Cloud computing has become increasingly mainstream in recent years as more and more businesses adopt this still youthful form of technology. Businesses of all sizes are utilizing this revolutionary form of computing, and it is already predicted that by the end of the decade 80% of small businesses in the United States will be using the cloud in some way. In this post, our friends at Cloud Spectator help us compare cloud storage options in 2015.
The rapidly increasing popularity of cloud computing has ensured that several competing models have emerged. Public cloud storage involves data being stored in an off-site location, the private cloud revolves around on-premise storage, while the hybrid cloud, as the name would suggest, offers elements of both of the other major cloud models.
Public, Private or Hybrid Cloud Storage?
Each of these competing cloud computing storage models has its own advantages and weaknesses. So how should a business make a decision regarding the best particular type of cloud storage? And what factors should be taken into consideration?
One of the most obvious advantages of public cloud storage is related to management. By choosing a public cloud storage provider, it is possible for a business to offload a huge amount of management responsibility onto the chosen vendor. By contrast, with a private cloud setup, companies are induced to spend a significant amount of time and resources on specifying, purchasing, updating, and maintaining the physical infrastructure required for the cloud storage network.
Another issue that small businesses may consider in particular is the amount of initial outlay involved. By and large, public cloud scenarios eliminate any initial capital expense, with any financial outlay involved instead shifted to a monthly subscription. Utilization and data volume can be an issue with the public cloud, but the initial expense involved is either minimal or zero.
By contrast, there can be a significant amount of money required to get private cloud storage up and running, considering that the maintenance and hardware costs associated with such a system are always met by the business in question.
Public Cloud Storage
Public cloud storage can also be considered advantageous in terms of its constant availability and on-demand capacity. The shared resources involved in the public cloud are usually available on an as-needed basis, and this can be a significantly positive factor for IT planning in particular, ensuring that vital human resources from IT departments can be utilized on other important work.
Private Cloud Storage
Private cloud storage setups may not score particularly well in the departments mentioned previously, but they do benefit from excellent data security. Many companies who are switching to the cloud for the first time prefer to operate a private setup, as they effectively remain in control of their own data at all times.
One should not draw the false conclusion that public cloud storage is insecure; after all, developers who offer this particular cloud setup must ensure that it is extremely secure lest they lose huge amounts of business. But sharing storage with other people, and basing this cloud storage off-site, will never be as secure as a private system where data is stored on-premise.
Hybrid Cloud Storage
On the face of it, the hybrid cloud storage environment would seem to be ideal for many businesses, effectively offering a compromise between the strengths of the public and private clouds. Businesses who opt for a hybrid cloud storage system will be able to utilize and manage resources both externally and within their own business, and this offers great flexibility in terms of storage and security.
However, it is worth bearing in mind that hybrid cloud storage environments have fairly stringent requirements in order to work satisfactorily. They must behave like homogeneous storage, be almost transparent in nature, and have mechanisms included within them to ensure that data which is utilized on a regular basis by the business is kept on-site at all times, while relatively inactive data is stored away in the off-site cloud provision.
There is also a dependency on policy engines to ensure that data is moved to, and indeed pulled out of, the cloud appropriately. Although hybrid clouds are increasing in popularity, and are worthy of serious consideration, one shouldn’t think that they are a silver bullet to the issue of cloud storage.
Comparing Cloud Storage Cost Efficiency
When comparing cloud storage in 2015, businesses need to consider cost efficiency. There is always a temptation when choosing a cloud solution to opt for the cheapest one available, but this will not turn out to be particularly cost-effective if it is greatly unsuited to the type of business that you operate. So before choosing any particular cloud solution, it is vital to consider what you actually intend to use it for, and then consider the specific qualities of each type of cloud storage environment.
Although you may understand the generic qualities of the various types of cloud environments on offer, actually identifying and locating the perfect cloud storage service for your business can be extremely difficult. There are many different factors to consider apart from the factors discussed in this blog. Furthermore, different vendors and service providers will make differing provisions within their individual packages.
Cloud Storage Comparison 2015
In 2015, we are overwhelmed with data, yet many businesses struggle to use it to their advantage. The best way to overcome this problem is to opt for a cloud vendor benchmark comparison. Cloud benchmarking providers have valuable and authoritative databases of cloud storage service providers, with every conceivable aspect of each service provider documented and recorded. Benchmarking assesses every service available to you, and picks the best one for you based on your actual needs. It is an extremely valuable service, particularly if the businesses looking to switch to the cloud are unsure about where to start.
For more information on cloud storage comparison and cloud vendor benchmarking, get in touch with Cloud Spectator.