Four Things to Understand About Cloud Storage That Many Don't
The cloud and its various purposes are front-of-mind for a lot of enterprise-level personnel and plenty of others as well. But the widespread growth of the cloud is bringing with it some misconceptions and certain misunderstandings that really should be addressed before staging any kind of large-scale cloud deployment. Thankfully, four misconceptions seem to be fairly common — at least, according to the results of a survey from ComputerSupport.com -- and can be addressed in one fell swoop to clear up some of the major issues with cloud computing.
First, despite what may be thought, the cloud really isn't all that new. Many of its applications are new, yes, but what cloud actually is in its truest sense — the ability to store and access data and applications located on a third-party server via remote connection — has been in play for quite some time. Gmail, Salesforce, and others have offered this kind of capability for a long time now, and reports suggest that the most basic of cloud technologies dates clear back to the 1960s.
Second, those concerned about security are perhaps a bit too concerned. There's always something to be said about offline storage—when there's only one access point, that access point becomes a lot more controllable—but on-premise storage solutions aren't automatically safer. Cloud technology knows that it has many more potential points of access, and thus failure, so it works accordingly to protect itself. Throw in redundancy features and disaster planning mechanisms and the cloud might well be more secure overall than the plans of smaller businesses already in place.
Third, the cloud is not that expensive. It may sound like the newest gee-whiz technology, and that technology is often expensive. But when all of the costs are compared — the costs of staffing and maintenance and security, all those things that a cloud provider essentially takes on for the user — many organizations actually find a savings available in the cloud.
Fourth, the cloud is not just for the smaller businesses. The small and medium-sized business (SMB) market can get plenty of use out of the cloud, yes, but many cloud services don't just want SMB trade. As such, offerings can be had for enterprise-level users as well, and enterprise-level users can find the same cost savings that SMBs can realize, a development which seldom goes unwelcome.
Some can take issue with just about any part of this list, really. Indeed, some have wondered about the security factor; after all, a storage system that isn't hooked to the Internet has many fewer potential points of failure, and with so few “moving parts”, so to speak, the chance of failure is a whole lot lower than its alternative. But again, a system that understands its vulnerability can better work to protect itself, and that's where the security benefits of the cloud come into play. For the most part, however, the list contains many points well worth considering, and might well change some minds on cloud storage, at least for less essential or information that's not exactly a trade secret. We have video on this and many other topics available at this link.
The cloud can be a great part of a business' everyday operations, but putting it to work properly requires planning and careful investment to make it work in its fullest sense.
Edited by Rory J. Thompson