Back to Basics: Cloud Storage

What is Cloud Storage:

Did you know cloud storage is not just cloud storage? It is a category title. Because cloud storage can include a few storage configurations, the most generic definition for cloud storage is a system, service, or storage device that is being hosted remotely to store data. Cloud storage in this sense would include public and private cloud storage. Public cloud storage is off-premise storage which is purchased from a cloud service provider (CSP) and the hardware is not owned by the organization using the public cloud. Private cloud storage, also classified as on-premises storage, is owned and managed by the organization using the data storage. Next, we will look into a few uses for cloud storage, including the obvious of storing data.

Uses for Cloud Storage:

 In the modern IT environment, cloud storage has a lot of uses and applications. Cloud storage helps by:

      • Replacing your FTP for file transfer making files and folders available for anyone.
      • Making web-based collaboration possible, easy, and effective. It simplifies collaboration in general while saving time, cutting frustration, and reducing man-hours on a project.
      • Synchronizing workplace data including document files, system settings, old file versions, contact information, and software installation files between multiple locations and users.
      • Simplifying the backup process for systems and computers including personal computer data.
      • Freeing up space on individual computers where the work actually happens by storing large files like video and image files in dedicated storage. This keeps active use storage space (AUSS) on personal computer drives open for daily operations.
      • Providing a data restoration point in the event of system and/or device failure. For companies that rely on their data, having an offsite data backup and restoration plan is vital in the event of a natural disaster or any other unforeseen problem.

Variations of Cloud Storage:

As discussed earlier, there are two main types of cloud storage, public and private cloud storage. We will discuss the first variant, public storage. For review, public cloud storage is classified as off-premise due to a third-party CSP selling the space on their own data storage systems and servers. Public cloud storage is in essence data storage up for rent. As a result of renting space, the cost is often classified as an operational expense (OpEx). When renting the storage space, organizations are often given options to pay monthly or to prepay for a specific amount of storage. Additionally, the CSP is responsible for hardware and software updates and not the organization’s IT department.

 A minor drawback to public cloud storage comes from its actual physical structure. The data is stored off-site relying on some other organization to protect and keep the data. Some organizations and IT managers might need to consider security issues and additional backup options in case the CSP mishandles the data, causing the data to become corrupted or lost.

Private Cloud storage, or On-premise storage, is cloud storage managed and maintained by the organization itself and not by a third-party. The storage hardware is purchased up front and installed, thus being classified as a capital expenditure. This process creates a large up front cost, but, depending on how it is managed, costs less over time for the amount of storage used. As an added benefit, the storage space is dedicated to the organization without having to share resources with others or having to worry about the CSP’s processes. As stated earlier, with a private cloud storage configuration, the organization’s IT department is responsible for all patches, software updates, and any other system maintenance.

Who Will Find Cloud Storage Helpful:

Organizations ranging in size will find both types of cloud storage helpful on different levels.

Public Cloud Private Cloud
Cost
Pro: Pay as you go Con: Unmanaged resources can cause cost overruns
Pro: Better utilization of on-premise storage resources Con: Major upfront investments
Security
Pro: Value-add services; investment levels no enterprise could afford Con: It's out of IT's control
Pro: Complete enterprise control Con: Limited by the enterprise's own security expertise
Data
Pro: Easy to upload Con: Not so easy to get out
Pro: Complete enterprise control Con: Large costs for scalability
Privacy
Pro: Value-added service Con: Compliance
Pro: Compliance Con: Insufficient internal controls
Data Center Redundancy
Pros: Fault tolerance, disaster recovery Con: Data replication
Pros: Fully redundant Con: May still require external backup

The cost of storage and who maintains the physical storage are the two biggest differentiators between both options. Public cloud storage is especially helpful for organizations that range from small start-ups and mid-size organizations. The up-front costs are lower than private cloud storage and work well for small quantities of data. As data storage requirements increase for an organization, the economic advantages drop off. When looking at the costs of using public cloud storage, it is helpful to think of a ratio between the required storage space in gigabytes or terabytes to dollars. As storage needs increase, so do the bills from the CSP. 

Private cloud storage is a great option for mid-size to larger corporations who have larger data storage requirements. Often organizations who fit into this size bracket can afford the up front costs. By using private cloud storage, an organizations’ ratio of dollars to storage space decreases. An organization of this size has the ability to customize its storage based on need and can better secure data. Though these generalizations usually hold true, there are a few exceptions. Some smaller companies may want their own private cloud. After all, a private cloud provides a host of advantages, even some that are not listed in this post.

Conclusion:

Organizations need safe, secure, and reliable storage. We have looked broadly at cloud storage and its two main variations, public and private cloud storage. Each one has its own strengths and weaknesses, which is why a few organizations use a hybrid setup that utilizes both. 

When planning and setting up your cloud storage system, you need to source parts and maintenance. After three years, OEM support becomes cost prohibitive and parts become harder to acquire. Purchasing hardware from the OEM can also be a barrier to organizations  creating their own private cloud. thomastech removes these barriers. The hardware offered by thomastech is both new and engineer-refurbished, cutting costs significantly. To further assist, thomastech also provides financing options to assist IT departments in maintaining their given budgets. For support and maintenance, thomastech saves departments up to 70% compared to what the OEM charges for similar support with, and offers it all with a personalized approach. To learn more about how thomastech can help you resolve your data storage needs, call (330) 225-3117 or visit: https://thomastechllc.com today!

 

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You probably enjoy eating cookies! Here we use a different sort of cookies. These cookies are small files that are stored on a website visitor’s computer. We use this data to improve our site, the user experience, and to improve our communications with you the visitor. Again, as with your other information, we value your privacy and will not sell your data.  
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