Cloud storage – A term that was completely alien to everyone a few years ago.
Today, it has become a necessity across different fields. And if you’re not part of the cloud yet, it’s about time your situation changed.
Simply put, cloud storage allows data to be stored on remote servers. These servers are what we now fondly refer to as the “cloud”.
The cloud has revolutionized the way businesses work. It has also changed the way individuals accessed everything they need.
The Importance of Cloud Storage:
What makes the cloud so beneficial?
It simplifies your entire system
Before the cloud existed, people needed hardware (a lot of it) to store data. Individuals needed flash drives and external hard drives. For bigger businesses, the equipment needed is even more major. The physical storage does not just occupy a small space. Sometimes, you’ll need an entire room just to accommodate the hardware.
This is a problem that cloud storage solves.
The cloud simplifies your entire storage system. It lets you take advantage of servers that aren’t on your premises. This gives you the luxury of unlimited storage without the need for extra physical space.
It cuts down your costs
Gone are the days when you needed to purchase extra storage equipment. This means that you get rid of the high costs that come with as well.
If you compute the costs, the cloud will always be less expensive than other options. How is this possible?
Well, providers distribute the costs of their infrastructure across their clients. This is not feasible if you set up your infrastructure. Even if you don’t make full use of your equipment, you pay for the entire thing. But through the cloud, you only pay for what you use.
It backs up your data across multiple servers
So what if one server crashes? Your data will continue being as secure as ever. Cloud providers often back up their data across multiple servers. This means that there is usually no point of failure across the infrastructure. Redundancy is critical here.
It keeps your data safe from physical threats
Store your data in your hardware, and you open the risk to physical threats. Your device may be stolen. There may be flooding in the area, or there may be a fire. When you store your data in a cloud, you become protected.
What if the data centers get hit by physical threats as well?
Cloud providers often have multiple data centers. They do not store all the information in one place. They scatter the data across multiple servers. This means that even if one data center fails, there are multiple backups.
It secures your data against digital threats
We’ve covered the physical threats. But what about digital ones?
Nobody outside your team can try to access your data without authorization. Cloud storage providers have enterprise-level security. This means that no unauthorized people can gain access to your data.
Even for experienced hackers, it will never be an easy feat.
It gives you access anytime, anywhere
Store data in your physical storage and you’ll have to bring it everywhere. Store your information in the cloud, and you can go anywhere.
Cloud storage gives you access to your data no matter where you are. All you need is the proper authentication. This is usually a username or a password.
From there, you can retrieve files as if they were right on your laptop. You can even access them from smartphones, tablets, or other mobile gadgets. This makes it convenient for you to move around.
It leaves room for growth
When you rely on your equipment, growth means new purchases. The more your business grows, the more data you have. This means that you’ll need more storage space, too.
Through the cloud, there is always room for growth. You can easily upgrade your subscription to get access to more space. This usually comes with just a minimal cost.
Compare those costs to buying your equipment. For sure, the latter will be extremely expensive. This gives you one less thing to worry about in the case of expansion.
It allows you to collaborate
One of the biggest contributions of technology is allowing people to work together remotely. That’s the incredible power of the cloud.
Before, you all have to be physically present in a single room. Now, you can be anywhere in the world and still be part of the team. Cloud storage allows multiple people to access the same files at the same time. You can all make edits and notify the team of any changes.
This makes it convenient for the entire team. It’s also a huge contributor to your team’s productivity rate.
Can you see how your world can change once you switch to cloud storage? You may be content with what you have right now. You may be used to the system that you have in place. But using the cloud is not complicated at all. Therefore, making the switch will be a seamless process.
Choosing a Cloud Storage Provider:
We’ve established how beneficial the cloud can be for you. Now, here’s the next question. How do you choose the right provider?
We’re talking about high-tech infrastructure here. This means that the company has to have funding to maintain their tech. If they fail to do so, they could go under. When they go under, there’s no telling what will happen to your data.
Understand that this does not mean you can’t give newbies a chance. It is understandable that established businesses may have an edge. But if a new cloud provider shows great promise, they’d still fit the bill.
Strategically Distributed Data Centers
Remember what we said about redundancy? When anything hits a data center, the job is passed on to the next one. Here’s the problem. Imagine having the data centers too close to each other. Whatever hits one data center it might hit the next one, too!
This is why you have to make sure their data centers are distributed strategically. In this setting, a natural disaster or outage that happens here stays here.
This means that it only affects one data center, ideally. It lessens the probability of two or more centers failing at the same time.
Different providers may have similar systems. But the way they run their infrastructure may vary. This is why you need to establish how tried and tested their system is. Think about how important your data is. If their support suddenly crashes, you risk losing all your data as well.
How many walls of security do they have? Do they meet industry standards? Are the security guidelines well-documented? These are the things you have to start asking yourself.
Especially if you’re using this for your business, security is the top priority. For now, you may feel like nobody would be interested in your files. But once a breach happens, that’s where you realize how crucial this is. Don’t wait for that violation to occur. Ensure security as early as now.
Accreditation and Validation
Any business would stand by their guarantees. But who can prove that they follow through their promises?
This is what 3rd party validation is for. Check out the provider’s ISO certification. SSAE 16 is also something you should be watching out for. Their seal of approval is the ultimate proof that these providers follow industry standards.
It may not give you the guarantee that there is not even a 1% chance of failure. But it’s good to know that someone has checked the way they run their business.
Service Level Terms
You can’t just pay for a service without knowing what to expect. The terms of the service level agreement (SLA) is relevant because of this.
The service level agreement establishes the expected level of duty. It also explains how they will handle your data. Make sure you don’t skip out on the fine print here. That’s where all the important details are.
Of course, the price will always be an important part of choosing any service. Look around and see what the average price is. Remember not to look at just the price.
One service may be cheaper, but the storage may also be limited. Might as well look at the other inclusions as well. There may be files you often use that they don’t support with the cheaper package. In this case, a more expensive one makes sense.
Choosing a cloud storage provider is not something you do on a whim. Compare and contrast different services. Ask for recommendations from your peers. See what your gut feel tells you. This is a company you’re entrusting with valuable data. Don’t pass it off as a simple decision to make.
Once you’ve chosen the right service provider, you can start enjoying the cloud. At this point, you’ll see why the cloud is a huge hit in the first place.