With enterprises creating files and collecting data in ever larger quantities, storage solutions are a vital part of their infrastructure. Today, a good solution doesn’t just provide space, it also helps with organisation, security and access. Here, we’ll look at why cloud storage offers considerable advantages over local drives.
The pros and cons of local drives
The main advantages of local, external hard drives are that they are inexpensive, easy to procure and simple to set up. Today, they are also able to store decent quantities of data, up to several Tbs for portables and more for larger drives, and with the shift to SSD, they can work much faster than older HDD drives. They are, however, limited in what they can store and their reliance on USB connections hinders the advances in speed that SSDs provide.
A bigger issue is security. Their size often makes them easy to lose or steal and they can also be easily damaged. This raises potential problems for data loss and the consequences it can have both for the company and any person or organisation whose data is on the drive. Data here doesn’t just include personal information, but also business intelligence. It’s not difficult for an exiting employee to slip a small hard drive in their pocket as they leave the company.
The design of external drives also raises potential problems for data storage. Unlike PCs, they lack an internal cooling mechanism and this can lead to failure and data corruption if they are used in rooms with high temperatures. Long term, local drives also raise the issue of how to erase the data stored on them. Many businesses have found out the hard way that supposedly wiped data can be restored with simple and easily acquired tools.
The benefits of cloud storage for enterprises
One of the biggest reasons for enterprises to use cloud storage is that it enables data to be accessed over the internet, allowing employees to work remotely. As that data is stored centrally and is synced, it ensures all workers have access to the most up to date information and are using the latest versions of files. This improves collaboration and removes the enormous potential for error that results when everyone has locally stored versions.
From a security perspective, cloud storage gives enterprises increased control over their data. It’s stored in one place, reducing the potential for data loss or theft, while logical access control and user privileges can be implemented to ensure data is only available to those who need access to it. This reduces the number of vulnerabilities by preventing unauthorised users from having access to data and limits the impact of an attacker getting hold of login credentials.
A further benefit is the security of the cloud itself. Virtualisation means data storage is not tied to a specific physical machine, so that it is unaffected by hardware issues, like drive failure. This ensures that data isn’t lost and that it remains available 100% of the time. In addition, it is kept protected by the advanced tools that cloud vendors deploy, including data encryption and next-gen firewalls that protect servers, networks and databases from malware and intrusion.
While there is an ongoing monthly cost for cloud storage, this does include the above-mentioned security as well as server management and 24/7 technical support. The overall cost depends on the amount of data stored, with most vendors having a pay-as-you-go charging model. This does work out more cost-effective than purchasing a large local drive whose storage space remains largely unused.
Increasingly, enterprises need their storage to perform at much higher speeds, something easily achieved in the cloud, with vendors using the latest Xeon processors and SSD hard drives. The only weakness in delivery comes from the speed at which a user’s broadband or phone network carries the data. When data is just being moved in the cloud for processing, however, the speeds are blisteringly fast.
While local hard drives have become a trWhy Enterprises Should Use Cloud Storage Rather Than Local Drivesaditional form of storage for many enterprises, the shift towards digital transformation and the increased need for security is making them obsolete. With most organisations shifting their services to the cloud, it makes perfect sense to store data in the cloud too. Doing so offers increased security, performance and flexibility while providing the cost-effectiveness and anytime, anyplace availability that today’s aspirational companies demand from a storage solution.
For more information about our cloud storage solutions, visit Hyperslice.com.