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Do I Need Cloud Storage?

March 16, 2022 Leo Expert advice

Cloud storage is probably the most efficient and convenient way to store data online. It gives you and your teams the ability to share and access files wherever you are without having to connect to your local storage systems. While that’s an important benefit for remote workers, cloud storage is not a necessity for every business and it’s also better suited to some sectors than others. 

Here, we discuss the benefits and disadvantages of cloud storage and look at a few different storage solutions to help you decide whether it’s right for your business. 

cloud computing

How you’re probably already using cloud storage

You might think that you’re doing perfectly well without cloud storage, but the likelihood is that you’re already using the cloud without knowing it. There are several simple, free and ubiquitous solutions out there that are already in general use, including:

01
Google Docs and Drive
A safe space to store and share files, videos and photos – your first 15GB of storage is free with a Google account.
02
Dropbox
This storage service lets you save files online and sync them to your devices.
03
WeTransfer
A simple and effective form of temporary cloud storage that makes it easy to send large files.
04
OneDrive
This file hosting service also works as the storage back-end for Microsoft 365.
05
iCloud
Apple’s cloud storage service lets you store photos, files, passwords and other data.

You can use all of these cloud solutions for free. However, when your business’s needs go beyond what the free packages can provide, it’s time to think seriously about your cloud storage requirements.

Are you in a storage-heavy sector?

The importance of cloud storage in your sector depends on the number and size of the files you need to store. While simple text documents require very little storage space, large photos, videos, scans, music and CGIs each contain a significant amount of data. 

Creative industries, such as design agencies, composers, photographers and filmmakers, require a lot of storage space. As an example, a photographer could use 3 or 4GB per shoot, which could add up to hundreds of gigabytes over the course of a year. 

The engineering and tech sectors are also heavy cloud storage users, with CGI in particular demanding a significant amount of storage. Other data-heavy sectors include healthcare and education, where lots of data is stored securely whilst also needing to be readily available to users.

The three types of cloud storage

Once you’ve decided that you need cloud storage, you then need to think about which type. There are three different options available, each with its own benefits and use cases.

01
Object storage
This type of storage solution is ideal for building modern applications from scratch that require scale and flexibility. An example includes Amazon S3.
02
File storage
If your teams need access to a system that contains shared files, then a file storage solution will be the right choice for you. Examples include Dropbox and iCloud.
03
Block storage
Block-based cloud storage solutions are favoured in computing situations where you need efficient, ultra-low latency and reliable data access for high-performance workloads. Examples include Azure Managed Disk and Google Cloud Persistent Disk.

The advantages of cloud storage

There are many benefits of cloud storage that can make it an important asset for you and your team.

  • Access from anywhere, by anyone (with permission)

Using the cloud allows you to access your files from anywhere and give different levels of access to each user, making it well suited to remote teams.

  • Team collaboration

File sharing features make it easy to share files with multiple users so they can access the data and make changes for seamless collaboration.

  • Cheaper than physical drives

With no requirement to purchase additional hardware, cloud storage is far cheaper per GB than external drives.

  • Easy to use

With simple interfaces and drag and drop functionality, most cloud storage solutions are easy for teams without expert knowledge to use.

  • Backup and recovery

Cloud storage can be an important part of your disaster recovery plan. You can create cloud backups of data that is held on local storage or physical drives to prevent data loss. 

  • Security

Many cloud storage providers add extra layers of security to their services to protect your files from physical theft and cyber attacks.

  • Scalability

If you run out of cloud storage space, you can simply upgrade to another service plan. There’s no need to move any data as the extra space is added to your existing storage environment.

Server engineer

The disadvantages of cloud storage

It’s fair to say that the benefits of cloud storage outweigh the drawbacks, but there are still a few things to be aware of.

  • Reliance on an internet connection

You can’t access data stored in the cloud without an internet connection. If you want to switch to cloud storage then it may be worth upgrading to a faster and more reliable internet connection.

  • Costs for heavy use

Some of the best cloud storage solutions can be quite expensive. If you’re on a budget, you may have to choose a less expensive plan and compromise on some features.

  • Sketchy support

In terms of helpful human support, the assistance you’re likely to receive if you have a problem isn’t always the best, particularly if you’re on a free plan.

  • Possible data privacy breaches

The privacy of your data is one of the biggest worries with cloud storage solutions. Your data is no longer in your physical possession, so you’re reliant on the provider to keep your data secure.

 

 

What’s best for you?

Every cloud storage solution has its merits, so it’s important to weigh them up based on your needs and the pros and cons of that particular platform. Before making a choice, it’s worth considering what your business will look like in three to five years and choosing a solution that’s flexible and easy to scale up (or down) as your requirements change. 

If you’d like to get in touch to discuss your cloud computing priorities and options, please give us a call on 01473 599020 or email hello@comms-unite.co.uk. We’ll help you find the right cloud storage solution for your business, your staff and your services.  

March 9, 2022 By Nick
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