Cloud Storage
Published June 18th, 2016 by

Choose Your Side: Cloud Storage Versus Local Data Storage

Choose Your Side Cloud Storage Versus Local Data StorageOur current economy these days are spoilt with so many choices, that it becomes harder to spot the best deal when it comes to value and worth. Trends are more prevalent in the consumer sector, but the needs in the business side are far more discriminating. Nonetheless, businesses should be as well become wiser in making their decisions.

We are in the information age. This is the period when people are absorbed with data in their everyday lives. In the consumer side, this is mainly from the rise of social media networking popularity. Because of this, unknowingly they accumulate as much, and it is taking a toll on their gadget’s performance due to lack of free space. In businesses, the higher rate of growth in terms of expansion, manpower and marketing campaigns tends to return more data into the company. Now that web based technologies were being utilized in the business tools, data accumulation accelerates faster due to added sources.

Overview of Local Data Storages

As we know, data storage is already integrated with the computer, that is, a hard drive. Having a local data storage within the same workstation would mean you can easily access your files anytime you are in the office. Local data storages are in part attached to the computer’s memory, so that all changes or modifications made can be saved on it will be recognized by the computer.

The computer’s data storage already expanded many times as much as it was used before. From 2 megabytes in 1976, 32 years later Samsung announced mass production of 3 Terrabytes SSDs. There is so much growth in this side of the computer hardware, but the demand continues to rise as well, as many manufacturers are coming up with devices to stream and capture data. Many consumers are also using more than one device nowadays, with PCs and laptops still lead as the most popular at 91% in 2015, followed by smartphones at 80%.

Within a business, it is common that each employee that has his own workstation, will have a dedicated computer for his use. He can share his files and documents, usually by emailing them or storing them in flash/thumb drives and give it to his colleagues. In bigger businesses, the IT department deploys networking systems that interconnect all company computers to a dedicated server. This will sustain more effective access from common data, and enable faster sharing among peers.

The overall business network is built using several technologies in both hardware and software. Depending on how big the company, or the system, or the number of users will be, is the primary basis for the type of technology to be deployed. Smaller businesses may use LAN, or Local Area Network, type of network system that utilizes physical connections using cables. In bigger companies, the entire networking system will compose of interconnected  LANs, and since it will be more expensive and critical to deploy longer cables, the internet will serve as the gateway for communications among network system clients towards each other, or to the server.

In local data storages, a centralized server will contain all data, as well as will have a human manager to authorize access and for overall data management.

However, local data storages still face some issues concerning latency, access, network issues and viruses. The data manager and IT department will be in charge with these issues. They have to make sure that even though the whole company computers are interconnected, failure in one workstation won’t affect the others, as well as the entirety of the business. This is one aspect of networked systems and collaborative work environments that must be addressed and prepared for beforehand.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Local Data Storages

The integration of a data storage within a workstation enables the user to be more productive in his work. This is because all of his essentials needed are already in the same place as his tools. This, and below are some of the advantages of using local data storages in business.

Hard disks are non-volatile, meaning, the data inside it will remain intact even if power is removed. But its contents can only be accessed if the computer will be turned on. Its non-volatility means it is suitable for long term data storage, and will be ready for access anytime when there is power flowing through it.

Mutable storages are capable of being overwritten, where data can be modified and still remain under the same filename. This makes users access only the most updated filesin the system.

Being in the same workstation computer or network system, data can be easily accessed and utilized by the creator., and all the users he authorizes. This allows collaborative work to take place without the need to wait for group emails for the most updated documents. Team members can easily work simultaneously, and is ensured that each access only updated files. A data manager will have to do the monitoring of all access, data modifications, and updating.

Data in local storages can be renamed to whichever filename a user prefers it to be, so he will know how to locate it better. Computers can also recognize keywords, so a file can be accessed even if you don’t know its exact filename. This is done through the search box, where users type in the keyword. Data can also be searched and sorted based on its file type, date modified or created, or how big it is.

Today, local data storages come in various sizes and capacities. From the era where computers are as large as rooms; up until hard disks can fit inside the computer CPU. Now, there are also portable hard disk options like the external HDDs (hard disk drive) which can live outside the computer. To access its contents, one just needs a cable to connect into the computer hardware. Portable HDDs also come in different capacities, as big as 3 Terrabytes. There are also other portable local data storages like USBs/ flash drives/ thumb drives and compact disks.

