It seems that "cloud" is a buzzword that just won't quit buzzing. If you were one of those who was waiting for the cloud fad to fade, you can stop waiting. It's not. It is more like a commuter train to your office. You either get on board or get left behind along with your business.
You can't really talk about the cloud without talking about cloud storage. It seems to be the main use of the cloud for consumers and small businesses. Other cloud concerns are:
- Cloud apps
- Cloud communications
- Cloud security
- Cloud payments
But no matter what you are using the cloud for, there is a storage component that makes it all possible. You don't need to toss out your onsite storage solutions that are currently working for you. However, you do need to weigh the pros and cons of adding a cloud component to your storage solutions. Here are a few to consider:
It is difficult to tell if the security of cloud storage should be categorized as a pro or a con. Unless you are a security expert, whatever cloud security company you are considering will almost certainly have better security for the data you store than you do.
If you are going to manage your cloud security, you are going to need software optimized for virtual environments, including the latest developments such as NSX, as well as virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) in some situations. If all of this sounds like alphabet soup to you, then you need to outsource to a cloud data storage company.
There have been enough high-profile security breaches in the news to show that even big companies have trouble handling their own data security. Just keep in mind that data breaches happened long before the Internet came about. Because there are Mose skilled criminals, your company needs to be using better tools. Cloud storage tools from a third-party are most certainly better than anything you can throw together.
Whether you are thinking about your own data stored in the cloud, or your client's, downtime is always one of the biggest concerns about cloud storage. The reason it is important is because you want to be sure you have access to your data at all times. You also want your clients to have access to their data with which they are trusting you.
Cloud storage companies are always boasting about their uptime. They are all around 99.9% uptime, which might lead one to believe that there is never any downtime when it comes to access to their data. But the reality is there is always some outage or other on some service or other. And it always comes at a time that is inconvenient for you.
iCloud: Apple's cloud solution for consumers, is made up of a number of parts. It seems that at least one of those components are continually suffering an outage. If iCloud Drive is down for an hour during the work day, that represents real money you are not making.
However, if you keep everything on a hard drive, having it go down can cost you days or weeks of revenue. Your chances of losing data are far less in the cloud than if you keep everything locally.
Backup experts say that if you have three copies of something, you really have two. If you have two copies, you have only one. And if you have one of anything, it is just as good as having nothing at all. The message is that you need to back up all of the data that is important to you.
If all you have is an external drive for backup, you have perhaps the worst backup solution available. That is because your home or office is a single point of failure. Fire, flood, or other disaster means that you have lost everything, including your backup. Cloud backup has to be a part of your backup solution because it is at least one copy of everything that is not vulnerable to local disasters. It costs a little more. But it is a lot more secure.
Between security, potential downtime, and data backup, you have reasons enough to sort out your place in the cloud.