I was recently contacted by Samuel Bowling, an Infrastructure Engineer from SingleHop, who read my book and thought that my readers might benefit from his expertise regarding using the Cloud to store your data. I agreed, and invited him to guest post. His thoughts on the advantages of cloud storage are below. Note that this post is not a recommendation from me to move to cloud storage, and I don’t have any personal experience using SingleHop. In case you’re wondering, I store my information locally on my computer, using both a Time Machine backup and a bootable clone backup. However, there are some advantages of cloud storage and this information is intended to assist you in making an informed decision about what’s right for you.
Samuel’s Thoughts On The Advantages Of Cloud Storage
Maura states in her book, “the bottom line is that there is no right or wrong solution when deciding between local or online storage of the information necessary to manage your life.” Online storage, or “the cloud,” is still an unknown entity to many and I am here to highlight your potential life in the cloud!
Technology has the ability to empower you when it comes to productivity and regaining your time. It also has the ability to confuse and damage those processes if there is not a clear grasp on how to use a tool or employ it to its best ability. In order to really capitalize on the advantages of cloud storage, it is important to really delve into what it has to offer.
Understanding is Key to Productively Using the Cloud
Understanding where your data is being stored is the key to productively using the cloud. Many individuals are considering the variety of important aspects that go into permanently migrating to cloud storage and the effect it will have on their everyday productivity. Cloud computing allows individuals access to stored, secure information at any location. Material such as photos, documents and various applications that were once tied to one specific hard drive, can now be securely obtained anywhere in the world. Data is now stored on those servers, giving you secure, anytime access from anywhere. From the simple convenience of having your movie library at your fingertips in your hotel room to your employees having the ability to recover the key sales presentation on the now coffee-logged laptop, the advantages of cloud storage are vast.
Who Can Benefit from Cloud Storage?
Individuals benefiting from migrating data to the cloud range from those looking for improved management of home computing networks to those maintaining the world’s largest corporate infrastructures. This begs the question, what benefits do individuals gain when moving to the cloud? There are many advantages of cloud storage that complement the need for increased efficiency to both your work and home life. Here are a few basic benefits that you would experience after a migration to a hosted private cloud. (A “hosted private cloud,” according to this ZDNet article, is a service intended for a single enterprise, which has controls and restrictions on access in place; as opposed to “public cloud services,” which are open to a largely unrestricted group of potential users. SingleHop does include hosted private cloud services in its offerings.)
Advantage of Cloud Storage #1: Accessibility
As long as you have internet access, you can work from anywhere at anytime. Whether you’re an employee working from home, or a parent who wants to show off some baby pictures, everything can all be accessed easily from the cloud.
Advantage of Cloud Storage #2: Collaboration
Cloud computing allows multiple individuals to access documents at the same time. This flexibility can increase efficiency and fosters collaboration. With the ever evolving globalization of the work force, this aspect is extremely important for businesses, small and large, to take into consideration when contemplating the move to the cloud.
Advantage of Cloud Storage #3: Security
Storing your information locally on your computer means that if your laptop or hard drive is ever stolen or lost, you could lose all of your work (if you don’t have a backup). Storing important documents in the cloud with the proper security means that all of your data is safely stored on a remote secure server and is still accessible. Storing data on servers in remote locations also means that your data will be safe in the event of a localized disaster.
Recognizing how to use the cloud most efficiently and securely is a great first step to using it to increase your productivity. All of this information must be taken into account when weighing the options for and against the migration to permanent storage on a dedicated private cloud. Making the move will not only increase your flexibility to adapt to any curveballs thrown your way, but will also keep you shielded from any potential catastrophes you could encounter. With the right research and server configuration, you can rest easy knowing that your data is secure and always within your reach.
Maura’s Input On The Advantages Of Cloud Storage
I think Samuel makes some good points about the advantages of cloud storage, and I also believe that cloud storage is likely to be the more common solution in the future. It’s also important to research the downside of cloud storage, the most obvious of which is that you can’t access it without an internet connection. Samuel rightly says that when your data is stored in a remote server (with redundancy), it will be safe in the event of a natural disaster. However, it also means that if that natural disaster knocks out your internet service, you won’t be able to access your data. If you live in a location that doesn’t have fast, reliable internet access, cloud storage is probably not the best solution for you. I still believe that there is no right or wrong answer, and you should do your own research regarding the advantages and disadvantages of local vs. cloud storage for your particular situation.
Photo credit: StockMonkeys.com