To Cloud or Not to Cloud? Part 1 – Data Storage

Many organizations question if they are missing out on a trend that is definitely here to stay. Cloud Computing. The term “Cloud computing” can mean several things; storing data in the cloud, processing in the cloud, and/or collaborating in the cloud. What this boils down to is that your organization is moving all or part of it’s infrastructure and applications off-site.

The decision to move to cloud-based technologies can give your business a competitive edge by giving you and your employees the ability to work from different locations while accessing critical files, increased security, the ability to create a better disaster recovery plan, cost savings, and no server maintenance, etc.

Today we’ll cover data storage. This is one of the most common ways that an organization chooses to move infrastructure to the cloud. How this is implemented depends on how your employees connect and the availability of a stable connection. You can accomplish this by using file syncing to keep files in sync between users and computers or using WebDAV to access files as if they were connected to a network share wherever they go. Both have advantages.

Syncing ensures that you can work on a file remotely without being connected to the internet and trusting that the server will sync your work when you are connected.

Using WebDAV allows you to free up space on your hard drive or use a netbook that has very little built-in storage available. The downside to this is that you must maintain an internet connection to access your files.

Cloud storage is generally used when employees in an organization need to be able to access files outside of the office or over a large geographical area. Cloud storage is for the most part plentiful and the learning curve is small, this makes it easy to implement across an organization. The downside for some organizations is the cost of storing and accessing data on someone else’ infrastructure can outweigh the cost of hosting it yourself.

If you have large amounts of data (think terabytes) it can become costly to move all of your data to high availability storage. If this is the case for your organization a hybrid approach may be the answer for you. With an in-house cloud solution in place users can access files on the fly on most any device, and sharing sensitive documents no longer requires encrypted email. Employees can be granted the ability to share files with a password protected link with an expiration date.

Hosting your own data or moving it entirely to the cloud? We can help you with a cost analysis to determine the right approach to help you get work done and #getyourheadinthecloud!


Jeremy Harris

vCIO HNET Solutions

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