“Cloud computing,” “cloud storage,” “the cloud” and other similar phrases are the kind we now hear everyday when talking about computers and the Internet. Because the amount of enterprise data is increasing by 40 to 60 percent each year, more and more businesses have found the cloud to be a great way to store the files that they need without having to take up valuable space on their hard drives. If the right type of service is chosen, it can also be a more secure form of storage, safe from viruses, malware, theft and other forms of online crime. In this article we shall look at two ways in which you can get the maximum amount of cloud storage for your business.
1) Do not use the cloud to store all your business information.
It might indeed sound quite tempting to use the cloud as your universal storage place. However, it is important that you weigh two factors against each other – the convenience of cloud storage vs. the question of security – when deciding to store a particular file in the cloud. The two main threats to cloud-stored data are theft by hackers and corruption by malware. Each time you upload or download a file or type in your password, you are using a remote connection over a wireless network which can be intercepted and used for dishonest purposes. The files you transmit are thus vulnerable to attack by a hacker who has the proper equipment.
The question you want to address, therefore, is whether the convenience of storing a particular piece of data on the cloud is worth the danger posed to you if somebody got hold of that data. Such is the case with your tax returns, for instance: There is much information there that could be used to commit identity theft. The same is true with photos, videos and other personal things.
2) Choose the right cloud server.
Different cloud servers have different maximum storage limits per customer. The higher this margin, the better for your business.
3) Develop a sound cloud storage strategy.
The amount of storage that you can have in your business cloud will depend on your having a sound strategy for storing data therein. Unfortunately too many businesspeople look with blind alacrity on this new form of memory storage and fail to realize just how much time it takes for data to be uploaded and downloaded, nor do they test full server restores and other such crucial steps.
The first thing to do is establish a system of metrics and reports so that you will know exactly how many megabytes each file is worth at any given point in time. Understand the trends in your organization and consider what might be worth purging.
You will also need to understand the differences among the four main types of cloud services. They can be:
- private – The storage space can be used only by the one company or individual for whom it is intended. They alone can access
- public – The network over which the services are delivered is open to the general public.
- community – like a private cloud except that it is shared among two or more clients, who usually have common concerns
- hybrid – A hybrid cloud consists of two or more clouds of the same or different types, each of which offers the benefits of a cloud of its type while at the same time retaining its identity.
There are other types of cloud deployment models besides these four. One is the distributed cloud, whose services are provided by machines that are connected to a single network even though they are running on different locations.
Having maximum storage in your business cloud can free your PC so that you can store only the most critical data there. It also provides a way of sharing data with employees.