Cloud storage is simply a data storage facility hosted within a cloud computing environment.
Today storage costs within a local computing environment account for a large proportion of information technology expenditure. Much of this storage is based on legacy files that are no longer accessed but must nevertheless be stored for a defined period.
Cloud storage systems offer a flexible pay-as-you-go service based upon your organisational or personal needs.
These systems range in size scope and target market, for consumer focussed systems there are simple applications that backup files across devices such as a PC or iPhone and store data on the providers system for retrieval when required.
Enterprise or commercial users tend to require larger amounts of storage and redundancy within the system. Based upon this need there are a number of cloud storage providers that offer highly resilient interconnected systems with options for levels of redundancy and access.
With such variety in terms of options and scope choosing a solution that fits your needs and budget is essential to exploiting the benefits this service has to offer
Cloud storage offers some significant advantages for businesses subscribing to this model of data storage, and we have listed some of the main advantages below:
Using a “pay as you go” storage model permits lowers capital expenditure costs whilst freeing internal systems from a stale data that is no longer accessed. Vendors typically offer monthly contracts with no upfront commitments making it easy for you to integrate a solution into your organisation.
Scale up or down on demand
Using a cloud storage provider allows you to scale up or down requirements and is great for temporary projects that may consume large amounts of data.
Many providers manage all aspects of data storage including backup and retention. This frees your IT staff from the burden of managing storage area networks and systems.
Using a cloud storage service ensures you are using the latest technology and removes the upgrade and hardware purchasing elements of managing a storage system in house.
Depending on your organisational scope there are many great features in terms of service level agreements and hierarchy of systems. With many providers putting interconnects into datacentres, your current leased-line or connectivity systems have the potential to be plugged into the provider with quality of service provision – providing superior service quality and uptime.
When making any technology decisions there are always points to consider, below we list out some of the areas you should be investigating when selecting a cloud storage provider.
Are you subject to data protection or regulatory considerations in terms of data location? Always ask your cloud storage provider to state in which geographical territory your data is held.
Is your sensitive data encrypted on the cloud storage provider’s network? What level of encryption is deployed? Always check that data is fully encrypted and that a data protection key is held by your organisation.
Always ask for details of the provider’s infrastructure and what polices and systems they have for monitoring and system redundancy.
Contractual scope and obligations
What service level agreements does the provider offer in terms of uptime system restore and customer support? Where does the obligation of the provider end i.e. do they only provide support for data transmission into their network.
Cloud storage systems are available in multiple configurations and scope. Deciding which cloud storage provider is applicable to your business in terms of cost and scope is a daunting task. Take a few minutes to tell us about your requirements in our cloud discovery service questionnaire and let us find your perfect cloud storage partner.