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Is cloud storage right for you?

December 19, 2014 |

One of the marvels of the internet communication network is its ability to literally store data in the atmosphere otherwise known as cloud storage. It is totally functional, scalable, remotely controlled and therefore cheap. Against these pluses are also arrayed several drawbacks such as latency problems and data transfer to third parties. But is it beneficial? From what experts have to say about it, it appears so but even then, there are also drawbacks.

The benefits

  • Scalability is king with cloud – It would seem that this backup method is extremely scalable meaning that an enormous amount of data can be stored in the cloud environment. It offers such a limitless amount of storage space for users they don’t have to worry about what to do when they next add more data to their storage facility up there in the clouds.
  • Management is alien to cloud – There are no offices up there in the clouds to control the internet backup service so that effectively no managerial supervision is necessary to monitor and look after the storage system. The only manageable part of the storage is the data itself, which, for all practical purposes sits somewhere in cyber space waiting for the push on the button to send it travelling super-fast down to ground computers.
  • Fixed costs for the service – The online backup service is way ahead of its conventional ground backup environment in so far as costs are concerned. In contrast to the method of storing data in conventional ground servers, the cloud service offers a fixed cost as opposed to the ever changing monthly or annual subscriptions for storing data conventionally.
  • Duplication saves data – Vendors who provide the new storage service can add special features such as replicating between different sites to ensure data isn’t lost during transfers and may also duplicate extra copies for safe keeping. Furthermore the same backup can be accessed from different locations by different users so that there’s greater flexibility and interchangeability in accessing the dame data by users.

The drawbacks

  • Latency – This term refers to the waiting time or time loss from the start of entering an input into a system to the desired outcome of that operation. In the case of cloud storage because there is a constant stream of data travelling to the storage. In the case of backup data there is usually only a single operation for data transfer over a long period of time so there’s less latency i.e. less waiting or less time loss.
  • A third party –In a storage cloud situation, a third party is added to the process of storing data and it may well be that the newcomer will not maintain the backup data or encrypt them as efficiently or as securely as you do and this may well result in data loss.
  • Total reliance on a provider – The most worrisome event that can happen hinges on one’s total dependence on a provider of an online backup service. For instance, what would happen if the provider suddenly goes bankrupt and folds up? How can you retrieve your data? Your data may have been saved in a proprietary format that is not simple for you to extract from the provider. So eventually, dependency on a provider can be a very serious issue for you.

The great thing about the cloud is that it allows an additional layer of protection.  To add more protection to your data you could also make a physical copy of your data and keep that in a self storage unit too.