Local data storages relatively use low power, as it is dependent on the CPU as its power source.

On the other hand, hard disks also have its own disadvantages. Hard disks are prone to bugs, computer virus, or accidental deletion, causing you to delete important data. Although there are sophisticated data retrieval systems from corrupted hard disks, this is not a 100% solution to this kind of data problems, especially in big businesses.

Overview of Cloud Storages

The cloud is an alternative data storage to traditional hard disks and portable storage devices. It makes use of the internet to enable dynamic access to its contents. This type of data storage is being maintained by another host, or a third party service provider. Cloud file storage providers act as the data manager, which maintains the overall integrity and accessibility of all its clients’ data.

Cloud storage providers utilize an expansive and internet network wide data storage, that allows them to lease parts of it for clients to store their data, either for backup or a centralized data access within its business organization.

The simplicity of the network structure, as well as its accessibility, makes cloud storages popular among consumers and business alike. Cloud storages also allow increased flexibility than traditional devices, because you do not need to carry storage devices with you. But it has to be noted that it needs an internet connection in order to access your digital assets.

In a cloud survey conducted in 2015, it was revealed that 88% of the enterprises are using public cloud and 63% utilize a private cloud. In a separate survey by an industry analyst firm predicted that by 2018, that the global cloud market will hit $200 Billion.

Advantages/Disadvantages of Cloud Storages

Cloud storages deal mainly with “virtual” data storages that are almost limitless in capacity. Cloud storage companies, however, offer different package types depending on the need of the business for more flexible and affordable options in their services. In reality, the need for an additional hardware infrastructure to be able to sustain an expansive data management network, is shouldered by the host or service provider. To maintain overall cost efficiency, the provider will have to “lease” to many clients the whole bandwidth their equipment created, in part.

On December 2015, Internet World Stats said that it was an estimated 46.4% of the world population is using the internet. This increased the overall accessibility of the data that is stored within cloud storages, regardless of where you are in the world. The internet does make our world a lot smaller, but more extensive in reach, and advanced than ever before.

A cloud statistics made in 2013 mentioned that 63% of the executives who make use of the cloud reasons disaster recovery to be their driving point in getting one. This is followed by centralized data management at 51%, and 44% for cost savings. Therefore, most businesses find cloud as a strong and durable data storage backup for overall business data. Cloud storage backups should be part of an effective data disaster recovery program for businesses.

Cloud storages are also used for archiving infrequently used data. It is important to note, too, that data archiving is not the same as data backup. Data archiving emphasize on the effective way of securing historical business data to be used for future references, when the need arises. Data backup is replicating business data, and streams it as well, for easier access, and as needed.

Another advantage of cloud data storages is its capability to support collaborative work among team members of a specific workload, or the entire business organizes. It provides a centralized data center and data management system, which lessens emailing of update documents to everybody. Most cloud storages integrate with business tools. This is done so that pertinent updates in the applications, and changes in the documents will automatically take place when a user saves.

Balancing, there are also surrounding issues in cloud storages concerning security, privacy and data ownership. Security and privacy issues were being addressed by deploying more aggressive data encryption to discriminate hackers and other unlawful activities toward crucial data inside the network. Data ownership is something that has an ongoing debate until now, and opinions do vary. Everything will just boil down to how effective and impactful cloud storages are to a business, versus some of the disadvantages it poses.

Choosing the Right Data Storage Type for Your Business

Smarter decisions in business yield more beneficial effects and long term positive impact towards its overall efficiency and success. Choosing the appropriate data storage type for a business entails attention and analysis of your goals and business models in order to be utilized more effectively. There should be careful weighing of the pros and cons of each data storage model, to achieve a more successful outcome.

Reading cloud storage company reviews will help you make better decisions in deploying internet based storages on your business. Top cloud storage companies are always open in assisting you to gain more in-depth knowledge about cloud file storage services and how it can benefit you better.

Keith Moore

Keith Moore has worked with several leading Android development agencies to build customized mobile apps enabling businesses to extend the use of their services to smart phones and mobile devices.

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