Cloud vs. Local Storage: What’s Better? | WAMS Inc.
Keeping your company data safe is increasingly important in an age where cybercriminals can easily plunder your data from the comfort of their parents’ basements. Data lost, stolen, or held ransom can be a major headache, so you should be asking: Should I use cloud storage or local storage? Which is more secure? Which is better overall?
The answer, of course, depends on your company’s situation. And it’s not black and white: while cutting edge cloud storage certainly offers benefits to many businesses, some organizations are finding that using local storage – or a hybrid mix – is a more effective solution.
Here are some advantages of cloud vs. local data storage, and some recommendations based on your situation.
Cloud Storage Advantages
Get data from anywhere: Perhaps the greatest advantage of storing your firm’s data on the cloud is that employees can access data from anywhere, anytime. The convenience of having full access, from any device, on a sales trip, or even on vacation overseas is valuable to many firms (I’m not implying that accessing the cloud from an unsecured wifi signal in Starbucks doesn’t pose its own security issues; it does and always will).
Cloud data centers have redundant infrastructure to make sure access never goes down. Although with on-premise storage you can give your workers access to data from anywhere, it depends on you to invest in such redundancy. Therefore, if accessing data from outside of the office with no down time is important, then cloud storage has a slight advantage.
2. Security: In terms of security, there’s not a clear winner on whether cloud or local storage is more secure. Overall, cloud security has a slight advantage because it is watched 24-7 by trained staff, but you also need local IT professionals versed in cloud technology on your end to train workers on access protocol, etc. Keep in mind there is always a trade off with security and vulnerability. You get what you pay for.
3. Disaster Recovery: In terms of Disaster Recovery, cloud storage has the clear advantage. If you insist on having your data physically in house, you would still need to back up your data off-site in case a disaster like a flood or fire physically destroys your storage infrastructure. Cloud storage, or redundant cloud storage makes your data all but invulnerable to such disasters.
4. Scalability: Another advantage of cloud storage is you can pay for the storage that you need and easily upgrade to larger levels if needed. If you foresee your company growing or only want to pay for the storage that you’re using, go with cloud storage.
5. Cost: If your firm has an average need for storage, cloud storage will save you from up front costs and be more economical overall. But if you require tons of storage, in the long-run local storage options may be more economical.
6. Maintenance: with a local storage set up, you will need to constantly maintain and upgrade your hardware. With cloud storage, maintenance fees are built into monthly fees, leaving the technical work of implementing cutting edge technologies to the experts.
7. Green Business: Finally, going with cloud storage could cut your power consumption by up to 70%. If you are concerned about energy consumption, cloud storage is for you.
Local Storage Advantages
1. Speed: One undeniable advantage of storing your business data locally is speed, particularly upload speed. If your staff is working in a centralized office and upload speeds are important, then choose a local storage setup.
2. Security/Trust: As said above, overall security is better on the cloud. If you are accessing local storage with a device connected to the internet, your data is just as vulnerable as if it were on the cloud. But there is nothing more secure than detaching your data from the internet and burying it where no one knows it is; but let’s be honest, this is not practical.
If you don’t trust cloud storage providers with your data, and you want your data in a physical place where you can watch it, then you should use local storage. But the question you should be asking is are you able to properly provide the physical security to your on-site storage?
3. Intermittent Internet Connection: Cloud storage means you need a dependable internet connection to access your files, otherwise your entire office can be paralyzed. If you have unreliable internet access, local storage is best for you.
As you can see, cloud storage is advantageous to companies in a wider variety of common circumstances. 85% of businesses worldwide are already making use of cloud technology to store information. But every company is different, and a hybrid system where you have local storage backed up to the cloud could give you the best of both worlds.
WAMS Inc., an IT Consulting firm serving southern CA since 1974, can offer you all the expertise, hardware, and software to set up either a local or cloud storage solution. Most importantly we can advise you based on your needs and budget.
Give us a call today at 800-421-7151 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for a free quote.