What is Cloud Storage | Storage in the Cloud
Cloud Storage is a form of outside (meaning away from your office) data storage. Cloud storage is most commonly housed across one or more datacenters and is frequently termed online data backup and storage. The benefits to Cloud storage are multifaceted, and include:
- With Cloud Storage, data is accessible from anywhere that has an Internet connection -high-speed Internet is desirable.
- Those needing access to the Cloud Storage can access the data from various devices with different operating systems such as an iPad, a netbook with Windows XP, a notebook with Windows 7 home Edition, and so on.
- When data is stored in the cloud, it is always on and available, with far more redundancy they what we could ever afford to pay for our own office.
- Internet access to the data centers (where Cloud Storage takes place) is much faster than a typical office has. This makes cloud storage ideal for when we have "users" (employees, subcontractors, project team members, and so forth that need to have access to this data) and they are in various locations. However, in the case where we have a lot of users in a single location, in particular when they all share a single connection to the Internet, Cloud Storage for the purpose of daily operations may not be ideal, primarily for two core reasons:
- Performance- As more people access the Internet, our connection to our Cloud Storage will seem to slow down. There are various factors that can increase or decrease the performance, such as the amount of bandwidth and what people are doing on the Internet -downloading large files, streaming music, printing and so forth.
- Risk of operational downtime-The risk of someone cutting through our local Internet connection, or our Internet provider's inability to provide reliable & robust service is one of the greatest obstacles to using Cloud Storage, and when many users are reliant on a single connection, this risk magnifies the potential downside costs (should the Internet go down, what amount of production/operations would be hindered and what does this translate to on our bottom-line as a company).
- Cloud Storage can also be used as an extremely effective way of offsite data backup and a key component in a disaster recovery plan. To learn more about cloud storage in the role of Cloud Backup and how it can be a vital part for your company, even when it would not be a good fit for main stream operations, see Cloud Computing for Disaster Recovery. Cloud storage when used as a Cloud Backup offers:
- Security- With Cloud Computing Managed Online Backup Services, data is first compressed and encrypted prior to leaving your server or computer
- Automation- Never have to remember to take your backup offsite again
- Fast recoverability
Cloud Storage and Hybrid Cloud Computing
Cloud Storage is one component of what Cloud Computing can offer. Just like Cloud Storage other attributes from Cloud Computing may be used to help an organization improve its operations and bottom-line profitability without moving completely to a full Cloud Computing environment. See Hybrid Cloud Computing to learn how it can benefit your company.