. Rather than sending out thousands of emails, an easy solution would be to upload the information to a cloud-based storage system. Then password protect it, and then only provide the login credentials to those customers who you want to give access to! Quick, simple and very efficient.
Backup and Recovery
At some point in their life, everyone has experienced that sinking feeling when their computer crashed and ten hours of hard work has been lost because the file was not saved. There are certain cloud storage services which can be set up to automatically backup data and then act as a center for help if and when disaster eventually strikes. If there is a backup in the cloud, then whatever happens on the desktop or laptop is not that important, provided it is secure. If an iPad was lost or stolen, for instance, a new iPad with the cloud storage system adequately installed could recover you back to the last saved point, almost as if nothing had happened.
There are thousands of different applications and environments where cloud storage is no longer an option if anything it has become an essential part of everyday life. Check out the various reviews, test out the software side of the equation to see how easy and straightforward it is to use, and then make the switch. Within a few days, most people make a comment along the lines of “This is fantastic, why have we not always worked this way.
For managed IT solutions for your company in Connecticut, including cloud storage configuration and backup organizing, call us in Dynamic Network Solutions – 1 (800) 210-9613.