Do you find yourself getting the question, “What exactly is cloud storage?” Today, let’s breakdown what cloud storage is.
According to an article on IBM Cloud, storage software is predicted to overtake storage hardware by 2020, by which time it will have to manage 40 zettabytes (40 sextillion bytes) of data. From these stats, you can clearly see that cloud storage is definitely in your future if not already part of your day to day now.
First, IBM points out that “cloud storage enables applications to upload data to a network of remote, connected servers. Applications can then maintain that data and access it from anywhere.” There are a few varieties of cloud storage. There is personal cloud storage, which many may be familiar with. Personal storage services allow any individual the ability to store and sync data across multiple locations and devices. At the enterprise and business level, the three break outs for cloud storage are public, private and hybrid. When choosing public cloud storage, you are working with a provider who manages the storage completely offsite. Private cloud storage is on-site/on-premise storage within your data center. Finally, hybrid cloud storage is a mix of both public and private features.
Why cloud storage? Also a good question and one your team may be getting. At the most basic breakout, cloud storage provides advantages around the following:
- Accessibility – whether from multiple business locations or multiple devices data in the cloud can be more easily accessed when needed
- Data recovery – some still associate cloud as a risky place to put data, but actually many businesses take their first steps into cloud for data backup and recovery. The cloud presents more options (at more affordable prices) for data recovery, allowing any-sized business the ability to build a better business continuity solution
- Cost – most businesses find themselves handling more and more data each day. Whether structured or unstructured, data sources are expanding and companies who learn to draw actionable insights have a competitive advantage in the marketplace. But, how do you store all this data without expensive hardware purchases? The answer is in the cloud
Finally, if you are are new to the cloud, first identify low hanging fruit or non-critical data that you could test in a cloud environment to gain experience not only with the cloud itself but also with how the cloud integrates with your company’s systems and processes.